A Queensland researcher is facing criticism for saying that taking small amounts of ecstasy was safer than binge drinking.
Jo Baxter, an anti-drugs campaigner from Drug Free Australia, has condemned the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre director, Professor Jake Najman, for his claims that ecstasy was actually "cheaper and safer".
Professor Najman was quoted as saying that ecstasy was a lesser evil than binge drinking and when young people switch from a substantial amount of alcohol to a small amount of ecstasy he said, "I don't think that's a bad trade at all."
Baxter criticized Najman, insisting that no one should promote illicit drug use.
"There is no guarantee that if young people hear a message of so-called 'safe use' from people in authority, that they will use only small quantities. Taking ecstasy is like russian roulette. No one individual knows exactly what it will do to their body chemistry," Courier Mail quoted Baxter, as saying.
"A person in Professor Najman's position and with his qualifications is showing an extraordinary lack of responsibility, if his views have been reported accurately.
"The other aspect is that we seriously have to question why our young people are feeling the need to take drugs in order to 'have a good time'.
"We need to be giving our young people reasons not to have to rely on drugs for their social events. If we can reduce the demand, the huge volumes of ecstasy now coming into Australia would have no market," Baxter added.