Ecstasy Use by Adolescents Term Paper

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It is just a matter of time before he or she becomes fully addicted and loses the ability to control his drug use. Drug addiction, then, results from excessive or continued use of physiologically habit-forming drugs in an attempt to resolve the underlying symptoms of discomfort or unhappiness.

Situation in Miami-Dade County, FL

Miami-Dade County has a population of nearly 2.6 million people. Miami is Dade-County's largest city, with 360,000 residents. Approximately 25 million tourists visit the area annually. South Florida's airports and seaports are among the busiest in the Nation for both cargo and international passenger traffic. For this reason, these ports of entry make this region a major port of entry for illicit drugs. Prior to September 11, 2005, ecstasy trafficking was at a record high, since then, smuggling by cruise ship has become an important trend in South Florida drug trafficking. This method has been growing since airline security increases after September 11, 2001 (Hall, 2002).

Particularly, in Miami-Dade County, there were 14 ecstasy related deaths in 2001; 5 of which were found to have been caused by the drug. In addition, 99 MDMA Emergency department (ED) mentions were reported by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) in the first half of 2001. A total of 105 MDMA mentions were reported in all of 2001, a significant increase as compared to 2 in 1994 (Hall, 2002).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Each pill of ecstasy usually contains 75-125 mgs of ecstasy. In the United States, the wholesale price for ecstasy, nowadays, is $8.00 per pill for 100 units; however, the pills could sell as much as $10.00-50.00. Locally, in Miami-Dade, according to local law enforcement, ecstasy prices may have started to drop in the first half of 2001, which reflects an increase in supply. In addition to this, giveaway deals are offered to new customers, so as to entice them in order to attempt to hook them in. There are labs set up over seas, in Europe, especially the Netherlands and Belgium, that make these pills in mass quantities. There are rumors that there are labs in South Florida, as well, attempting ecstasy production.

According to the National Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, ecstasy was at an all time high among 8th, 10th and 12th graders in 2001. This was higher than cocaine use among the same age group. In addition the study showed there was a slight increase in availability. In 1999, 40% of those teens surveyed said that ecstasy was fairly easy to obtain. This increase in availability has resulted in price decreases and more give-away deals, of ecstasy. More and more, ecstasy is being used at private parties now as much as raves. Ecstasy current use was reported by 2.8% of Miami-Dade 7th to 12th graders in the 2001 survey conducted by the Miami Coalition (Hall, 2002).

There is a method used by drug traffickers called body packing that is being used more and more these days. A body packer is an individual who ingests packets of illicit drugs in an effort to smuggle those drugs into this country. Many times, body packers apprehended from the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale International Airport are brought to Broward General Medical Center (BGMC) for treatment. During the last six months of 2001, there were 17 body-packers treated at BGMC, and 14/17 (82%) had ingested latex covered packets of cocaine (Hall, 2001).

The first report of internal body packing involving ecstasy originated in Miami in the last part of 2001. An individual flew into Miami in the last part of 2001. An individual flew into Miami from Canada after having swallowed numerous packets containing ecstasy. Apparently, the objective was to retrieve the pills from his feces for illicit distribution. This case is interesting because it was a case that happened after the September 11, 2001 event. Even though there are increased security measures, a high demand for ecstasy and a high profit potential, body packing could still become a more routine smuggling method in the future to come.

Based on information obtained from the DEA's STRIDE program, the state of Florida is the highest ecstasy trafficking area in the country, followed by New York and California. According to the U.S. customs service the quantity of ecstasy tablets seized nationally increased from 400,000 in 1997 to 750,000 in 1998, 350,000 in 1999, and 9,300,000 in 2000 (Hays, 2002). According to data from law enforcement sources, analysis of alleged ecstasy samples in 2000 showed that 12% contained amphetamine or methamphetamine but no ecstasy, 5% contained no controlled substances, and 3% were determined to be other substances (e.g. caffeine, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine) but were sold as ecstasy.

Florida is a prime area for international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, and a principal thoroughfare for cocaine and heroin transiting to the northeastern United States and Canada. The over 8,000 miles of Florida coastline and the short distance of 45 miles between The Bahamas and Florida provide virtually unlimited opportunities for drug trafficking organizations to use maritime conveyances to smuggle drugs. Miami International Airport (MIA), which is a gateway for heroin and ecstasy trafficking in Florida, continues to be the number one airport in the U.S. For international freight and number three in the world for total freight. South Florida, specifically Miami-Dade and Broward counties, are still favorite areas of drug traffickers for the smuggling of large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the continental United States (CONUS) from South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Smuggling occurs via various types of maritime conveyances and cargo freighters, as well as via private and commercial aircraft. Additionally, there is a continued shift to ground transportation (e.g. bus, rail and vehicle) as a means of transporting narcotics throughout the state and to northern destinations.

Miami is the primary domestic command & control center for Colombian narcotics traffickers. Colombian traffickers represent the greatest international threat to the Miami Field Division (MFD). MFD enforcement groups continue to target the transportation infrastructure of Colombian traffickers in the Eastern Pacific, the Caribbean and within Florida. Florida leads the nation in ecstasy seizures. South Florida has been identified as a primary gateway for ecstasy smuggling into the CONUS. The MFD will target specific enforcement initiatives towards the identification and dismantling of groups operating in Florida, with emphasis on South Florida. MIA is a major entry point for South American heroin into the United States. Presently the overwhelming majority of South American heroin enters the CONUS via MIA. Methamphetamine remains a large problem in the MFD and is the primary drug of concern in Central Florida.

Florida leads the nation in ecstasy seizures and international traffickers continue to use south Florida as a base of operations for the importation and distribution of ecstasy. Almost half of the seizures in Florida occur at MIA. Couriers on international flights originating from non-source countries (i.e. The Netherlands and Germany) attempt to smuggle ecstasy through MIA. Non-source countries include the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the Dominican Republic. Miami remains the primary source location for ecstasy trafficking in Florida. Ecstasy continues to be widely available and used in the club scene in south Florida (Miami to Fort Lauderdale). Large-scale ecstasy groups operate in the Tampa Bay area. Ecstasy, in multi-thousand dosage units, is shipped into Tampa/St. Petersburg from Germany and The Netherlands. Additionally, the international airports of Tampa and Orlando, plus the two major highway arteries to the Miami area make the acquisition of ecstasy an easy task. Ecstasy arrives in the Fort Myers area from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Ecstasy is popular among the club goers in Fort Myers. Central Florida's "rave scene," nightclubs and tourist atmosphere provide a constant market for ecstasy and ecstasy continues to grow in popularity with high school and college age individuals. Bulk quantities of ecstasy in the Orlando area are shipped, mailed, or smuggled via courier from Western Europe, usually Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain or the United Kingdom. A majority of the ecstasy found in Jacksonville is brought into the area from Orlando, South Florida or directly from Europe. Ecstasy is extremely popular in Jacksonville, especially among teenagers and young adults and most distributors tend to be college students. Sources of supply originate in The Netherlands and shipments are received via mail. Some ecstasy is brought into the area from sources in South and Central Florida and is delivered in personal vehicles. Additionally, "spring break" activities in the panhandle are a prime time for ecstasy sales and usage and reports indicate that users are becoming younger.


Prevention and enforcement methods and initiatives have been put in place in order to help curb the use of ecstasy and other club drugs. In 1999, the National Institute on drug abuse (NIDA) and its partners launched a national research and education initiative, "Club Drugs: Raves, Risks, and Research," to help combat the increased use of club drugs in America. Through this initiative, the NIDA was able to increase funding for club drug… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Ecstasy Use by Adolescents.  (2005, April 22).  Retrieved September 19, 2020, from

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"Ecstasy Use by Adolescents."  April 22, 2005.  Accessed September 19, 2020.