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ER Cases Resulting From Ecstasy Abuse Rising

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According to a new government report, medical emergencies related to Ecstasy abuse increased by 75 percent between 2004 and 2008.

The report says hospital emergency rooms treated 18,865 patients in 2008 for medical issues that were a direct result of the use of Ecstasy. On the flip side, emergency room visits attributed to Ecstasy-related problems totaled 10,220 in 2004.

The increase in Ecstasy abuse primarily came from individuals between the ages of 18 and 29. While the results were troubling, they were also somewhat expected. The real sticking point, however, was when the report indicated that nearly 18 percent of the results indicated Ecstasy abuse by individuals between the ages of 12 and 17.

Ecstasy, of course, has risen to prominence as the drug of choice for ravers and party goers. Possible side-effects of Ecstasy usage include, but aren’t limited to: agitation, heat stroke and heart failure.

"Amphetamine use continues to be a significant problem for adolescents and young adults. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality," said Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, chairman of emergency medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

"It remains to be determined how severe the long-term neurotoxic effects may be on the brain," Goldfrank said. "There is no reason for anyone to believe that the use of this drug is safe at some dose -- the risk is consequential at any dose."

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