The most dangerous thing about MDMA is that it’s illegal

The Beckley Foundation published a policy proposal which examines the acute, sub-acute, and chronic harms related to MDMA use in detail. The report examines the production, distribution, purchase and consumption of the drug; related risks and harms; and the impact prohibition has on these, as well as the potential impact of alternative policies. Crucially, their evidence shows that most harms associated with MDMA use arise from its unregulated status as an illegal drug and that any risks inherent to MDMA could be more effectively mitigated within a legally regulated market.

Authors claim that there is growing evidence to support reorienting drug policy away from an ideologically driven criminal justice-led model to one rooted in pragmatic health and harm reduction principles. Current policy is not meeting its goal of reducing harms, and greater control of MDMA production, distribution, purchase and consumption is needed in order to prevent MDMA-related emergencies.

This policy proposal rests on the following five principles which should underpin all evidence-informed drug policy and practice:

  • Promoting public health and reducing harm
  • Safeguarding vulnerable populations, including children and young people
  • Supporting human rights
  • Promoting social justice
  • Supporting participatory democracy

Roadmaps to Regulation: MDMA has two overarching interlinked objectives:

  • To highlight that the harms associated with MDMA use are predominantly related to its prohibition;
  • To propose an alternative regulatory model that would reduce the harms associated with criminalising MDMA use and minimise the risks associated with its use more generally.

The report outlines, for the first time, detailed recommendations for drug policy reform in order to better control the production, distribution, purchase, and consumption of MDMA products. Reform, and the ensuing reduction in MDMA-related harms, will not happen overnight. The changes outlined, which culminate in a strictly-regulated, legal market for MDMA, would need to be phased in gradually and closely monitored throughout, in order to ensure that health and social outcomes are properly evaluated.

More about the report is available it the video below

To read full report, follow this link>>>

Israel’s Health Ministry approves compassionate use of MDMA to treat PTSD

Recreational use of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is forbidden in Israel where the drug is considered dangerous. But, as the local media report, a trial treatment may soon change that MDMA, popularly known as ecstasy, is a drug more commonly associated with raves and nightclubs than a therapist’s office.

By flooding the central nervous system with serotonin, MDMA produces strong feelings of euphoria, which can last over eight hours. It is considered a popular party drug because it keeps revellers awake and energetic. Emerging research has shown promising results in using this “party drug” to treat patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, and Israel’s Health Ministry has just approved the use of MDMA to treat dozens of patients.

As all around the world, MDMA is classified in Israel as a “dangerous drug”, recreational use is illegal, and therapeutic use of MDMA has yet to be formally approved and is still in clinical trials. However, this treatment is deemed as “compassionate use,” which allows drugs that are still in development to be made available to patients outside of a clinical trial due to the lack of effective alternatives.

MDMA will be administered to about 50 patients in the approved program who have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder in the course of psychiatric treatment. In three out of 15 planned sessions, patients will be administered MDMA by specially trained staff at one of four hospitals around the country.

The decision to proceed with the program follows extensive investigative work by the Health Ministry, which sent a representative for training in the United States who worked on a confidential basis through the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). It’s possible that the Israeli Health Ministry could be two years ahead of global recognition of the treatment.

If matters proceed as planned, in 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will officially approve the treatment after deeming it a “breakthrough” therapy in 2017, a designation that puts it on a fast track to final approval.

To read full information follow this link>>>>

More notifications from the Slovenian Early Warning System

Our colleagues from the Alliance of Non Governmental Organisations for Drugs and Addictions from Slovenia forwarded us more information from the Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Four different ecstasy pills with a very high MDMA content were detected in Maribor, namely blue Punisher (284 mg MDMA), pink Red Bull (213 mg), brown Pharoh (197 mg) and green Shell (171 mg) pills. Punisher’s blue ecstasy was also detected in Ljubljana and appeared in Slovenj Gradec.

Also, pink ecstasy pills and three other strong ecstasy pills with a very high content of MDMA have recently been detected in Ljubljana.

Literature indicates that the “acceptable” dose of MDMA is 1 – 1.5 mg/kg of body weight. That means that for a person who weighs 60 kg the dose is 60 – 90 mg. In quantities greater than 120 mg, the possibility of complications due to MDMA ingestion is increased (nausea, vomiting, cramping, restlessness and paranoia, severe motor disorders, headache, panic attack, high blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of consciousness, overheating of the body, etc.). 200 or more mg for many people means at least twice the dose in which the adverse effects are greatly increased.

At doses higher than 400 mg, the possibility of death overdose is greatly increased.

Besides MDMA pills, a fake LSD pill was also offered in Maribor. It actually contains synthetic pseudelic 25B-NBOMe, for which little information is available. Users describe that 25B-NBOMe has a hallucinogenic effect already in very small quantities and is very difficult to use safely. They also present a number of side effects, such as: tongue and mouth, nausea, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, agitation, confusion, seizures, fever. A lot of cases of poisoning and fatalities are associated with substances from the group 25-NBOMe. Therefore, extra prudence and compliance with the recommendations for harm reduction are recommended.

Due to the likelihood that these pills will occur in other places around Slovenia and in neighbouring countries, users are advised to use them caution and contact anonymous testing service wherever available.

The samples were collected at the info points of the DrogArt Association in Maribor and Ljubljana within the service of anonymous testing of psychoactive substances. The samples was analysed at the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food.

Drogart advices 6 ways to decrease the possibility of complications when using pills:

  • Always check which pill you have.
  • Try to find as much information as possible about the content of the pill and effects (for example, people who know this pill read current user reports and alerts on the Internet). But be careful – the same look does not necessarily mean the same content.
  • Test the tablet before testing.
  • Start with a quarter or at least a half and wait two hours to see what the effects are.
  • If you decide to redisplay, be careful. This puts more and more burdens on the body, as well as negative effects.
  • Do not mix with other drugs (including alcohol), as this increases the likelihood of complications and overdoses.
  • Drink enough liquid (but not more than 0.5 l per hour), soak enough rest and fresh air.