- Memory tests of people who have taken Ecstasy as compared to non-drug users have shown that the Ecstasy users had lower scores.
- Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that 4 days of exposure to the drug caused damage that persisted 6 to 7 years later.
- The Federal penalty for manufacturing or selling ecstasy can lead to fines up to four million dollars. A ringleader or head manufacturer of ecstasy could receive life in prison.
- Some pills sold as ecstasy actually contain little or no MDMA. Pills may contain other drugs such as PMA or another MDMA analogue, DXM, household chemicals such as Ajax or rat poison, or other (sometimes lethal) byproducts.
FDA Cracks Down On Street Drug Alternatives
The government has ordered eight companies and individuals to stop offering herbal products such as "Liquid Ecstasy" as alternatives to street drugs.
Some contain ephedra, which is legal, but which can't be marketed as a street-drug alternative.
The Food and Drug Administration says the products don't fall under the legal definition of dietary supplements either, because they're not meant for promoting health or reducing disease risk.
Instead, the products are being sold for "recreational" purposes -- to affect the mental or psychological states, such as producing euphoria, a "high," altered consciousness, or hallucinations.
Ephedra is popular for weight loss and bodybuilding. But it's been linked to dozens of deaths, and some want it banned.
"Illegal street drugs masquerading as dietary supplements have no legitimate place in the U.S. marketplace," said Dr. Mark McClellan, FDA commissioner. "These products pose potentially serious risks to minors and others who take them, without providing any medical benefits. Simply put, they pose an unacceptable risk to public health."
The FDA sent warning letters to the eight firms, telling them to stop promoting their products as street drug alternatives and requesting that the firms notify the agency within 15 days about the corrective action they plan to take.
Ron Johnson of Stardust Industries, one of the companies warned, said it shouldn't be against the law to tell people there are safe alternatives to street drugs that produce the same effect.
Stardust's Web site includes ads for "Liquid Ecstasy," "Liquid Speed" and "Rave Tabs."
Since the beginning of this year, FDA action against such street drug alternative products as "Black Beauties" and "Yellow Jackets" has resulted in the destruction of millions of dollars worth of these products.