The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 28, 2001 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 28, 2001
Page 8
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A8 SATURDAY. APRIL 28, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL T ILLEGAL DRUGS Ecstacy—and the agony Several deaths reported involving dance-scene drug By MARTHA IRVINE The Associated Press CHICAGO — One dead after a party in suburban Chicago. Two more in Memphis, Tenn., and another two in Portland, Ore. The fatal consequences of Ecstasy — an illegal drug that some say is this decade's version of LSD — are becoming increasingly apparent nationwide, further stirring the debate about how to deal with the large numbers of young people using it. "It's the hottest drug going right now," says MicheUe, a 19- year-old former Ecstasy user from New York City who is now in rehab and spoke on the condition that her last name not be used. "Anybody can get it anywhere, anytime." While it is most often associated with dance parties — or "raves" — federal officials say the drug also known as MDMA is so readily available that teens can buy it at school and on the street corner. A survey of American teens released in February found one in four questioned said they had a friend or classmate who had used Ecstasy, while 17 percent said they knew more than one user. It was the first time the nonprofit National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse conducted a survey on the drug. In recent months. Dr. VasU- ios Pitsios says he has treated The Associated Press Steve Svoboda, a 24-yeaF-old Web site designer, pauses near his downtown Chicago office Wednesday. Svoboda tieads Chicago's chapter of DanceSafe, a Caiifomia-based harm-reduction organization that tests Ecstacy tabiets for the presence of other, more dangerous drugs. patients as young as 14 who have arrived unconscious at the emergency room at Saint Vincent Hospital in the heart of Manhattan's club scene. He says many have traveled to town from New Jersey and Long Island. And two have died on his watch. Pitsios says he has a frank talk with those who survive. "But how much of that sticks?" he asks. "It's probably very little." Some young people are taking matters into their own hands, preaching "harm reduction" methods that they hope can save lives. Rather than telling others to just say no, they believe it is more realistic to give users information about Ecstasy that, they say, can lessen the drug's damage. "It's obvious that zero tolerance simply doesn't work," said Andrew Epstein, a senior at Amherst College in Massachusetts who helped organize an on-campus information session about Ecstasy this week. Among the tips he and others are spreading to young people nationwide: Stay hydrated to avoid severe, and sometimes deadly, overheating. They also tell users to avoid "stacking," or taking more than one tablet in a night to enhance the drug's euphoric "I- Iqve-everyone" effect. "Epstein says he first tried Ecstasy when he was 17 but has cut back from nearly monthly use to two or three times a year Steve Svoboda, a 24-year-old Web site designer from Chicago, says he has done the same. "If it's used sparingly and people know the risks, I believe the potential for harm is greatly reduced," says Svoboda, who heads Chicago's chapter of a California-based harm-reduction group called DanceSafe. Among other things, the group offers to test Ecstasy tablets for other drugs that police and health officials ^y are Increasingly being passed off as Ecstasy In February, for example, police in Fairfax County, Va., confiscated hundreds of Ecstasy pills laced with the drugPCP. "When somebody tells me they've taken Ecstasy these days, I have no idea what they've taken," says Dr. Charles Grob, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. Grob, who conducted the first Food and Drug Administration-approved study of MD- MA's effects in mid-1990s, says the f\iror over the drug has overshadowed its potential as a psychiatric treatment for such ailments as post-traumatic stress disorder. Michelle, the New York City teen, started using Ecstasy at 17 and developed a four -dEO ^-a- week habit. About a month ago, she checked into a rehab center in Millbrook, N.Y. "You wake up in the morning with dark circles under your eyes. You're pale. And you feel down — like you can't do it anymore without Ecstasy," she said. "It's not worth it at all." T INMATE RIGHTS 'Jail cam' adjustment assures toilet privacy By The Asgoclated Press PHOENIX — Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned off one of his "jail cams" that showed female inmates using a toilet, a view that could be accessed via the Internet. The decision followed complaints from inmate rights groups and the state attorney general. Donna Hamm, director of the Middle Ground inmate- rights group in Tempe, said Thursday that the camera exploited women and was linked to pornographic sites on the Internet. She asked the Justice Department to investigate for civil rights violations. Jack Maclntyre, an attorney for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, told the Arizona Republic a short partition blocked the camera's view of the toilet itself. No juveniles would have been displayed unless they "look older and lie to us." A camera misalignment was corrected after the attorney general's complaint, but no women could be seen using the toilet, the sheriff's office said. A Web surfer could see th? view on a site called by providing a name and email address and completing a consumer survey Arpaio said his office got no revenue from the Santa Monica, Calif., organization that operates the site. The organization didn't respond to calls seeking comment. Pool School \lMk May 8th, 6:30 p.m. Pools Plos of Salina 823-POOL 1823-7665) /jf/\Holm Automotive Center, Inc. Abilene, Kansas WWW. com Central National Bank MEMBER FDIC Personal Service inMankatt) 201 N. Commercial, Mankato 785-378-3162 Seraphin Angels Steinhauser's 109 NW 3rd. St., Abilene 785-263-1401 /1-800-321-7668 Landscape M»<»«««*NU«<)W^^ & Irrigation, Inc. To better serve our loyal customers and others in the area, we will be open this Spring to retail trees and shrubs. We will open to the public Saturday, April 28. Our hours will be: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.nt. to 5 p.m. Weekdays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. If these times will not work, please call for an appointment. Directions: Talce Ohio Street to North Street, east on North Street past L^kewood Park, continue East to Bromac Street, then 1 block North in Salina. 78&452-9966 or 7&5-452-8232 at High Point MX. SPECIAL SAVIiyCS STORE WIPE HOME/OFFICE FURNITURE • ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS • LEATHER • HANDCRAFTED MENNONITE OAK • MATTRESSES • SOFAS FURNITURE STORE 915 W. KANSAS • MCPHERSON, KS 241-7967 • 1-800-466-7967 HOURS: MON.-FRI. 10 AM - 6 PM • SAT. 9 AM - 6 PM • THURS. 10 AM - 8 PM In Our 12th Year Serving Kansas

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