Parents Take Grief Public in Ad Against Ecstasy

Parents Take Grief Public in Ad Against Ecstasy
Posted by FoM on February 26, 2002 at 08:58:04 PT
By Ken Guggenheim, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press 
Jim Heird's face fills the television screen. The dark background highlights his pale skin, square jaw and dark bags under his eyes. "I would have given anything for some warning signs," he says, almost shouting. "I would have moved. I would have locked her up, I don't care, if there were warning signs. I would have done whatever it took." His voice cracks. "I was never given that opportunity." 
Then Heird, 61, sobs for all the world to see. His sniffles can still be heard as white letters appear on a black screen: "Danielle Heird died after taking two pills of Ecstasy." Before, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America made ads using fried eggs to symbolize brain damage and showing teen-agers thanking their parents for being tough with them. Now it is going for the gut in exposing the raw grief of Jim and Elsa Heird, a Nevada couple who lost their 21-year-old daughter to Ecstasy. Some say the ads overstate the substance's dangers, making the case against its use less believable to teens. But the partnership, a coalition of communications professionals, says the ads will encourage parents to talk to children about drugs. In coming months, millions of television viewers will get to know Danielle through a series of ads. They will hear the coroner read from her autopsy report. They will see her mother struggle to maintain her composure as she talks about her beautiful and vivacious Danielle. And they will watch Jim Heird weep. "A parent's not supposed to survive their children," Heird says, dabbing his eyes with a tissue, at the end of the ad. "It's not the scheme of things." Under other circumstances, Heird says in a phone interview, he might have felt uncomfortable crying on television. Not now. "It may sound corny, but if I save one kid, if it saves one kid ..." "I gotta hope it saves a lot more than one." Until July 20, 2000, his family's story was unremarkable. They lived in Henderson, Nev., just outside Las Vegas. The Heirds worked in a casino. He handled food purchasing; she was a chef. Danielle was their younger daughter. She graduated from a Roman Catholic high school and lived at home while working as a casino hostess. She planned to study radiology. She loved to Jet Ski, dance and go to lunch with her parents. On her last night, Danielle, her boyfriend and another friend went to a nightclub to celebrate her boyfriend's birthday. A Clark County coroner's report said she brought along six pills of Ecstasy, a drug her parents later found out she had taken twice before. Ecstasy, considered both hallucinogen and amphetamine, has become increasingly popular in recent years. She gave two pills to each man and took at least one herself, the report says. At 3 a.m., she was groggy and feeling sick. The men took her to their home. She lay down on a bed and told the men to go back to the club. When they returned at 10:30 a.m., she was dead. "It came to us as a total surprise," Heird said. "There was never any evidence of any drug use. The school never called us and said, `We need to talk to you. We think there's a problem."' Within months of Danielle's death, the Heirds began speaking at schools about Ecstasy. The partnership approached them about doing ads. The partnership says $20 million worth of airtime has been donated nationwide. Typical viewers are likely to see the ads several times during the next eight months, partnership spokesman Steve Dnistrian said. Some drug policy analysts are uncomfortable using the story of Danielle. Although repeated use of Ecstasy has been linked to brain damage and kidney and heart problems, deaths like hers are relatively rare. Marsha Rosenbaum, of the Drug Policy Alliance, said teen-agers don't take anti-drug messages seriously because they know the risks often are overstated. She said Ecstasy is unsafe, but "if you choose to do it anyway, I'm going to be honest with you about how you can be safer." Dnistrian said the ads are aimed more at parents, to warn those who believe their children would never use drugs. Complete Title: Parents Take Grief Public in Ad Campaign Against Ecstasy On the Net: Drug Policy Alliance: Partnership for a Drug-Free America: Newshawk: NORML - Associated PressAuthor: Ken Guggenheim, Associated Press WriterPublished: Monday, February 25, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Associated Press  Related Articles:Ad Campaign Targets Notions of 'Love Drug' Grows As Danger To Teens
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Comment #16 posted by shrox on February 27, 2002 at 16:56:30 PT
Never heard of "stoned and disorderly"
Once I heard Dr. Dean Adell telling about a time he went to a cannabis club. He said if that mix of people had been in a bar drinking, a fight would have surely broken out. He noted instead how they all just got along...
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 27, 2002 at 09:11:36 PT
My personal feelings about alcohol is that it is possibly the worse drug of all where people get all messed up and fight and act generally not nice. I don't believe it should be illegal though. 
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Comment #14 posted by schmeff on February 27, 2002 at 08:58:30 PT
I think most of the negative comments about alcohol stem not from a condemnation of the drug, but rather from an outraged sense of hypocrisy.It is as if, metaphorically, we are stuck in a room containing a loaded pistol and a coloring book. Neither presents any danger if we choose not to mess with it. Yet our "leaders" spend all our energy and resources trying to get rid of the coloring book. This prompts the more logical among us to start making anti-pistol remarks. Or anti-Bud.(Which really starts to get confusing, because overwhelmingly, everyone posting here is pro-bud.)My problem is that pointing out what lethal killers tobacco and alcohol are compared to marijuana is too logical for some. I've had several conversations where after I pointed-out how many people die each year from tobacco, my listener would say something to the effect that, "Yeah, I suppose they ought to make cigarettes (or liquor) illegal too."Freedom? Liberty? The pursuit of happiness? What USA are you from!?
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Comment #13 posted by Dankhank on February 27, 2002 at 05:27:20 PT:
Kap and all ...It is prudent to research anything before commencing ...In the 60's I guess WE were the test subjects ...MDA at the time was popular with those who had been around the block a few times.Since no one was dying from MDA we elected to try it.Good stuff.Anyway, point is, If you get a pharmaceutical dose, you probably get a pure dose.If you use street drugs you never know what you are getting for sure. It's a whole 'nother crap shoot ...Legalize all ...
Hemp N Stuff ...
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Comment #12 posted by justanothersomebody on February 27, 2002 at 02:07:49 PT
This sounds so familiar
I notice a lot of anti-Bud comments in here. As far as I'm concerned, if somebody chooses another intoxicant besides MJ, I will never criticize them for it. Who cares if alcohol kills a lot of people? People discovered earlier this century that you can't just legislate away a substance that people will use regardless of the consequences. Drugs, of course, are no exception.I'm suprised no one has mentioned the obvious fact that if Ecstacy were available over the counter, there would be many fewer deaths due to the fact that people would at least be informed of the amount of active ingredients, thereby allowing people to take a responsible amount. There is an obvious market for Ecstacy, and the same way banning alcohol didn't work, banning MJ and Ecstacy won't work.The U.S. seems so impractical in its puritanical zealousness in enforcing a pointless war. You know, this story reminds me of the 20's, when people would go blind and/or die from drinking bathtub gin. Prohibition just doesn't work. I agree w/ kaptinemo, you should check out the effects/dangers of your chosen intoxicant before you ingest/inhale/inbibe.
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Comment #11 posted by freedom fighter on February 26, 2002 at 21:40:36 PT
Frogs croaking by the travernCroaked, "LEE"
Croaked, "Gill"
Croaked, "Eyes"!Background sound, "BUD-IS-WISER!"Seriously, what's up with our social mores? We prohibited a substance and kids die off one by one because they are too afraid to seek help. Then, we make movies about it.ff
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Comment #10 posted by shrox on February 26, 2002 at 19:00:16 PT
Budweiser reported as cause of riot
All day CNN said the riot was caused by people upset they could not get into the Budweiser attraction. Salt Lake City is unique however, if the public liquior consumption laws had not seen suspended during the Olympics, the riot would not have happened. One summer in Phoenix, a teenage girl was missing for days. Her father found her body by the air conditioner. She had been huffing freon from the condenser. Why do we seem to have a need to alter our consciousness, even to the point of risking death?
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Comment #9 posted by isobar2000 on February 26, 2002 at 18:26:07 PT
We do not need to lose our children.
It is an awful thing to lose a loved one. Wile not placing blame on any one, there is things to take into consideration. I am a parent so I can only imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children. But for me to make the excuse that I didn't know, and didn't have a chance to react is not a very good excuse. Parents who are truly involved with their children’s life will know when something is up. You have to foster a very special and close relationship with your kids. Those who don't or those who convince themselves that they do are the ones who are at the greatest risk of losing their children. Although I did not know her, I have a hard time believing that she did not know that she was taking something that could very well be dangerous. I did the same stunts when I was a teen and I knew that there were risks involved. One other thing, my parents did know what I was up to simply because they were very close in my activities. I didn't get away with very much without my parents intervention. I'm sorry that there was a great loss that can never be replaced, but one thing we all need to learn from this is that, WE NEED TO GET CLOSE TO OUR CHILDREN. They do sometimes make bad choices.
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Comment #8 posted by Jose Melendez on February 26, 2002 at 14:24:08 PT:
If you must get "high"...
...if you are going to put something into you to alter normal operation of your body, you should do some bloody research, first.
In other words, kids: Use cannabis. Other drugs (legal or otherwise) are generally poison, and have major short and long term negative side effects.
Arrest Prohibition
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on February 26, 2002 at 12:56:13 PT:
Research also means taking chances
GF, my studies were done back in the early 1990's, and nearly all the books were evenly divided between the "this could save Western Civilization!...or at least, your marriage" and the usual anti "This is your brain on (fill in the blank)". I read everything I could that was available on it, including the scientific papers that had been published in the US (pre-1985-ban) and the foreign ones (post-ban). The long term effects of MDMA in occasional users is still under some argument, and I am hardly a good test subject, only having done it twice. I can provide some links, but you'll have to dig through them to find what you need:MDMA toxicity: agony of "ecstasy" :
How can we avoid more "ecstasy"-related deaths? Thoughts on 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine ( MDMA)
Neurotoxicity pharmacokinetics of
MDMA ('ecstasy') in humans's so much more, I'd spend most of my time doing cut-and-paste. But you will get the drift; it can be dangerous...just as it can be gangerous to drink alcohol. And I have to admit to some trepidation; there were too many conflicting reports of serotonin imbalances, for example. And I do not pretend to be a scientist, despite having that kind of training. I would never - unlike antis - equate expertise in my field as being equivalent to that in any other. But, nor am I an ignoramus; I do know quite a bit about neurochemistry, courtesy of Uncle. When all was read and done, the risk appeared to be acceptable. You'll note: I said risk. I was not fooling myself. "Methamphetamine", remember? But one thing struck me most of all in everything I read...lack of violence associated with use. And the number of deaths attributable to MDMA (due almost exclusively to overdosing without adequate precautions...just as this one mentioned in the article was) were so few that that alone was enough to convince me.Anything your body does not produce naturally can be poisonous...if taken to extremes. Yes, even water. The average dose of MDMA back when I took it was 175mg. The usual drill was to take one, wait a few hours, then take a vastly reduced dose (80mg) to maintain the experience...and take plenty of calcium and magnesium tabs before the experience, and clear, non-alcoholic fluids during and after. All precautions meant to reduce possible side effcets...which, because I was sensible about it, didn't happen.In short, I took an educated approach to the matter, and it paid off handsomely. Pity the antis are constitutionally incapable of doing the same, or we would not have their insanity to deal with.
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Comment #6 posted by greenfox on February 26, 2002 at 12:44:35 PT
Oh, one last thing....
DEA Director Asa Hutchinson has said pot has no proven medical value. According to the agency's Web site: "There are over 10,000 scientific studies that prove marijuana is a harmful addictive drug. There is not one reliable study that demonstrates marijuana has any medical value."Just thought you might like to know. 
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Comment #5 posted by greenfox on February 26, 2002 at 12:00:31 PT
Take on the Poisons and Kaptinemo read me!
Kap, it's nice to know that SOMEONE out there reads up before s/he eats poisons. I'd like to reccomend a book to you that I think you would enjoy. I know you read, so please check this out. It's a book called 
"Pharmako/Poeia" and it's written by a gentleman named "Dale Pendell". I'll put a link to the publisher's site with this post. In all honesty though, it's one of the best books I have ever read. He refers to all drugs as poisons and looks at them both in modern and historical contexts. In addition, there is a vast amount of preperation information, and also very rare and UNHEARD of drugs such as the Divine Mint, "Salvia Divinorum" (for anyone who knows anything about Divinorum, you know that it makes lsd look like a laughing joke.) But my question for you: what was your findings on the long term effects of MDMA? I have never tried it, and I have very little interest in doing so, but I wanted to see if there was some more information on the subject. Help? But do check out that book. It will enthrall you. sly in green, foxy in kind,
Dale Pendell's Publisher (or how to find Pharmako/Poeia)
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on February 26, 2002 at 11:21:25 PT:
I am going to catch some heat for this, but...
I have always maintained that if you are going to put something into you to alter normal operation of your body, you should do some bloody research, first.Hard to comprehend, but there are still people out there who don't believe that anything such as alcohol poisoning exists. Every year, we hear some tearful story from clueless parents about their little Johnnie or Suzie drinking a fifth of Scotch and dying while barfing or suffering some equally gross, senseless, pointless, and stupid demise.Yes, I said stupid. As in candidate for Darwin Award. As in "should not be allowed near anything more technologically advanced than a spoon"; they might hurt somebody else. As in not using the brains God gave a them and finding out all there was to learn, pro and con, truth and lie, on the issue.Friends, I speak from experience; I've used MDMA under clinical conditions, with experienced people, one of whom was also a clinical psychologist. It is a powerful tool for exploration of life traumas as well as one to open the hearts of emotionally wounded people and teach them they can indeed feel safe in loving again. A 'club drug', it ain'tBut I very heavily explored every facet of it before I accepted the offer by my friends.. Physiological and psychological effects, possible long term dangers, etc. I researched...and did it. But solely on the basis of that research. And I have no regrets at all that I did.I have not used it since that wonderful day all those years ago...I haven't felt I had to. But it is a methamphetamine, children. It's nowhere near as forgiving as cannabis is. If you are going to use it, use it wisely. Talk to the DanceSafe people, or do your own digging. But do it sensibly.Before Mother Nature, red of tooth and claw, decides to feast upon another fool.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on February 26, 2002 at 10:19:17 PT
Bud World, the media and grief
Did anyone notice that in the coverage of the Olympics rioting, there was not one single mention of Budweiser or Bud World?Despite the evidence of Budweisere involvement everywhere in the video clips, including a pair of terrified Clydesdales being led through the chaos.And now despite the fact that alcohol kills six times as many teens as all illegal drugs combined, this one horrible death is standing out as some kind of call to ation for the country.The grief of those whose kids are killed by alcohol is old news, I guess.Or maybe the alcohol industry has too much power in the mass media.
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on February 26, 2002 at 10:11:55 PT
This is horrible but...
Where are all the reporters when kids die from an aspirin overdose?
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Comment #1 posted by greenfox on February 26, 2002 at 09:20:26 PT
The propoganda machine continues...
I would say that the print ads the lib. party is putting out will be effective, but I can't say that. Most sheeple get their "news" and "information" from TV. The ONDCP KNOWS this and they are using it to their every advantage. Oh well, right? What are you going to do, right? NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING!!!!!!!!!(except maybe move to the Netherlands) ;)sly in green, foxy in kind.
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