An area Task Force is telling people in Grayson County to be on the lookout for the club drug ecstasy.
Larry Woosley, director of the greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force, says a major shipment of ecstasy was intercepted in southern Hardin County after a traffic stop.
Woosley says the Grayson County Sheriff's K-9 Department responded to a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation on Highway 313.
The K-9 found a small amount of marijuana and 1,000 ecstasy tablets in the vehicle.
Task Force officers and the Drug Enforcement Administration obtained a search warrant for the female's apartment in Louisville where they found 5,000 more tablets of the illegal drug and a half-pound of marijuana.
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- Its chemical structure, 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (MDMA) is similar to methamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and mescaline - other synthetic drugs known to cause brain damage. MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive drug with both stimulant (amphetamine-like) and hallucinogenic (LSD-like) properties. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam, XTC, hug, beans, and love drug.
- MDMA also is neurotoxic. In addition, in high doses it can cause a sharp increase in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia) leading to muscle breakdown and kidney and cardiovascular system failure.
- Brain imaging research in humans indicates that MDMA causes injury to the brain, affecting neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons.
- The serotonin system plays a direct role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Many of the risks users face with MDMA use are similar to those found with the use of cocaine and amphetamines.
- Psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia - during and sometimes weeks after taking MDMA.
- Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating.
- Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease.
- Also, there is evidence that people who develop a rash that looks like acne after using MDMA may be risking severe side effects, including liver damage, if they continue to use the drug.
Use Among Teens
- From 1999 to 2000, the use of MDMA increased among all three grade levels, eighth, tenth, and twelfth.
- For tenth and twelfth graders, this is the second consecutive year MDMA use has increased.
- Past year use of MDMA increased among eighth graders from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.1 percent in 2000; from 4.4 percent to 5.4 percent among tenth graders; and from 5.6 percent to 8.2 percent among twelfth graders.
- Also among twelfth graders, the perceived availability of MDMA rose from 40.1 percent in 1999 to 51.4 percent in 2000.
Source: www.nida.org (National Institute on Drug Abuse Web site) contributed to this report.