Meghan Ralston at 323-681-5224 or Tommy McDonald at 510-229-5215</p>
LOS ANGELES—A fact-based card explaining the potential risks of ecstasy use is generating a wave of local media attention, including the ire of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. The ecstasy fact card at the center of the controversy was developed and vetted by a number of physicians and other public health and harm reduction experts. The card, intended to be distributed at dance events – called raves – is designed to convey both the risks and necessary precautions involved in reducing the risks of using ecstasy. Antonovich attacked the card, calling attempts to educate young people about ways to minimize risk and injuries "stupid."
Meghan Ralston, harm reduction coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement:
"The safety of young Angelenos is paramount, whether they use drugs or not. It is troubling and discouraging that Supervisor Antonovich disagrees. It is particularly disturbing that he is quoted saying that counseling young people on the use of ecstasy is 'stupid.' Tens of thousands of parents would certainly disagree with that point of view. Disseminating information about how to minimize risks and harms of drug use is consistent with public health best practices around the country.
"Alcohol and other drugs are commonly found at many of these events and not addressing their use is doing a serious disservice to the young people who may be exposed to or consuming them.
"Ignoring the reality of the presence of alcohol and other drugs at these events has never prevented an overdose or a fatality. The only way to do that is to provide people with the information they need in order to prevent, recognize or respond to an adverse event."