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To the Editor: I am writing because I think it is important to clear up a mistake that was written in The Daily Pennsylvanian's recent article about Ecstasy ("Group outlines risks of popular club drug Ecstasy," 4/12/01). I am the senior, Chianoo Schneider, who was quoted several times, and what I want to say is that my boyfriend did not die at a rave. In fact, my boyfriend never attended a rave in his life. What happened is that he went to a very fashionable club in New York and took two pills of Ecstasy which his trusted friend gave to him. It is important to note that this club was just like any of the clubs that Penn students rent out and throw parties at on Thursday nights. My boyfriend then continued to party all night, and when he went to bed at 5 a.m. at his friend's house, he never woke up because the combination of Ecstasy and alcohol had suppressed his respiratory system so that he stopped breathing. This clarification is an important one because it shows that Ecstasy does not just affect "ravers" as precluded by the stereotype, but rather affects people most similar to Penn students who attend fashionable upstream clubs and take Ecstasy. It is not uncommon that I, as a Penn student, will be at a Penn party downtown where people are on "E." One time, while both my boyfriend and I were sober and were looking for a drink, we even stumbled upon an "E party" at one of Penn's fraternity houses where everyone was supposed to be on "E" and there was a large water jug provided for people "rolling." It is my impression that most of the users from that evening -- as well as many of the Penn students who party at trendy clubs -- are not fully aware of the dangers of Ecstasy, and it is important to get the point across that the drug affects people other than those who attend raves. Dehydration is certainly not the only risk! Most students have learned from their education and parents that drugs such as Cocaine and Heroin are extremely dangerous and should not be taken, but Ecstasy does not yet have that stigma. Of course, how could it, when many trance CDs include songs with the word "Ecstasy" and even Strictly Funk performed a dance implying they were on Ecstasy? After becoming a high school drug educator in London for half a year, I learned about the many dangers of Ecstasy that include dehydration, nausea, disorientation, long-term depression and the like, but most importantly I learned that the pills are often cut by other drugs. When my boyfriend died, the pill did not strictly contain MDMA, but also contained barbituates and other fillers. Therefore, even though he had taken Ecstasy at other points in time in his life and had survived unscathed, he passed away on an independent trial while his friends took pills from the same batch and survived. The point I am trying to make is that you never know what is going to happen and that you are taking a risk every time. I encourage students to not become victims of curiosity, but to think about the possible consequences that people around you would feel if something were to happen. Does it really take someone you know personally in order for you to learn? Lastly, for those who currently take Ecstasy, please make sure to drink a pint of water an hour and take it independently of other drugs.

Chianoo Schneider Wharton '01

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