Los Angeles Health Officials to Revise Ecstasy Awareness Campaign

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will revise a harm-reduction messaging card to "more emphatically state" the harmful effects of Ecstasy, officials announced late Tuesday.

The public awareness campaign, which was developed out of recommendations from a task force consisting of law enforcement agencies, hospitals and music festival promoters, advises potential users of Ecstasy -- or MDMA -- to "take frequent breaks," to stay hydrated and not to mix Ecstasy with alcohol or other stimulants, which can lead to dangerous interactions.

Per the task force's guidelines, the tip sheet, which was funded by music festival promoters, was to be distributed at events for attendees ages 18 and older.

"However, based on feedback from board members and upon further review by the department, Public Health is immediately revising the card to further and more emphatically state that illegal drug use is dangerous," the department said in statement issued to FoxNews.com late Tuesday. "Public Health does not condone the use of illegal drugs."

The campaign follows the death of a 15-year-old girl at the 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Coliseum last June.

MDMA is a "synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline," according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When ingested, it produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distortions in time, perception and tactile experiences."

In 2009, the NIDA estimated that 1.1 million people in the U.S. used ecstasy for the first time, which is a significant increase from the 894,000 first-time users reported in 2008.

"Ecstasy is a serious threat to our communities, particularly to our teens and youth who are often unaware of the significant harm this drug can cause," Timothy Landrum, special agent in charge of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division, said in a statement." You can't predict the effect that a drug can have on you -- especially if it’s the first time you try it, and even if it’s a small amount."

Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, told FoxNews.com prior to announcement of the revision that the original campaign was misguided and sent the wrong message to teenagers.

"There is no way to use Ecstasy or any other substance like that safely," Reynolds told FoxNews.com. "The reality is they're illegal drugs and come with significant health risks."

Reynolds continued: "That shouldn't be doled out to 14- and 16-year-old kids. The main message needs to be: 'You shouldn't be doing this and here's a way to get help.'"