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Ecstasy and Suicide

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 57 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2012 Pages: 1137-1139
Tarini Fernando, M.B.B.S.; John D. Gilbert, F.R.C.P.A.; Christine M. Carroll, B.Sc.; Roger W. Byard, M.D.
Date Published
July 2012
3 pages
This study examined a death associated with a ring-derivative amphetamine.
Deaths due to the ring-derivative amphetamines are not common and are usually accidental involving dehydration and hyperthermia. Suicides from 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and related ring-derivative amphetamines overdose are rare. A 15-year-old female who had a history of depression and previous suicide attempts was found dead with a suicide note. Toxicology demonstrated lethal serum concentrations of MDMA (9.3 mg/L), with 34 mg/kg of MDMA in the liver, 2.4 mg/L in the urine, and 530 mg/kg in the stomach. The cause of death was MDMA toxicity, the manner suicide. While MDMA may be detected in victims in other drug-related or traumatic deaths, it is only rarely used in isolation in suicide, with a predominance in the 21- to 25-year-old range. Despite the rarity of such events, the possibility of a nonaccidental manner of death should be considered when high levels of MDMA and associated amphetamines are found at autopsy. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.