Vernon Coleman

I've recently received a good deal of mail about an article I wrote about ecstasy for The Sun.

In the article, written nearly two decades ago when ecstasy had first become popular and was the latest craze in discos everywhere, I explained that the drug was potentially dangerous and should be avoided.

Many of my recent correspondents have criticised me for warning about ecstasy. I've been accused of `scaring' people who wanted to take it, of worrying the general public and users and of `creating a moral panic'.

I make no apologies whatsoever and stand by everything I wrote about ecstasy.

The textbooks show that my fears were entirely justified. As a former GP and hospital doctor I have seen the human damage. I suspect the parents, relatives and friends of Leah Betts and Sian Sadler (both of whom died after taking ecstasy) would agree with my fears.

Those who now oppose my warnings on ecstasy might like to examine their consciences.

I hope and believe that my article - and my warning - saved lives.

If I scared people into not taking this awful and dangerous drug I am delighted.

The message is simple. Ecstasy kills. Only the gullible take it. Only crooks sell it. And only fools defend it.

Note: Vernon Coleman has been calling for the decriminalisation of drugs for over 30 years - on the grounds that this is the best way to reduce drug addiction. His book The Drugs Myth is available free for reading on this Web site.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2005