FEBRUARY 08, 2011
In an unbelievable story, tax dollars in the nation’s most populous county are being wasted on a campaign to advise youngsters how to take a potentially lethal illicit drug without overdosing.The endorsement of a federally banned substance by a local government agency was exposed this week by a local paper in Los Angeles, where the county health department simply wants to prevent another overdose from ruining one of its profitable music festivals at a publicly-owned stadium. The idea, according to a health department flier published in the article, is to minimize potential harms.Illicit drugs are prevalent at the rowdy all-night bashes—known as rave dance parties—which are held several times a year at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a historic stadium jointly operated by the state, city and county. Tens of thousands of wild teens pack into the facility to party and get high and last summer a 15-year-old girl died of an ecstasy overdose at one event, known as the Electric Daisy Carnival.To avoid another tragic death, county health officials are graciously offering guidelines on taking the amphetamine which is widely used as a stimulant and hallucinogen among adolescents, according to the National Institutes of Health. L.A. County’s innovative ecstasy flier—to be distributed at all 2011 rave functions—recommends taking frequent breaks, not mixing the drug with any other stimulants (such as alcohol) and staying hydrated.It also offers common-sense advice such as not driving on ecstasy because it “affects physical and mental functioning” and seeking medical help in the event of an “overdose.” Signs include extreme headaches, vomiting, confusion, blurred vision, convulsions and fainting. Another good tip is to “aim low” in dose and frequency.” In other words, no “re-dosing when you start to come down” from the high of the first hit.Apparently, L.A.’s public health director believes this meets his agency’s mission to“protect and improve the health of all Angelenos.” After all, this sort of campaign is probably just a drop in the bucket for the agency with an annual budget of more than $750 million and a staff of 4,000.
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