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Young women most at risk from ecstasy hospitalisation

Females most at risk from stronger-than-ever pills

  • Duncan Dick
  • 25 June 2015

Earlier this week we reported the Crush-Dab-Wait warnings from The Loop and Chill Welfare. Now the latest Global Drug Survey has shown an increased number of hospitalisations from ecstasy use, which the GDS team attribute to the ever increasing amounts of MDMA found in pills.

Pills with as much as 330mg have been reported in Europe, over three times what most people consider a single dose. GDS 2015 surveyed over 22,000 ecstasy users, who reported 202 hospital admissions following use of the drug - a rise from 0.3% of users in GDS2013 to 0.9% of users in this year's survey.

Rates were significantly higher in women than men (1.3% v 0.7%) with the highest rates in women under 21 years of age and those with a history of mental illness (2.2%). Higher rates were also seen in more frequent users, with over 3% of those reporting use on more than 50 occasions reporting seeking help. Only one in eight of those who reported seeking emergency medical treatment had taken ecstasy by itself, with alcohol and other drug use being present in the remainder.

Body weight appeared unrelated the risk of seeking emergency medical help. Most presented with symptoms of anxiety, confusion, agitation, hallucinations and extreme sweating consistent with excessive doses of a stimulant drug. One quarter of respondents said it took three or more days to feel back to normal.

The conclusion is that women under 21 with a history of mental health problems are the highest risk group when it comes to the risk of taking ecstasy leading to a hospital visit.

GDS excellent advice on safer drug use can be found here at the GBDS HIghway Code.

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