MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), popularly known as ecstasy is at present a top most party drug in U.S and also claims a number of lives of youth who abuse this drug in order to fit in, escape, rebel or just to party. Despite knowing its numerous ill effects, teenagers continue to use the drug as if there is no danger associated with it. The effects like excitation and feelings of physical and mental prowess from the use of this drug are temporary while its ill effects can be deadly. Here are some interesting facts about Ecstasy that everyone should know.
1. Street names
Ecstasy is known by various names like Molly, ecstasy, XTC, X, E, Adam, Eve, clarity, hug, beans, love drug, lovers’ speed, peace, uppers etc.
MDMA or ecstasy was first invented in 1912 by the Merck pharmaceutical laboratories as an appetite suppressant but it was never licensed as a prescription drug. It was also used for military purposes, to augment certain effects of amphetamines before it was illegalized in 1985.
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3. Designer drug
Ecstasy is one among the many designer drugs that are emerging nowadays as a result of underground labs exploiting the developments in chemistry. These labs in order to escape the drug laws try to alter the chemical structure of existing drugs to create new ones with same properties. These experiments lead to designer drugs hitting the market, ecstasy being one of them.
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4. Widely used drug
Presently ecstasy ranks fourth after alcohol, cannabis and amphetamines as the most widely used drug.
5. Bombing & plugging
Ecstasy can be ingested orally by dabbing on to the tongue or swallowing a tablet but there are other practices too for taking it. Some wrap MDMA powder before swallowing which is known as “bombing” and some choose to take it anally and this practice is known as “plugging”.
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6. A party drug
Ecstasy or MDMA is a popular drug at rave or all might parties. It is also dubbed as “the second summer of love”. Though central to rave parties and club settings, ecstasy is nowadays fast moving into private environments including high schools, college dorms and house parties.
Source: channel.nationalgeographic.com, image: wikimedia.org
7. A new class of drug
Empathogens is an entirely new classification for drugs with effects like MDMA because of its unusual ill effects.
8. Spin off
Ecstasy causes the brain to release neurotransmitter serotonin. It later blocks it re-uptake and the brain is flooded with this chemical. The user will likely encounter a swell of euphoria, an increased sense of sound and colors and a heightened sense of intimacy.
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After the rush experienced from ecstasy starts to wear off the user feels low which is known as a comedown. Other symptoms of a comedown include paranoia, depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping. This is experienced when the supply of serotonin to the brain is depleted.
10. Leads to dehydration
If MDMA is taken in high dose it interferes with the temperature regulating ability of the body and might lead to an increase in body temperature. As such it is vital to replace the fluids lost via sweating. But MDMA also causes the body to release a hormone that restricts urine production and therefore drinking too much water will disturb the body’s salt balance. This is bound to harm the body and on certain unpredictable occasions even death.
11. Popular combination drugs
A practice of using ecstasy with other drugs is becoming popular these days and these combinations have developed their own names like candy flipping is a combo of E with LSD, Kitty flipping is E with Ketamine and hippy flipping is E with psilocybin.
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The act of taking additional doses of Ecstasy just before the effects of the last one starts to wear off is known as “bumps.” Bumps lead to most of the overdose cases.
13. Withdrawal from ecstasy
Giving up ecstasy after a period of long term use is challenging and often leads to periods of depression. The withdrawal symptom includes aches, exhaustion, depression, cravings for ecstasy, anxiety and a troubled sleep among others. It takes a week to settle down and might take up to a month to disappear.
14. Risk-taking behavior of Ecstasy users
While developing an addiction to ecstasy the users exhibit a high risk taking behavior which is one of the biggest dangers of ecstasy. The users tend to engage in highly risky activities like climbing on the rooftops due to the psychedelic state and false euphoria caused by the drug.
15. Therapeutic value
While ecstasy has been labeled as a substance or drug with no medicinal use and high potential for abuse but still some researchers are interested to find its therapeutic value if administered in careful monitored conditions. Therefore, it is currently under clinical trials as possible treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety in terminal cancer patients.
16. Long term effects
Ecstasy acts by affecting serotonin and communication of the brain cells. It has been known that MDMA is harmful to the brain and increase long term problems, affecting memory and learning. Moreover it also interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature which can cause hypothermia, liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure.
Source: abovetheinfluence.com, image: wikimedia.org