Ecstasy Sending More Kids to the Emergency Room, Study Says

Emergency room visits related to use of the illegal drug Ecstasy saw a dramatic increase between 2004 and 2008.  A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found ER visits grew from 10,220 to 17,865 in those years, an increase of more than 74 percent. The national study, Emergency Room Visits Involving Ecstasy, also reports that nearly 18 percent of Ecstasy-related ER trips involved children between the ages of 12 and 17. Side effects of Ecstasy include anxiety attacks, tachycardia, hypertension and hyperthermia.  However, the severity of these effects is sharply increased when Ecstasy is used with other substances.  According to the study, more than 77 percent of Ecstasy-related ER visits involved the use of at least one other substance. “The resurgence of Ecstasy use is cause for alarm that demands immediate attention and action,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.

New Link Between Early Teen Drinking and Alcoholism

Kids who begin drinking at 14 or younger are nearly twice as likely to be dependent on alcohol as those who begin drinking between 15 and 17. They are six times more likely to become alcoholics than people who wait until the legal age of 21 to start drinking, according to a new report from the Center for Substance Abuse Research. These findings come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report goes on to suggest that alcohol education and prevention efforts start as early as middle school. JJIE.org reports today on the issue of alcoholic energy drinks, sometimes called ‘cocaine in a can.’  The companies that make these drinks often target teens in their advertising.