Ecstasy Use Expected to Rise in Region 8

April 4, 2003
Posted at: 10:25 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Ecstasy, often referred to as "X," is a potent drug. It's a combination of amphetamine and a mild hallucinogen. It was developed and patented before1920, but is just now making a presence in Region 8.

Local law enforcement officers had three or four ecstasy cases last year. Craighead County Juvenile Department officer Ashley Boles expects that number to rise in 2003.

"I feel that the fact that we haven't had a lot of arrests doesn't mean that it's not out there," Boles said.

There may not be many arrests, because there aren't many rave parties here, which makes the perfect setting for ecstasy use. Raves are more common in larger cities. "X" users frequent all-night parties called raves, and use neon glow sticks when they're dancing.

"If you've seen the pictures of, you know, the city scene at night with all the traffic moving and the lines going behind the lights, that's one of the, I guess, euphoric effects," Boles said.

Users also suck on suckers, a baby pacifier or a mouthpiece. That is because the drug causes them to grind on their teeth. As a result of their actions, users become depressed, can suffer a heat stroke which could lead to death.

"Because you do have a euphoric effect," Boles said. "People that use this like to be touched. That's one of the sensations that go along with it."

Ecstasy pills are made in Europe and are found in many shapes and colors. And have various symbols on them. A drug task force officer says he's seen a Mercedes Car emblem and images of Bart Simpson.

"Some of them won't have prints at all," Boles said. "Those are the ones that could be easily mistaken for aspirin or just any type of other, you know, over the counter type medication."

That's one reason "X" might be overlooked here. Boles says law enforcement officials continue to educate themselves about Ecstasy, because even though use has dramatically dropped, he thinks it is increasing in Region 8.

"It will be shortly here, if it's not here already."

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