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Ecstasy ‘Safer Than Booze Binges’ ::

Reported by Ben Stroud on September 12, 2008

Leading Australian drugs expert Professor Jake Najman said ecstasy is ‘cheaper, safer’ and a ‘lesser evil’ than alcohol this week, following the publication of research showing young people are switching from alcopops, following a new Government tax.

Ecstasy is "relatively benign if taken in small quantities," the director of Queensland's Alcohol and Drug Research Center told the Brisbane Times. “When young people switch from a substantial amount of alcohol to a small amount of ecstasy . . . I don't think that's a bad trade at all. It is not likely that one pill on a Saturday night poses the same dangers as frequent binge drinking,” he added.

The Professor’s comments coincided with a report in the Guardian on Britain’s escalating drinking culture which revealed that 15,000 people die from alcohol related conditions a year with additional health problems increasingly common.

Liver expert Professor Roger Williams, who treated now dead soccer star George Best, warned that drinking even slightly over the official limits of 21 units for men and 14 units for women a week regularly, poses significant health threats and reeled off a long list of horrific side effects.

I see a lot of pancreatitis ... a hideous, hideous illness,” the Professor noted, “Then there is atrophy of the brain and the early onset of dementia. Alcohol raises blood pressure. There is damage to the peripheral nerves of the legs and arms - people get foot drop, where they can't pick their feet up properly,” he warned.

Jonty Skrufff (