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The man who took 40,000 ecstasy pills

Niels writes to tell us about a medical case history for the record books:

Doctors from London University have revealed details of what they believe is the largest amount of ecstasy ever consumed by a single person. Consultants from the addiction centre at St George’s Medical School, London, have published a case report of a British man estimated to have taken around 40,000 pills of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, over nine years. The heaviest previous lifetime intake on record is 2,000 pills.

Though the man, who is now 37, stopped taking the drug seven years ago, he still suffers from severe physical and mental health side-effects, including extreme memory problems, paranoia, hallucinations and depression. He also suffers from painful muscle rigidity around his neck and jaw which often prevents him from opening his mouth. The doctors believe many of these symptoms may be permanent.

The man, known as Mr A in the report in the scientific journal Psychosomatics, started using ecstasy at 21. For the first two years his use was an average of five pills per weekend. Gradually this escalated until he was taking around three and a half pills a day. At the peak, the man was taking an estimated 25 pills every day for four years. After several severe collapses at parties, Mr A decided to stop taking ecstasy. For several months, he still felt he was under the influence of the drug, despite being bedridden.

This story is a couple of years old, but it still has nice information on long term effects of heavy E use.

Posted By jamesk at 2009-11-30 12:05:07 permalink | comments
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johhno. : 2009-12-10 00:57:43
this isnt Korsakoff's syndrome; and Korsakoff's doesnt result from any form of drug use (abuse) -Korsakoff's is alchol related - where is the evidence that he was an excessive drinker?
By the way, many people with schizophrneia have 'normal' brain scans - it depends what kind of scan was conducted. It was almost certainly a structural rather than a functional scan (why would we expect his brain structure to change anyway?)
Albert In A Can part 2. : 2009-12-03 10:38:18
Although they do not mention this in the article, this individual is exhibiting Korsakoff's syndrome, and it may therefore be surmized, as usual, that this is a case of polydrug abuse and not solely from MDMA, rendering the conclusions of this study questionable.
Albert In A Can. : 2009-12-03 10:31:08
Yes, this is an old story. I remember reading about it when it came out. What was interesting was that the original article claimed brain scans of this person showed a normal i.e. undamaged brain.
So what do we make of this folks? I'm axin' yo.
sni. : 2009-12-01 07:45:51
same story emerged several years ago.
seeing as the guy has severe memory problems im not so sure we should thrust him completely.
he's probably done a lot of pills tho.
Voice of Reason. : 2009-12-01 07:33:24
While it's easy to believe somebody lying on a survey, there's far too much "e is bad" generalization and too little specific info on the actual "Mr. A" (Adam? Is that you?) for me to believe any of this story.
jesus hong. : 2009-11-30 22:54:34
maybe an acetaminophen-head would die if they overdose on acetaminophen, but ecstasy is a stimulant and a psychoactive, thus proving youre gay
guest : 2009-11-30 22:18:17
wow. this report is sooooooo fucking old.
Paul. : 2009-11-30 18:47:47
Wow. 3 pills a day without a rest? Once you've used up all your serotonin, you are pretty much done with the positive effects of the drug. I can't imagine it would even work at all. You would be a wreck all the time. It couldn't have felt good at all--who would do such a thing?

Come to think of it, the story does seem a bit suspect. Where would he get the money? How is it possible he could have functioned at all? There would never be a moment when he did not feel bad, if not downright comatose. How do they know how many pills he took? : 2009-11-30 14:55:47
Anyone who took that many paracetamol (acetaminophen) would be dead.

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