Good thing the rave scene’s dead — to most people, anyway (or have I just gotten old?). Ecstasy’s no friend of your brain over the long term — and also no friend of the environment.

Ecstasy’s connection to enviro-destruction: Ecstasy, a.k.a. methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, is usually created with a precursor chemical — Sassafras oil. That oil can be produced from the roots of the Mreah Prew Phnom tree, a rare plant that could go extinct. Said tree grows in Cambodian rain forests, where illegal distilleries have been chopping down those trees to make the oil — and cutting down other trees to use as fuel.

According to the Guardian UK: “FFI [Fauna and Flora International, an international environmental agency] was alarmed that the rate of the illegal production of the ‘ecstasy oil’ could have wiped out the Mreah Prew Phnom tree within five years …. Surrounding trees are also felled to fuel fires for the distillation, threatening one of the last great rainforests in Southeast Asia. Rivers are polluted by the effluent from the oil production.”

So — if the fact that ecstasy could cause brain damage — leading to “depression, anxiety, memory disturbance and psychiatric disorders,” according to the BBC — didn’t convince you to steer clear of the drug, perhaps your love of the rain forest will.

Photo by boodoo