The American Council for Drug Education is glad to share with you
one young lady’s true story of her experience with Ecstasy.
We hope you will read it, learn from it and pass it on.
The names of all persons have been changed to protect the individuals mentioned.
All photos are from public domain stock.
The events that took place that night flash back to me every night before I fall asleep. It started out just like any other day in Louisville, Colorado. I went with my mom to ride my horse, just like any other Saturday, and it seemed normal. But normal was the last thing it was because that night three friends and I were going to do the club drug ecstasy. We had heard about it from other friends. They told us how they “rolled” at raves and even at friends’ parties. They said it was loads of fun and, to us, it seemed relatively safe.
So that night Kelly, Veronica, Liz, and myself were ready. Liz, who used to live in Colorado but moved out of town to live with her dad, was throwing a party at her mom’s house for her 16th birthday. She was in town to celebrate her birthday with all of her closest friends. Kelly, Veronica and I arrived at Liz’s house at about 6:30 p.m. We were the first people to arrive. All four of us went to Liz’s room and sat and talked about how excited and nervous we were to try ecstasy. It was the first time for all of us and it was a bit frightening. We decided to take the pills at 9:30 p.m. and we were all going to meet in Liz’s room at that time.
People began to arrive at the party. Some brought birthday presents and some brought alcohol. By the time 9:30 rolled around I noticed that there were a lot of people there and a lot of them were drunk. I went upstairs with Veronica and we found Liz and Kelly in Liz’s room. Liz was unsure about taking her pill. I told her that it was her decision if she wanted to take it or not. In the end she decided to take half.
The four of us went into the bathroom and closed the door behind us. We each took a deep breath and swallowed the pills and made our way back into the party. About 45 minutes later I started to feel strange. My vision was blurred
and the music seemed louder. My adrenaline was high and my heart was racing. I started to feel thirsty and my teeth were grinding uncontrollably. I was up dancing to the music and I was having a lot of fun. But this didn’t last long. At about 11:30 p.m., I noticed that people were acting really weird. Veronica and I were downstairs hanging out with some other people but we couldn’t find Liz or Kelly. I saw that there were people running downstairs to fill up water bottles and then running back upstairs where they would go into the bathroom and lock themselves in.
I dismissed the bad feeling I had but at about 12:30 p.m. Veronica and I went upstairs and we started to understand what was going on. Liz, Kelly, and two other girls, Katie and Annie, were all in the bathroom. I glanced into the bathroom and I saw Liz. She was just sitting on the floor looking around at the faces of all her friends. But she didn’t seem like she even knew who we all were. She was pale and then her eyes rolled back into her head and she threw up. Apparently she had been throwing up since 11:00 p.m. and nobody knew what to do. People kept giving her water and she would just throw it up. But she kept asking for more water. By the time I found out what was going on everybody was panicking.
People were yelling, saying to give her water, others saying not to give her water. Some said to call 911, but others said she would be fine; they just didn’t want to get caught because they were all drunk. Then most of the people left. Katie, one of Liz’s closest friends, told me that she had to leave. She was crying so hard and I realized that this was very bad.
Liz’s 17 year old brother, Dan, told Kelly, Veronica, me, and about seven other people to hide in the basement because they were going to call an ambulance. So we all went down into the basement and sat. We could hear cops and paramedics upstairs. I started to get really scared. Kelly was very upset. I tried to comfort her but nothing seemed to work. That was when she told me that Liz had taken the other half of the pill. About 40 minutes later Kelly, Veronica, and I went back upstairs. The cops were gone and so was Liz. Annie and about four other people were sitting in the kitchen. They all looked very upset. Annie, who was supposed to be in charge of the house, really wanted to go home. I told her that I would watch the house. So Kelly, Veronica, and I were left in the house. There were seven drunk people in the basement still. The three of us decided to try to sleep. So we laid on the couches in the living room and awaited the call from Janet (Liz’ mom). At about 3:30 a.m. the phone rang. I answered it.
||“Hello,” I said.|
“Who is this?” Liz’ mom Janet asked.
“It’s me, Whitney.”
“Is Annie there?”
“No, she went home. Is Liz okay?”
“Honey, no she’s not. She’s in a coma on life support. It doesn’t look good.”
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I fell to the floor and sobbed. I told her to call if anything happened and she said she would. I hung up the phone and looked up. Kelly and Veronica were looking at me. I told them what Janet had told me. Kelly couldn’t take it and she started crying. I told her that everything would be fine. That Liz was going to wake up and life would be normal. But I knew that this wasn’t true.
We all fell asleep. At about 5:30 a.m. the phone rang. It was Liz’s step-dad. He told us that some cops were going to come to the house and see if we were all right. He said just to let them in and tell them everything. At 6:00 a.m. the cops arrived. We opened the door and they all rushed in. There were also paramedics. One cop was in our faces yelling at us. Saying things like: “I hope you had fun, your friend is in a coma. Was it worth it?” I was so scared. They made Kelly, Veronica, and I sit down on the stairs and they took down all of our information. They found the drunk kids in the basement and got their information too.
Then they told us that we were going to be taken to the hospital to make sure that we didn’t have the same reaction as Liz. That was when I flipped out. I told them that I wasn’t going to any hospital without talking to my mom first. They told me that it was too late for that and that I was in their hands. They took me, Veronica, and a drunk girl to one hospital and the rest of the people to another. They were going to the one where Liz was. At the hospital, the nurses and doctors didn’t know what to do. One of the doctors told me that they had never had anyone come in as a result of ecstasy and she had no idea of how to treat me.
A police officer came in and told me that my mom had been called and that when she got there he was going to ask me some questions. My mom arrived and I could tell by the look on her face that she was not happy. She didn’t know what had happened so I told her. Then the police officer started to ask me questions. He wanted to know where I got the pill. They brought in a yearbook and made me point out the people who I got the pill from. I told him everything because he said that it would all help Liz.
Later that day my mom and I went to the hospital where Liz was. We got there and all of my friends were there and their parents were with them. The first people I saw were these two guys. They were crying and I knew that it must be bad. It’s not everyday you see a guy cry. I cried the whole time I was there but I almost lost it when I was allowed to go in and see Liz. I went in with Veronica to see Liz. She was lying in this bed with tubes going down her throat and she was hooked up to all sorts of machines. We went in and talked to her and told her that she would be okay. It was so scary. Her forehead and throat were all swollen. She looked like she was sleeping. I see that image of her lying there every time I close my eyes.
The next four days were awful. I had to go back to school and endure hundreds of questions about what happened. I got to read about Liz in the paper and about her on TV. I got calls from all the media asking questions. The police called and told me that we were all going to be arrested. So we called a lawyer. All this time Liz was in the hospital.
On the Friday following the party I went with my parents to the Justice Center to turn myself in. There was a warrant out for my arrest. Kelly, Veronica, the two girls who we bought the pills from, another guy and myself were all arrested on drug related charges. The shock was that they were all felonies. At the Justice Center one of the cops who questioned me at the hospital took me into a room, separate from my parents, and “arrested” me. He just entered information into the computer. Then he asked me if I knew how Liz was doing. I told him that I hadn’t heard anything in a while. He brought me back into the room with my parents who were dealing with the bail bonds guy because I had a 2,500.00-dollar bond. The cop stood and looked at me and then said the words that I had been dreading all week long.
“Liz passed away at 1:18 p.m. today,” he said.
I fell on the ground and started to cry. I just started shaking so badly. The cop told me that Liz’s parents had taken her off of the life support. I was so upset that I didn’t even care that I had been arrested. I went home and just couldn’t stand it. I just sat in front of the TV and waited for the news to come on. For some reason I had a strong obsession with the media coverage of the case. I cut out every article from the paper about it and I still have them all.
When the news came on I knew that it was a mistake watching it. They had copies of the warrant and they said that we were all staying the weekend in jail. Which obviously was a lie. They made us out to be terrible criminals who had killed our friend, and I believed it. I believed that everything that had happened was my fault. I don’t remember sleeping that night. All I remember was thinking about how Liz was gone. I didn’t understand why I hadn’t died. I had taken the same pill as her. In the same atmosphere and she was dead and I was still alive.
|Then I realized that I was lucky. I was lucky to be alive and to have Kelly and Veronica. I wanted to pick up the phone and call them. But I knew that I couldn’t. Because we were co-defendants we weren’t allowed to talk to each other. If I did talk to them I could go to jail. I felt so alone.
All of this was because of a pill. It got me arrested. We were in and out of court for three months. In the end we pleaded guilty to one charge. We each were sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Eventually we were able to talk to each other again. Later we learned that we almost got charged with manslaughter. We got expelled from school and had to go to private school. My parents grounded me and I still am grounded. I most likely will be until I am 18.
But the worst part is that I lost a friend. Attending a 16-year old girl’s funeral is just unreal. There were about 500 people there. All of my friends were there and even people from the community who didn’t know Liz were there. This had affected them all so much and it was really touching. But I still can’t believe that it is true. I think about Liz everyday.
I genuinely believe that Liz is in a better place. This experience has taught me a lot. Drugs are not worth it. They killed Liz. I think that this happened so that people could learn that a drug we thought was safe isn’t. It kills. Other people have lost their lives to ecstasy. I hope that soon people will learn that all drugs are bad for you. Maybe then we will have a leg up on the “war on drugs”. Hopefully nobody will have to go through what Kelly, Veronica, and I went through.
Hopefully nobody will have to pointlessly lose their lives to drugs.
But that is just wishful thinking, or is it?
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