is an illegal drug, taken especially by young people at parties, clubs,
etc. It is physically and emotionally damaging and users often suffer
depression, confusion, severe anxiety, and other psychological problems
as a result.
Now read the story about the ecstasy drug.
My Ecstasy Story
My name is Kendall. I have always thought of myself as a good friend, a
good daughter, and generally a good person. After I finished high
school, I stayed at home living with my mother and my younger brother.
I worked as a waitress to help my mother pay the bills so that my
younger brother could finish school. He always said I was his role
model and that he wanted to be just like me when he got older.
I felt like working full time to help with the expenses at home was too
much for me, and I just wanted to forget everything and everyone. I
have always been social, so when my friend Irene invited me to a rave,
I decided to go with her. She explained that a rave is a big party with
loud electronic music where people go to dance under bright, flashing
lights and even take illegal drugs.
When we arrived, she
introduced me to a guy she had met recently. His name was Matt, and he
seemed very nice. He was also handsome and funny. "I have something
really special to help you both have an amazing time tonight," he said
with a big smile. He handed us each a small, pink pill with a little
diamond on it.
I was nervous, but Irene told me the pill was
called ecstasy. She said she had tried it the weekend before and had
the best time of her life. "You are going to love it," she said. "You
will feel so good that you will forget all about your work and daily
problems and just think about what a great party this is."
was definitely right about forgetting all about my work and daily
problems. I felt amazing at the party, and I danced all night long. I
was not thinking about my demanding boss or my long hours! Matt was
dancing alongside us. He kept smiling at me and I felt like we really
I was supposed to work the next day, but I missed my
shift. I did not get home until 5:30 in the morning, and I slept all
day. When I woke up, I felt sad and empty. Why did I feel so awful when
I had felt so amazing at the rave? I sent Irene a message and asked her
when we could take ecstasy again. She told me to meet her at the same
club that night at 10:00pm.
I called my boss and told him I was
sick. I was too sad and confused to go to work anyway. This time Matt
gave us yellow pills with dolphins on them. Irene said she wanted two.
Matt asked her for some money, so we both paid him and took our pills.
We danced all night long.
After a while, the only thing I could
think about was the next time I would get high on ecstasy with Irene
and Matt and dance all night. I started to miss more shifts at work
because I often felt depressed and just wanted to go to a rave. Even
when I did go to work, I made lots of mistakes with the guests' orders.
My memory became terrible! I couldn't remember what the guests wanted,
and I had a really hard time with the math when I had to give them
their change. My boss eventually told me that he couldn't let me work
that way. He fired me! I couldn't believe it.
That just made me
more depressed, and all I wanted to do was go get high with Irene and
Matt. I did not even tell my mother that I had lost my job. I did not
think I could handle seeing her and my little brother so disappointed
in me. I was spending all of my money on ecstasy, and I was worried
that I would not be able to help my mother much longer with the bills
The night after my boss fired me, Irene and I decided
to take seven pills each. The sad truth was that as time went on, we
each needed to take more to get the same high we could get from one or
two pills when we started. One of the huge problems with ecstasy is
that you never know exactly what is in it. Every time you take a pill,
it's a gamble, but we had no choice. We were too deep inside.
got so high that night that she did not drink enough water. Her body's
natural defenses were misguided by the drug. She just kept dancing. Her
body became so dehydrated that she blacked out. I could not believe my
eyes when I saw my best friend drop to the floor, unconscious!
I cried for help! The club manager hurried over to us. "Please help
her!" I shouted.
He shook his head and started to drag Irene outside the club. "You will
need to get your own help, I'm afraid."
and terrified, I searched for Matt in the crowd. There he was! "I am
sure he will help us," I thought. "I know he cares…"
at us for a long moment, and then disappeared back into the club. I
couldn't believe it. We were completely on our own. No help was coming.
"I can call an ambulance," I thought, "but what will I tell them?"
was my big wake-up call. It made me realize what a disaster my life had
become. I did finally call an ambulance and I spent that night at the
hospital with Irene, but I couldn't give the doctors any helpful
information. I was scared that I would get in trouble.
woke up the next day, I felt horrible. A doctor told me that my body
and my mind were being damaged by the ecstasy. He told me that Irene
came very close to dying and that what we were doing was terribly
dangerous. I just broke down and cried. Everything seemed so dark and
The nurses at the hospital put me in contact with a
rehab (rehabilitation) center. This is a place that helps people
overcome their addictions to drugs.
I felt horribly guilty for
making my mother and brother go through that terrible experience. My
mother had a lot of financial problems because I had lost my job, plus
she needed to help pay for the cost of my rehab. I was in the program
for weeks, and it was the most challenging experience of my life. I am
so lucky that my family stayed by my side and helped me to overcome my
The saddest part of my story is that Irene decided
not to go to rehab. She hated what her life had become, but the only
way she thought she could feel good was by going to raves and taking
more and more ecstasy. She started to work with Matt at the clubs,
selling ecstasy to young people and getting them addicted.
that year, she and Matt were arrested with a large quantity of illegal
drugs and were sent to prison. I cannot believe that my best friend is
in jail, but I am just thankful that she did not die as a result of her
addiction to ecstasy. I hope that her time in jail, where she obviously
can't use any drugs, will help her overcome her addiction. I write her
letters to try to encourage her even though she never writes back.
my mind is still slow, and I sometimes feel depressed. My doctor says
that I did permanent damage to my body, my mind, and my emotional
health because of my drug abuse, but I still have hope of regaining my
old self, when I was social and optimistic.
I remember that at
first my mother and brother were very disappointed in me. I remember my
brother crying when he visited me at rehab. But over time, they
realized how hard I was working to overcome my addiction, and they are
proud of me now.
I know that my brother learned from my
terrible mistakes, and he will never take drugs. I am so proud of him
for how hard he works. He recently graduated from high school
was accepted to a good college, and my mother and I are thrilled for
him. I am working again, and I hope someday I can go to college, too. I
used to be my brother's role model and inspiration, but now he is mine.
a) Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines
the effect. A
small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts
as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can
b) Drugs directly affect the mind. They can distort the user's
perception of what is happening around him or her.
Drugs can lift a person into a fake kind of cheerfulness, but when the
drug wears off, he or she crashes even lower than before.
d) All of the sentences above are true.
2. What does "bills" mean?
a) letters you get in the mail
b) money you pay at the store for food
c) money you pay for services like electricity, gas, and water
d) official reports from your bank
3. What does "social" mean?
a) a person who likes to eat a lot of food
b) a person who likes to spend time with other people
c) a person who likes to read
d) a person who wears beautiful clothes
4. What does "thrilled" mean?
a) very excited
b) very worried
c) very confused
d) very angry
5. What does "addiction" mean?
a) when a person cannot sleep
b) when a person is very
c) when a person has difficulty
d) when a person is unable to
stop using a drug
6. What does "shift"
a) the amount of time it takes
you to go to work
b) a report of the work you
c) the time during which you
have to work
d) when you change your job
1. What does "wake-up call" mean?
a) something that makes you
b) something that makes you
realize you have a problem
c) something new and
d) something you hear from
2. What does "working full time" mean?
a) when a person works seven
days a week
b) when a person works alone
c) when a person works in an
d) when a person works forty
hours per week
3. What does "illegal drugs" mean?
a) mind-altering substances
that are against the law
b) medicines that are very
c) laws that regulate
substances and medicines
d) medicines that only a
doctor can recommend
4. What does "get high" mean?
a) when a person drinks a
lot of alcohol
b) when a person uses a
mind-altering substance to achieve a fake kind of cheerfulness
c) when a person listens to
d) when a person dances all
5. What does "role model" mean?
a) a person who is an
inspiring example for others
b) a person who is very rich
c) a person who knows a lot
d) a person who works as an
actor or actress
6. What does "body's natural defenses" mean?
a) a person's skin
b) weapons that people use
to protect themselves
c) the systems that regulate
a person's body to maintain health
d) warm clothes people wear
to protect themselves from the cold
1. I stayed _________ home living with my mother and my
2. My brother _________ never take drugs.
3. Matt and Irene _________ arrested with a large quantity of drugs.
4. I write her letters to try to encourage her, even _________ she
never writes back.
5. The _________ part of my story is that Irene decided not to go to
b) most sad
d) more sad
6. I was scared I _________ get in trouble.
Read the story and watch the video at the top of the page
about ecstasy. Then answer the following questions.
1. According to the video, what are three negative side effects of
2. According to the video, what is especially dangerous about
synthetic, or man-made, drugs like ecstasy?
3. How do the people in the video say they felt the morning
after they took ecstasy?
4. In the story, why does Kendall need to work full time?
5. Why did Kendall start using ecstasy?
6. What was Kendall's big wake-up call?
1. Of all the negative effects of ecstasy that are described
in the video and the story, which do you think is the most serious? Why
do you think so?
2. Imagine that you are with Kendall and Irene on the first
night they go to the club and meet Matt. When he offers you ecstasy,
what do you do? How do you react? What do you say to your friends,
Kendall and Irene?
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