Will my little sister become addicted to ecstasy?

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on February 3rd, 2009 - Last updated: February 4th, 2014
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I recently found out that my 23 year old sister had tried the drug ecstasy, which she claimed was combination of cocaine, heroin, and acid. As far as I know she has only tried it once. When I confronted her, she said she was “curious” and would probably never do it again. I have debated informing my parents, who she lives with, about the situation. What are the chances that she will only do it one time? My family has no other history of addiction and I am very fearful for my sister’s well-being. She is a teacher of autistic children and has a very bright future ahead of her unless she continues this way. Please help.

Concerned Sister

Dear Concerned:

Your sister sounds like a concerned and intelligent person (I certainly admire those who work with autistic children), but she is ill-informed about drugs. Ecstasy is not a combination of heroin et al.

On to more important questions — most drug users are only occasional or intermittent users and leave off drug use entirely at a relatively young age. So that this is a one-time or only occasional thing is not only possible, but highly likely.

Actually, what would be strange is if your sister first used drugs at such a late age. Considering the little information you provide, my impression is that your sister is a little naive and overprotected. My main fear would be that she might rebel or undergo a total reversal of style (and this is a long shot also). Thus, I would encourage her to move out from your parents, participate in the culture appropriate to her youth, and keep her sex and drug life secret from her family. Oh, and perhaps learn a little bit more about any drugs she consumes from an objective source.


Recommended reading about Ecstasy:

Ecstasy. Dance, Trance & Transformation by Nicholas Saunders with Rick Doblin.

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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