Who's on Drugs? Lindsey's story

Hi, my name is Lindsey Alexander. I'm 17 and addicted to ecstasy. I live in Oakland, California and go to Skyline High school and work at Burger King. It's not a very good paying job but no one else will hire me. The first time I tried ecstasy was at a rave. I was 15 and some of my friends convinced me to go. We all snuck out that night to go and when we went inside there was lots of loud music and people dancing. After about a half hour some guy offered us to try the drug and said it would be really fun. I hesitated at first but took it anyway. In a little while I started to feel really energetic, my heart was beating fast and I was really happy for no reason at all. Towards the end of the night I started to sweat and shiver at the same time and I felt really nauseous, I was even hallucinating. It was very scary but after that one time I already wanted to do it again and became addicted.

The short term effects of it are nausea, chills, sweating, shaking and tremors, muscle cramping, hallucinations, involuntary teeth clenching, fever, blurred vision, and feeling faint. The long term effects are damage to parts of the brain that control thought and memory, learning, sleep, and emotion, hemorrhaging, psychosis, degenerated nerve endings and branches, cardiovascular collapse, convulsions, kidney failure, and even death. Ecstasy caused me a lot of mental and psychological issues too. Now I have a really bad perception of time, so 3 minutes could feel like 3 seconds or 3 hours. I also have severe depression and anxiety because of it, I can't sleep or focus most of the time either.

My relationship with my family has been affected a lot. When my parents found out about my addiction they were very disappointed and worried. They wanted to get me help but I wouldn't let them and it caused a lot of arguments and made us a lot less close than we used to be. I barely ever talk to my brother anymore either, he wants nothing to do with me and I don't blame him because of what I put him through. His only sibling was doing drugs and never coming home to see him or just be there for him in general.

It's also messed up a lot of things in my social life. I've lost a lot of friends because sometimes I can't really control myself when i'm using ecstasy and I say or do things that I wouldn't normally. Most people don't want to have friends that do drugs anyway.

Most of the time I take ecstasy just as a pill. I spend around $70 on it every week and I use it once or twice every one or two days. I like to use it at parties mostly but I usually take it whenever I feel like I need it. It was the first drug I've ever tried and it helped me get through a lot of problems at home or in school (and made them worse). I've been arrested and fines two times for being caught but never put in jail, if I get caught one more time I’d have to be put away for three years though.

I've also lost four jobs because of my addiction and I don't really go to school anymore because I get into too much trouble and don't do my work so I don't see any point. No one will hire me anymore because i don't go to school and always get fired so I work at burger king which doesn't pay very well and doesn't give me many benefits.

I suggest that if you or anyone you know is having problems with drugs you try and get them help as soon as possible before it gets worse. It will be so much better if you stop the problem before it gets too big.

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