The creativity of drug traffickers and manufacturers never ceases to amaze me. It seems that every time demand for one illegal drug wanes, a “new” drug is suddenly introduced to the market. Often, these “new” drugs are simply combinations of other existing drugs, spruced up with a little color or flavoring. They’re usually given hip, appetizing names in order to sound harmless or appear new and different. But most of us recognize these tactics as pathetic attempts to hook new users, most often youth, on yet another toxic substance.
Well, America, get ready for the new drug cocktail, coming soon to an emergency room near you: Methamphetamine laced Ecstasy. According to a recent article by the New York Times, this harmful hybrid has been making its way across the Canadian border into the United States in large quantities over the past couple of years. And unfortunately, while there have not been any reported casualties or overdoses yet, many experts believe there is a significant lag time between when drugs cross the border and when they actually affect communities. So this will certainly be one to keep an eye on.
The good news is that it may indicate desperation on the side of drug traffickers. Scott Burns, a deputy director at the drug control policy office, was quoted in the Times article as saying, “Drug traffickers often have to reinvent or come up with new products when what we’re doing is working.” But the bad news may be that, according to the Times article, less of the youth today recognize how harmful Ecstasy really is (not to mention the addition of methamphetamine to Ecstasy). So perhaps the most important work we have left to do is continuing to educate our youth. When presented with the facts, they tend to make good decisions. But we can’t allow drug traffickers to convince them otherwise.