This drug is increasingly consumed by Tunisian youth. But this trivialization in no way obscures the psychological damage it causes, warns “Nawaat”, who investigated this new Tunisian drug market.
On the dance floor, a girl and a boy, aged around twenty, move slowly, moving their heads. They wear sunglasses in the middle of the night. Under the effect of ecstasy, the pupils dilate, making the eyes sensitive to light. The ears become more receptive to the sounds of electronic music.
It’s a techno evening, in a nightclub in Gammarth, in the northern suburbs of Tunis. And it is almost weekly that this type of evening is organized in our country. And during these events, techno music now seems to go hand in hand with the common use of ecstasy.
“In Tunisia, the consumption of ecstasy and other related substances called ‘new drugs’ doubled between 2017 and 2021. It increased sevenfold between 2013 and 2017 among adolescents aged 15 to 17.”, warns Nabil Ben Salah, president of the Tunisian Society of Addictology (Stadd), in an interview with Nawaat.
Called “the love drug” by its users, ecstasy is a psychoactive drug containing MDMA, a molecule from the amphetamine family. Usually sold in the form of multi-colored pills, it seems quite harmless.
“This drug causes a significant release of serotonin in the brain. This substance is responsible for regulating mood, energy and appetite. It generates a feeling of well-being, euphoria and empathy towards others”, explains Doctor Ben Salah.
(…° The regular seizure of ecstasy by the authorities demonstrates the importance of the local market. Contacted by Nawaatcustoms services reveal that 475,884 synthetic drug tablets, including ecstasy, have been seized since the start of 2023.