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Dying to get high: Growing number of people 'dicing with death'

Ecstasy: Worth the risk? Photo:

An ITV Granada Reports investigation into the number of people attending Accident and Emergency departments after taking ecstasy shows that there has been a 20% rise in the last few years.

We asked all of our hospital trusts in the North West for figures. Eight trusts were able to respond- indicating an increase in attendance from 291 people in 2013 to 341 in 2015.

291
Number of people attending A&E in 2013
341
Number of people attending A&E in 2015
Gary Bass, who died four years ago.

Gary Bass, from Liverpool, died after taking what he thought was ecstasy.

In fact, the pill contained a substance even more deadly, called PMA - Para-Methoxyamphetamine.

Credit: The Loop

Gary's friend, Stephen Taylor, was with him on that fateful night:

"He started shivering.

When we got back to my friend's [house] he then started having a seizure.

Then he stopped breathing.

I've never touched pills since. The life I had ended that day that Gary died."

– Stephen Taylor

In Manchester, around one person a day attends hospital after taking ecstasy.

Dr Alan Grayson, at Manchester Royal Infirmary, says people experimenting with ecstasy are taking their chances:

"There are some people who've taken too much MDMA or have had bad reaction and they come in very hot. Their heartbeat is irregular. Those people are very sick and they need all the resources a hospital [...] can help them with.

"People don't know what they're getting with an ecstasy tablet. "You don't get a leaflet, you don't know what;s in them. It could be rat poison .Unless you know what's in that tablet, you are dicing with death."

– Dr Alan Grayson

For more information on ecstasy, head to the following websites:

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