Project X initiative targets Ecstasy and methamphetamines
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(Posted Monday afternoon)
[OCT. 11, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- A series of community awareness events are
part of an aggressive campaign against illegal drugs, including
Ecstasy and methamphetamines. Project X forums bring together
community stakeholders, law enforcement, treatment providers and the
public in an effort to crack down on the growing problem of club
Three area communities that received funding for the initiative
scheduled forums and training seminars. Urbana and Macomb had forums
and training sessions last week. The Springfield community forum and
a training session are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the
University of Illinois-Springfield.
"Meth, Ecstasy and other club
drugs have become a serious public safety threat," said Gov.
Blagojevich. "Use of these drugs impacts the entire community, and
that's why these forums are important. We're increasing awareness
and encouraging community involvement in an all-out assault on the
illegal sale and use of these dangerous drugs."
Meth is made with common household items that may be purchased at
many stores. Ingredients include anhydrous ammonia, ephedrine (found
in cold and sinus medicine), lithium and others. Meth, which is made
in makeshift laboratories, has become prevalent in rural Illinois.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ecstasy is the
most commonly used stimulant in Chicago. The popularity of Ecstasy
in raves and dance clubs in cities is now moving into suburbs and
Many of these club drugs users do not realize the serious health
risks associated with these drugs. Short-term effects include
increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. The user
may experience a feeling of euphoria, impaired speech and loss of
appetite. Long-term effects include severe dehydration, brain
damage, heat exhaustion that can cause kidney and heart failure,
paranoid behavior, stroke, and even death.
The Springfield forum will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in
Brookens Auditorium at the University of Illinois-Springfield Public
Affairs Center, level one. The training is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at the same location.
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Project X uses a three-pronged approach of prevention, treatment
and enforcement to stamp out the threat of Ecstasy and meth use
before it becomes an epidemic in Illinois.
Project X is geared toward the 18- to 25-year-old population. The
initiative brings together law enforcement, colleges, universities
and substance-abuse treatment providers in the nine areas to fight
the meth and Ecstasy problem. The Department of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse of the Illinois Department of Human Services is
funding nine treatment providers in each of the Metropolitan
Enforcement Groups established by the Illinois State Police.
The treatment providers will work with clinics and hospitals to
provide intervention services for youth using club drugs. In severe
cases, they'll make referrals for further assessment and possible
substance-abuse treatment. The providers will develop a plan that
best suits the community they serve.
"These forums are an opportunity for community leaders and
residents to learn more about the harmful effects these drugs are
having on university communities and to help parents prevent their
children from experimenting with club drugs," said Department of
Human Services Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D.
[News release from the