Federal agents are targeting what the Detroit News calls turbo-charged form of Ecstasy that is gaining in popularity, fearing it will lead to fatal overdoses similar to ones experienced a few years ago from heroin mixed with fentanyl. Michigan and nine other states along Canada’s border would see the first wave of any overdoses. Officials are warning about so-called “extreme Ecstasy,” which is mixed with methamphetamines. “They (drug dealers) are remarketing and packaging it and trying to glamorize it,” said Scott Burns, deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “We just went through this issue with fentanyl. We learned a lot of things from that. We have to get on it early and get on it aggressively.”
Lax views toward drug use in Canada, coupled with successes scored by U.S. agents against European Ecstasy producers and smugglers, have fueled the problem, Burns said. Federal agents seized about 5.4 million dosage units of Ecstasy in the 10 states near the Canadian border in 2006, up dramatically from 568,000 units seized in 2003. Federal drug officials will warn medical facilities, drug treatment sites, and others. “This is a public health issue,” he said.