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Drug overdoses prompt inquiries

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Because of recent news coverage about overdoses and a drug-related death at the House of Blues in Boston, the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse has received inquiries about Molly, a nickname for the more potent form of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, a drug commonly called ecstasy. The side effects of MDMA can last up to a week, and MDMA was involved in 10,176 emergency department visits in the United States in 2011. According to the coalition, the Reading Police Department has been pursuing MDMA supply sources and illegal activity. Meanwhile, the coalition has been focusing on education and prevention. In Reading, 5 percent of high school-age youths reported MDMA use in 2011. The local rate of use is lower than both the state rate of 6 percent and the national rate of 8 percent. Coalition youth leaders have been studying this issue and have developed a presentation for the coalition’s annual meeting, scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Reading Memorial High School. To learn more, contact the coalition’s outreach coordinator, Julianne DeAngelis, at jdeangelis@ci.reading.ma.us.

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