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Ecstasy study shock

 REGULAR users of the party drug ecstasy suffer confusion and blurred vision, a groundbreaking study has found.

Turning Point drug and alcohol clinic interviewed 100 regular ecstasy users aged 17 to 45 for the study.
All of those surveyed had lived in Melbourne for the past 12 months and had taken ecstasy at least once a month during the previous six months.

The survey reported that 84 per cent suffered confusion, 73 per cent appetite loss, and 66 per cent were affected by blurred vision. It also found that 36 per cent of the users had taken the drug once a week during the six-month period.

Users reported financial problems (39 per cent), relationship or social problems (39 per cent), and occupational and study problems (38 per cent).

The Turning Point interviews were conducted face-to-face with the 100 volunteers.

Turning Point researcher Jennifer Richards said 56 per cent of the people surveyed were employed.

"Another 18 per cent were full-time students at high schools or universities.

"We found that 41 per cent of the people surveyed had a tertiary education," she said.

Ms Richards said the interviews were part of a national survey on ecstasy use.

She said Turning Point had recruited people for the survey through websites and posters placed in bars, music shops, and cafes.

According to the respected Australian Drug Guide ecstasy "confers a sense of euphoria, intimacy with others and self-revelation, and intensifies colour and other perceptions".

Turning Point will conduct Melbourne surveys of other types of drug use, beginning with methamphetamine (speed) and cocaine.

Ms Richards said the results would be used to assess health risks, monitor trends, and determine the health and education services needed to support drug users.