In Los Angeles each New Year’s Eve since 1998, a huge rave has been held to celebrate the occasion. By 2010, this event had grown to 45,000 attendees.While partygoers put on their best club gear, LA city and county employees arrange for medical support personnel who can rescue those whose drug use puts them at risk. At this particular rave, 14 ambulances were stationed at the party and regional hospitals were warned that they could see patients suffering from the ill effects of drugs and/or alcohol.

While one might hope that these medical personnel would never be needed, in 2010 in particular, it’s a good thing they were on the job. The night of and the day after the rave, eighteen people were assisted with ecstasy overdoses and one person died. The most common symptoms of ecstasy overdose were agitation, abnormally high blood pressure and excessively fast heartbeat. Three people were hospitalized, one in intensive care with liver and kidney failure and seizures.

The person who died had taken cocaine and ecstasy at the rave and then shot up with heroin after he got home. He had been healthy when he went to the party.

Narconon Spokesperson, Bobby Wiggins warned that celebrating New Year’s Eve can be fun but it’s nothing to lose your life or your health over. “Many young people go out to have a good time but don’t question the wisdom of ingesting drugs like ecstasy,” he said. “There’s no way to know what effects this drug will have on you, no way of knowing the dosage or contaminants. Plus mixing ecstasy with alcohol or other drugs is especially dangerous.” Thirteen of those suffering overdoses had also consumed alcohol or prescription drugs. The person who suffered liver and kidney failure received a month’s worth of dialysis treatments in the hospital and when released, was going to need to continue home dialysis.

These overdoses are part of a larger trend in Southern California. Use of the drug has been escalating in the area since 2005, driving many more people into drug treatment facilities to deal with an addiction to ecstasy. In fact, admissions to treatment for addiction to ecstasy increased by 650 percent between 2005 and 2009. By 2009, nearly two out of every 100,000 people in Los Angeles County sought help in a drug rehab for their ecstasy addiction.

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