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What’s Your Poison? – Ecstasy (1997)


The aim of What’s Your Poison was to explain the science of recreational drugs and examine them in an atmosphere free of moral and political overtones. The program attempts to explain the facts and dispel some of the myths that have grown up around Ecstasy since it was outlawed in Australia in the mid 1980s.

The program explains how the drug was invented and how it was used in psychiatric therapy until it was taken over by the 'rave’ culture throughout the world. Ecstasy is also called E, eccy, Adam, clarity, essence, doctor, XTC and insight.

This was one of four programs in a special series of Quantum, the ABC’s weekly science series which existed for a decade until 1999 when it was replaced by Catalyst. The other 'poisons’ in the series include marijuana, nicotine and alcohol.

Curator’s notes

The program does an excellent job of explaining how the drug works. It’s not as bad for us as we’ve been led to believe although there are risks associated with its use, which are aggravated by its prohibition. For young people about to enter that phase of their lives where drugs and alcohol are likely to be on offer, this is a no-nonsense examination of the pros and cons of taking ecstasy.