Ecstasy (MDMA), is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. Its chemical composition is like that of stimulants and hallucinogens, and the effects are increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, distorted sensory and time perception. Ecstasy has commonly been used at raves, parties, and concerts, and individuals typically take this drug in the form of a capsule or tablet, although they can also snort the powder or drink it in liquid form. Also known as “Molly”, Ecstasy is man-made and when purchased in capsules, individuals are often consuming other synthetic drugs or bath salts.
Ecstasy affects the dopamine chemical in the brain by producing feelings of euphoria and hyperactivity. Norepinephrine is also affected, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. This can be particularly risky for people who suffer from heart or blood vessel problems. Serotonin is another brain chemical that is affected, produced in excess amounts by Ecstasy – mood, appetite, and sleep patterns change, as well as sexual arousal and trust. When taken, MDMA lasts approximately 3-6 hours, and with it accompanies nausea, muscle cramping, involuntary teeth clenching, blurred vision, chills, and sweating. Taking Ecstasy poses many risks:
- Not knowing what’s in it. Because MDMA is synthetically produced, anyone can mix virtually any drug that they want with it, without you knowing. With a mixture of several unknown drugs, this places your body at risk for several dangerous consequences, including death. Several mixtures typically laced in MDMA are caffeine, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, methamphetamine, ketamine and sometimes even heroin or LSD.
- Taking it with alcohol. Many people choose to consume MDMA with alcohol, which heightens the effects of the drug. This can put the body yet again at risk for severe damage to the liver and heart, and could cause someone to end up in the emergency room.
- Risking permanent brain damage. Taking the drug can deeply affect several aspects of the brain, and some studies have even shown significant brain damage that is still visible several years later. Teenagers are also at considerable risk for this because their brains are still developing.
- Addiction. Ecstasy can be addictive, if taken regularly and over time. People who have easy access to this drug and spend time with people to take this drug often are at elevated risk for abusing this.
There are several risks that Ecstasy poses, and taking the wrong form of this drug could mean the end of your life. Not knowing what you are taking could mean that you are putting your health at risk, and could potentially experience seizures, sweating, confusion, and other frightening side effects. If you or a loved one is in danger of using Ecstasy, please call a doctor and establish an appropriate plan for recovery. You could be saving yours or someone else’s life.
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