But how could we possibly know that?
Almost everybody who has taken ecstasy since it began to be outlawed in the mid-1980s has been faced with the dual uncertainties of not knowing its mid- to long-term effects, and not knowing whether it really is ecstasy, or something more life threatening.
From an early age, schools, governments, the media and well-meaning but equally ill-informed parents encourage us to believe that engagement with drugs is likely to result in death. For many, the discovery that a night on ecstasy is not only survivable, but potentially a lot of fun, can eventually lead to total abandonment of caution: the threat and the warnings lose all credibility. With alcohol, which can lead to total loss of control, violence, vomiting, and terrible hangovers the only legal alternative; ecstasy can start to look like a super drug that can be enjoyed with virtually no risk at all – provided you can trust your provider. Next thing you know, Lise and countless others just like her find themselves taking ecstasy on a weekly basis, with no way of knowing the truth behind how it might affect them.
Even the cautious user who wants to know more will be overcome by a wall of misinformation that does more harm than good.
The truth is probably as simple as you would expect: you can have too much of a good thing. But the metaphorical “war on drugs” has created dangerous black markets that cost real lives. The sensationalist propaganda campaign that has accompanied it imperils us further, by making it difficult to make informed and responsible decisions.
The mini-documentary “The Agony Of Ecstasy” was broadcasted on Monday November 24, but can be watched on iview here. For those of you that aren’t residing in Australia at the moment will sadly have to wait for a torrent or YouTube upload to be made available.
[UPDATE: With Hola you can access country-specific streaming services that are otherwise unavailable. Through this app you can stream the episode anywhere in the world. Click here]