By AMY LINDBLOM
The use of Ecstasy among teens continues to be mainly an urban problem.
But Mother Lode law enforcement and school officials say a few foothills teens are using the illegal stimulant.
We are seeing kids who are using Ecstasy, but so far we do not have a big problem with it, said Kelly Bressel, a Sonora Police officer assigned to Sonora High School District.
Bressel and 150 other Tuolumne County school and law enforcement officials attended a four-hour class this week about Ecstasy and GHB, another drug teens and young adults are using.
The class was taught by a former Los Angeles police narcotics officer, Trinka Porrata.
Ecstasy has street names like XTC, X, Versace, Hug Drug and Love Drug. It mostly commonly comes in the form of small, bright-colored pills stamped with cartoon characters and popular corporate logos.
Kids take it because when youre high on Ecstasy the world is wonderful and everything feels good, said Porrata.
The drug comes with life-threatening side effects, she said, noting such effects as overheating, cardiac arrhythmia and severe dehydration. Porrata said a Northern California teen-age boy died after taking eight Ecstasy tablets at a rave.
Ecstasy users learn to suck on something, like a baby pacifier or to wear a mouth-guard because the drug causes uncontrollable jaw movements and teeth grinding, said Porrata.
So far, no such parties have been uncovered in Tuolumne County.
It doesnt mean that kids arent driving to raves in San Francisco or Modesto, said Bressel. We have seen kids wearing pacifiers and I have confiscated fliers that promote rave parties in other cities.
She also talked about Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate otherwise known as GHB or EZLay.
People call it the rape drug, said Porrata. Thats because people given too much of the drug mixed into a drink become unconscious. The victim is then an easy target for rape.