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Of 23,000 who say they took MDMA, 202 ended up in hospital

There has been a steady rise in the number of people seeking medical treatment after taking the drug over the past few years.

Image: Shutterstock/R.Iegosyn

YOUNG WOMEN ARE at greater risk than men of being hospitalised after taking ecstasy, according to new research.

The Global Drug Survey has recorded a steady increase in the number of people hospitalised after taking the drug, referring to pills containing MDMA and also pure MDMA powder, from 0.3% of people surveyed for the 2013 report, 0.6% for 2014, to 0.9% this year.

The results show that of the 23,000 people who had taken ecstasy, 202 sought emergency medical treatment after taking the drug.

Author of the survey, consultant psychiatrist Dr Adam Winstock, believes higher quality MDMA both in tablet or powder form to be behind this rising trend.

“Pills with as much as 330mg have been reported in Europe, over three times what most people consider a single dose,” he said.

Combined with unwise dosing strategies and polydrug use, better quality drugs, when you don’t know the quality or composition of your drugs, is placing users at an increased of risk of harm.

Most of those were hospitalised had also been drinking alcohol, while for one-in-eight ecstasy was the only drug in their system.

The main findings of the survey were:

  • Rates of seeking emergency medical treatment in the previous 12 months were significantly higher in women than men (1.3% v 0.7%)
  • The highest rates in women were under 21 years of age (2.2%)
  • Higher rates were also reported among those with a history of mental illness

The Global Drug Survey offers advice online for safe drug use.

Read more from the Global Drugs Survey here >

Read: Two new legal highs are being discovered for sale per week >

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Nicky Ryan

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