Public health flier warning of dangers of Ecstasy at raves to be revised
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is criticizing a county Public Health Department flier warning rave attendees about the dangers of Ecstasy, and has asked the agency to stop distributing it.
The flier was intended to be handed out at future raves at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. It tells about the effects of Ecstasy overdose and "how to minimize potential harms," including warnings that taking Ecstasy with other substances, especially alcohol, can increase risks. The flier also advises to "aim low" in dose and frequency, because "Ecstasy risks increase with larger doses."
The flier also advises rave attendees to not drive, to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. It also advises that people "stay away" from Ecstasy, saying that "the only way to completely avoid the risks is to avoid the drug."
Antonovich said the flier, created after a 15-year-old girl died of an Ecstasy overdose after attending a Coliseum rave last June, did not fit the spirit of the county's anti-drug policy.
"Counseling young people on the use of the illegal drug Ecstasy is stupid and contrary to Los Angeles County's zero-tolerance policy on drugs," Antonovich said in a statement.
According to a statement released by the county Department of Public Health, officials said the flier was intended to address the harmful effects of Ecstasy and provide potentially life-saving information to rave attendees who choose to use the illegal drug. The card was developed out of recommendations of a rave safety task force convened by the county Board of Supervisors.
"The card is funded by electronic music festival promoters, and distribution is intended solely at events for attendees, who should be over the age of 18, per task force guidelines. Along with harm-reduction messaging, this card states Ecstasy use should be avoided," the county health department statement said.
"However, based on feedback from board members and upon further review by the department, Public Health is immediately revising the card to further and more emphatically state that illegal drug use is dangerous," the statement said.
-- Rong-Gong Lin II