What Ecstasy Doesn’t Do To Your Brain

Ecstasy-time

The UN reported this week (pdf) that ecstasy use "rose in the USA from 0.9% of the population aged 12 and above in 2008 to 1.1% in 2009." While we're on the subject, we're not sure how The Dish missed this study from February, which tested users on cognitive tests:

[The researchers] took into account four factors that may explain why MDMA users in other studies did not score as well as non-users: consumption of other drugs, intoxication during the study, pre-existing differences in cognitive ability, and the rave lifestyle, which often includes sleep and fluid deprivation. After Halpern and his co-authors controlled for these variables, the test gap disappeared. … They added that “this finding might have reflected a pre-morbid attribute of ecstasy users, rather than a residual neurotoxic effect of the drug.”

Sullum pointed out the obvious:

[The head of the study, John Halpern] did not mention that all these hazards are either created or exacerbated by prohibition, which makes drug quality unreliable, pushes consumption underground, and impedes the dissemination of reliable guidelines for responsible use.

Judy Berman compiles a highly subjective timeline of ecstasy in pop culture.