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Nearly three-fourths of ecstasy-related emergency department (ED) visits in 2009 also involved other drugs, according to data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Of the estimated 22,816 ecstasy-related ED visits in 2009, approximately one-fourth (26%) involved ecstasy only. One-third involved one other drug, 23% involved two other drugs, and 18% involved three or more drugs. The drugs most commonly involved were alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine (data not shown). These findings, combined with recent increases in indicators of ecstasy use (see CESAR FAX, Volume 20, Issue 12), highlight the importance of  prevention efforts focusing on the “potentially dangerous consequences not only of ecstasy alone, but also of ecstasy in combination with other drugs.” Since the majority of

ecstasy-related ED visits in 2009 were made by patients age 18 to 29, the authors suggest that the use of social networking sites “may be the most effective mechanism for both reaching and persuading potential users to abstain from use of ecstasy and other illicit drugs” (p. 5).

NOTES: Ecstasy-related ED visits are those in which ecstasy was involved as either a direct cause or a contributing factor to the visit.


SOURCES: Adapted by CESAR from data from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits,

2004-2009, online at https://dawninfo.samhsa.gov/data/ed/Nation/Nation_2009_Illicit.xls (accessed 5/13/11); and SAMHSA, “Emergency Department Visits Involving Ecstasy,” The Dawn Report, 2011.

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