I can't believe that not too long ago I used to think that "those rave kids" that got "high" on ecstasy were shooting themselves in the foot, giving in to a drug that could well kill them and that would bring about irreversible brain damage. I couldn't believe that things got to be that way, that some of us would rather take some pill, dance by themselves while drink water (wussies) all night long.

Then I stepped down from my self-built patronising pedestal and decided to check out the scene myself, and see if I could draw some conclusions after examining not one but both sides of the story. So I went out to a humongous nightclub and took an E one night.

I am not trying to convert anyone into drugs, and I am well aware of the risks associated with consuming illegal substances, and so are the thousands of people who have experimented with E (I assume this to be a considerable percentage of E2's noders). I think whether someone deicdes to take drugs or not is a personal decision, and I respect everone's stance on drugs. But to me the fact remains that there is risk in everything you do, daily. You board a plane, there's a risk it will blow up halfway to your destination. You eat out at a restaurant and there's a risk that some nonwelcome guests will make their way to the food you're eating... this discussion is well outside the scope of this writeup.

But it all made sense at six o'clock in the morning, when I left the nightclub. I felt envigorated, overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and quiet. Most importantly, it seemed that there was nothing wrong with the world or with my life, nothing at all. I was fully straight, could drive without the slightest problem. I could carry on a conversation with anyone about anything, and most importantly - I LOOKED normal and I FELT normal. I took a 5 hour nap, woke up at 12pm (an average weekend wake-up time for most of us) and felt great. No hangover, and most importantly none of that depression that is so often associated with the hangover (partly stemming from the "I can't believe I drank so much last night, what am I doing to myself? feeling.")

Then I thought to myself. What happened to the other people I know last night? They probably went out, drank 10 bottles of beer each - yelled obscenities at females, (probably pinched their butts too), did damage to their liver and brain (alcohol IS a toxic substance - let's not forget.) and woke up feeling like the most stupid person in the world, with a throbbing headache. Not to mention the countless wives and kids that got beat up that night, and the deaths that occured in alcohol-related car accidents. The drunks that I passed on the way out of the nightclub only further reaffirmed my notion that alcohol abuse is a far greater problem than ecstasy.

Oh yes, and I didn't experience hallucinations of flying dragons... the nightclub didn't turn into a hell-like pit.. I did NOT exhaust myself by dancing all night consuming 1000 calories (and 3 litres of water) every half hour, either. And I did not feel depressed today. What I found out after taking my first E was that just about all the things I heard about the drug are myths, not unlike the notion (for instance) that masturbation will make you grow hairs in the palm of your hand.

So there it is, an unbiased review from someone who used to drink anywhere from 10 to 15 standard drinks every friday and saturday night for the last five years - and is bloody sick and tired of it too. Whether to take it or not is up to the individual, but if you ever wondered what happens there's your answer.