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'Ecstasy' Pills Getting Weaker (8/6/03)

     Confirming what many users have long believed, British researchers have reported in the journal Addiction that between 1995 and 2001 the average MDMA content of pills analyzed by UK forensics labs fell from about 100 mg to 73 mg:

Year
MDMA (mg)
# of pills tested
1991
102
36
1992
90
15
1993
103
7
1994
99
46
1995
100
12
1996
88
46
1997
75
88
1998
77
76
1999
82
96
2000
74
215
2001
73
228

 

     The strength of pills varied considerably, with the vast majority of pills containing between 50 and 90 mg of MDMA:

      The authors report that of the 228 tablets analyzed in 2001, all contained MDMA, with a number also containing small amounts of MDEA (a close cousin of MDMA, possibly produced by accident, ie. from the use of methylamine that contained some ethylamine as a contaminant.)

    Although this data was collected in the UK, given that the majority of the world's 'ecstasy' trade appears to originate from the same region (Western Europe) it seems likely the situation is similar in other nations.