Taking 'Ecstasy' Drug
'Will Destroy Your
Long-Term Memory'
By Lorraine Fraser

Ecstasy users risk serious damage to long-term memory, researchers have established.
Psychologists at Sunderland University found that while cannabis damages short-term recall, Ecstasy has a devastating effect on the long-term function.
The findings add to fears that pills popped by hundreds of thousands of youngsters in Britain can cause brain damage. Alarmingly, those affected had no idea what they were doing to their mental ability.
Psychologists Dave Sanders and Jacqui Rogers, from Sunderland University, ran tests on three groups of young professional people, aged 25 to 40.
Fifteen used Ecstasy and cannabis regularly, 15 used cannabis alone and 15 had never used any drug.
Ecstasy users had, on average, taken the 'rave' drug ten times during the past five years. Both groups of drug users smoked cannabis four times a week.
There were no differences between the groups' ability to react quickly. But cannabis users were less likely to be able to remember verbal and visual information accurately. And those who also used Ecstasy showed a marked memory deficit when asked to recall items such as a picture, sequence of numbers or short story after a short break.
Significantly, they had no idea of the damage they had sustained.
Dr Sanders said: 'We asked them to assess their own cognitive abilities and they thought they were fine.'
It was 'too early' to assess the long-term effects but he added, ominously: 'Brain cells don't regenerate.'
Labour MP Howard Stoate, a doctor, said yesterday: 'The more we do look into drugs the more we find very worrying significance. 'My concern about recreational drugs is that, firstly, users don't know the level of impurities that are in there and, secondly, we just don't understand the long-term effects or the way individuals react to drugs.
'Young people might think they have a good knowledge of drugs - but they won't know all the effects because they haven't been tested.
'Drugs are obviously very attractive to some people.
'But these youngsters have no real appreciation of what they might be letting themselves in for.'