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Ecstasy, or hysteria? Part 3: Of course, the tabloids

It was today, when searching the Internet for any reports of what actually killed two men in Ayrshire earlier this year, that I instead discovered some new reports of ecstasy deaths. (Incidentally, those toxicology reports remain elusive, which – pure speculation, of course – would suggest to me that there was no evidence that ecstasy killed them at all.)

This time the stories – which I somehow hadn’t picked up on over the past few days – relate to two deaths at London’s Alexandra Palace, which has recently played host to a series of dance events. As well as the two fatalities, 20 further people were alleged to have been admitted to hospital, one of whom was critically ill.

It is ecstasy that takes the blame. And yet there is no evidence, it seems, that ecstasy was taken.

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Ecstasy, or hysteria? – part 2: some clarifications

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Yesterday I ranted for quite a while about the BBC’s coverage of two men’s deaths in Scotland – deaths that occurred after they took what police say was ecstasy “six time stronger” than “normal”.

It was piss-poor coverage of what could well be a non-story, or could well be about something far more troubling than ecstasy – but it wasn’t the only example of such reporting, nor was it even the worst (the tabloids, predictably, were more full-on in blaming MDMA for the evils of the world).

Since I wrote that post my blog’s traffic spectacularly soared into the thousands (thank you very much to those who linked it in article comments threads and the like), so I thought it sensible to do a quick follow-up post to address a few points that have been raised by people since I published the original post yesterday.

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