While many might envy Steven Spaliviero’s flamboyant lifestyle – comprising expensive cars, glamorous women and sailing on yachts – only a few would know that the handsome Australian mastered the craft of making ecstasy behind the bars. Locked up in a prison cell in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Spaliviero learnt how to cook huge quantities of high grade ecstasy from his cellmate Igor. Eventually, the duo became great friends and entered into a partnership.
Spaliviero had never imagined that he would become one of the world’s greatest ecstasy producers once he got out of the Californian prison. During the day, Spaliviero would toil in a clandestine laboratory to produce billions of ecstasy pills, while at night he would unwind by driving Lamborghinis, dating beautiful women or partying in nightclubs. In no time, the drug business started flourishing, and his ability to remain undetected made him feel invincible. Setting up his business in Sydney’s northwest suburbs, by 2001, Spaliviero is reported to have earned about $23 million through the illicit drug trade.
However, Spaliviero’s glamorous lifestyle came to a halt in 2005, when he was caught producing around 44 kilograms of the drug in a Riverstone-based laboratory in Sydney’s northwest and was imprisoned for 16 years. In October 2017, Spaliviero, now 52, was finally released, after serving a sentence of 11 years in one of the toughest correctional centers of New South Wales.
The former ecstasy maker has now penned down his story as a drug kingpin in his book Narco X. Vowing never to return to drug trade, Spaliviero now works as bartender on a friend’s boat besides taking up other job opportunities with friends and family.
Ecstasy is harmful
The mind-and-perception modifying synthetic drug 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), popularly known as ecstasy or Molly, is known to induce hallucinogenic effects in users, causing an outburst of emotions, energy and euphoria. Research suggests during the 1990s and the early 2000s, ecstasy was available in the markets as an ingredient in colorful pills with ingenious logos embossed on the surface. But nowadays, ecstasy pills are somewhat outdated and gel capsules loaded with white MDMA powder are latest craze. In fact, rave party goers across the United States swear by the hallucinatory properties of the drug. In recent years, rock stars, pop singers and many celebrities have admitted trying ecstasy to enhance their performance.
While drug traffickers continue to inundate European drug markets with deadly ecstasy pills, authorities say the U.S. is grappling with a different problem. Experts fear that adulterated versions of ecstasy have entered the American markets, which is a worrisome situation. In December 2016, the Guardian reported that ecstasy sold in the U.S. is less pure and more dangerous than in Europe due to the increasing trend to lace pills with bath salts, such as methylone, ethylone and butylone.
In the short run, ecstasy can leave users feeling confused, hypothermic and dehydrated, besides blurring their vision and triggering panic attacks. Whereas, extended use of the drug can lead to an array of mental problems, including depressive disorders, anxiety, paranoia and severe emotional upheavals. Additionally, a dangerous cocktail of ecstasy and other drugs, especially alcohol, is known to exacerbate the deadly impact of the drug. Also, ecstasy-related overdoses can prove to be fatal in users with a history of respiratory or cardiovascular ailments.
Leading a drug-free life
Researchers say psychedelics like ecstasy are mind-altering substances, varying substantially in potency due to inadequate synthesis or spurious version. According to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, ecstasy, along with heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana, methaqualone and peyote, is a Schedule I drug due to its high potential for abuse. However, in recent years, there have been reports of emerging trends of Americans using psychedelics to deal with life’s challenges. If such a trend continues, ecstasy could soon become the recreational drug of choice nationwide.
If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to ecstasy or any kind of drug, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente, which offers a variety of customized treatments for ecstasy addiction in California. Our licensed clinicians use several approaches to resolving each underlying problem. Our treatments for ecstasy addiction in California are tailored to individual needs in order to treat a person holistically. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.