If you think controversial rave parties in L.A. have gotten younger and more ecstasy-crazed, there's new evidence to back up your notion.
A study released today by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says ecstasy-related emergency-room visits have increased 74.8 percent and that nearly one in five patients (17.9 percent) was aged 12 to 17.
Most of those people (77.8 percent) who had emergency issued with E also ...
... had taken another drug. In fact, according to SAMHSA, nearly 40 percent of those ER patients had taken three or more other "substances."
There is a caveat to all this:
The data is relatively old. As is the case with bureaucratic studies, this one took a couple of years to come together, and the numbers reflect the era of 2004 to 2008, which, coincidentally or not, seemed to see a huge resurgence in mega-raves in Los Angeles.
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Raves have been around L.A. since the dawn of the 1990s. But SAMHSA is calling this a comeback, at least for MDMA.
SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde:
The resurgence of Ecstasy use is cause for alarm that demands immediate attention and action. The aggressive prevention efforts being put into place by SAMHSA will help reduce use in states and communities, resulting in less costly emergency department visits related to drug use.
While the feds do that, though, raves are still very much bigger than ever in L.A. and beyond.