Responses to The New York Times Magazine’s “Experiencing Ecstasy” (January 21, 2001) were notable for especially strong opinions, both pro and con. Many parents, doctors and public officials accused the article of glorifying Ecstasy use and for insufficiently describing the drug’s risks.
On one level, Matthew Klam’s article about Ecstasy (Jan. 21) was a skillfully crafted coming-of-age odyssey, appropriately self-deprecating and entertaining. But on another, it was a worrying description of adolescent anxiety and dislocation magnified through illicit drug use. Careful readers would have found, amid the detailed descriptions of Ecstasy’s life-enhancing qualities, some sober warnings about serious side effects. As one who treats adolescent drug abusers, I was glad to see them. I was also relieved that Klam saved himself by coming to the realization that drug-induced good times are fleeting and unsustainable.
President, Odyssey House