Telling Mom I’ve tried Ecstasy

December 5, 2008 9:11 PM

NIDA - Brain after ecstasy use
An image used by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the US. It’s message is that ecstasy kills brain cells. Hmm, what other drug(s) does that too?

I don’t remember when it was, maybe it was a year or so ago, but I remember the moment quite clearly. There was a sensationalistic piece on the news about the dangers of the drug, and how people are dying from it. I’d said to her that although people have died from taking it, we don’t see the same sensationalism about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol which kill more people than all other illicit drugs combined.

She was curious as to why people take it. So I described to her how people behave on it, how it feels and the side-effects, and why do people take it in dance clubs. I was being truthful without admitting to having taken it but it was an easy conclusion to come to. “Have you taken it?” she’d asked. “Yes”, I’d said.

And ever since then, I’ve talked to her about it when it comes up in the news. She’s seen me coming down on it and she wasn’t too scared by it. In fact, most times she never noticed. I’ve shown her scenes from movies depicting the use of the drug and I’d tell her whether it was accurate or not. We’d even sat down and watched the entire length of “Go“, a movie that was mostly about the drug. By then she was quite educated and she’d even commented during one scene when a character got greedy with the happy pills, “Oh that was not a smart thing to do.” πŸ™‚

Besides ecstasy, the other drug that is woven into a lot of movies is marijuana. And most times, you’ve had to have taken it, or at least know enough about it, to understand the humour of it. It’s even in a lot of shows on TV and its depiction is in a very “wink wink, it’s quite fun and harmless actually” kind of manner.

Not so with ecstasy, as that is still depicted as a dangerous drug mostly. But I think it’s slowly creeping up in its level of social acceptance. There are funny allusions to it like the show “The Soup” having a segment called “Let’s Do Some E” (as in E!, the cable entertainment channel). And tonight I caught an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” alluding to it too: the character Marshall is in a club and suddenly gets a toothache so he asks around for an aspirin, before he walks into the club toilets and emerging grinning from ear to ear and hyper, with the narration going, “I don’t know what happened in there, but Uncle Marshall emerged much happier”.

What I’m trying to get at, is that if you didn’t know anything about ecstasy, you wouldn’t have gotten that joke. And I’m happy to report that my mom totally got it and laughed.

The other thing that I’m saying is that, it’s good to have an honest discussion about drugs without the fear mongering and judgement. This is something that I intend to do with my kids if I ever have any. It’s better to give them knowledge than to hope that if they stumble into it and get pressured to try it, that they’d emerge unharmed. Much like with sex really.

But I’m not saying that ecstasy isn’t harmful or there are no bad consequences. Legality of the drug aside, it’s always good to have all the facts. Heck, a lot of prescription drugs get abused too. Plus, a lot of criminal elements and the harm of ecstasy use would be reduced if it ever becomes a regulated drug with guaranteed purity. Alas, this discussion is now a bit too long winded. Though I shall leave you with some further reading. πŸ™‚

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ecstasy – The Good Drugs Guide
Experts on Ecstasy Challange National Institute on Drug Abuse (US) – Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics

11 thoughts on “Telling Mom I’ve tried Ecstasy

  1. stu

    I agree entirely, it gets far more bad press than it deserves. I’m constantly amazed by the contradictions in our society which accept alcohol and tobacco as an acceptable drug.

    Granted noone should take ecstacy as regularly as they smoke a cigarette and I’m pretty sure nobody does (shit I hope not haha)

    cool that your mum is understanding, having mine confess that she smoked marijuana helped me with that, although I can’t say I’ve discussed it with her much.

    PS: I watched it and I got the Marshall joke, typically they never really captured the real result of a pill but then it is hollywood.

  2. Dina

    Jack and I just talked about this yesterday! He mentioned a time my dad had thought he smelled a skunk in San Francisco, but we all soon realized it was marijuana. Jack called it a “bad drug.” I gave him a lecture about how alcohol is just as bad, but it’s socially acceptable, legal, etc.

    I personally am not fond of any drug and hope Jack doesn’t go beyond mild experimentation. But I dislike the hypocritical aspect of it all.

    He sees his father, grandfather, and uncles drinking. I think it’s wrong for him to see this as totally normal, but marijuana as being “bad”.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re having honest discussions with your mom. I think that’s awesome.

    I don’t know much about ecstasy. It sounds scary to me, but that probably just comes from my ignorance. And I’m just usually not into mild-altering substances. My mind is messed up enough ; )

  3. mooiness Post author

    stu: hahah see if you knew enough about the drug, you’d definitely know it’s not wise to over-indulge. But then again, ppl do that every day with alcohol and tobacco. And yeah, the scene they showed wasn’t entirely accurate (for one, the onset time isn’t that quick) but at least they portrayed it straight on.

    Dina: you brought up a good point about a kid seeing his elders drinking. There’s a government ad here showing how kids pick up their drinking habits from watching their parents. Though the laws are still hypocritical.

    As for kids, they will experiment but hopefully when armed with the right knowledge, they’d be smart enough to make the right decision.

  4. LupinTan

    Wow. u actually can talk such topics with auntie. Winner!!!
    I think my mom will go into spasm if I ever taken any drugs. hahahaha.

    BTW, There is a video on the net in regards to legalization of Marijuna. If I remember correctly, it’s in the National Geographic Youtube channel.

  5. girlstar7

    I think an open, honest discussion is always better than a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to these issues (sex, drugs, alcohol etc). Some people see things in black and white i.e. all drugs are bad, anyone who tries drugs is stupid, they kill people etc. However, it simply doens’t work like that! Yes, drugs have MANY negative effects and too much of anything can never be a good thing. But people are always going to experiment, and there is nothing wrong with trying things in moderation. I think rather than using scare tactics, it’s better that people are educated about these issues. I agree with the hypocrisy of society believing “all drugs are bad” yet condoning excessive alcohol use.
    Sounds like your Mum is pretty cool though, and has an open mind which is great to hear! πŸ™‚

  6. mooiness Post author

    Lupin: yeah she’s quite liberal and open-minded. πŸ™‚

    girlstar7: yeah definitely no black and white in this issue, plus scare tactics wouldn’t work because the majority of recreational drug users are not dying from it.

  7. virgin undergrad

    that completely makes sense. compared to say an alcoholic/abusive father, i’ve a sneaking suspicion that getting an entire family doing MDMA together might actually foster a more loving relationship – which can’t really be worse than alcohol-fueled domestic violence can it?

  8. Pingback: It’s better to have loved and lost … really? | Mooiness!

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