What is ”Ecstacy”?
Ecstacy/MDMA is a stimulant and hallucinogen used to improve mood and to maintain energy, often for all-night dance parties. Long-term use may cause damage to the brain’s ability to regulate sleep, pain, memory and emotions.
The pure form of MDMA is a white crystalline powder. Although it’s increasingly sold as powder in a plastic bag, it’s traditionally and more widely available as either a pressed tablet, often branded with a symbol of some sort, or a capsule. The active oral dose of the drug is at least 75 mg’s, with most pills containing 80-120 mg’s. MDMA/Ecstasy is produced in clandestine laboratories, and is seldom pure. The amount in a capsule or tablet is likely to vary considerably, which could lead to overdoses.
What happens when you take it?
A typical dose has an onset of about 20 to 60 minutes. Users feel a euphoric effect that will last about 3 to 5 hours. Higher doses can cause confusion, anxiety, depression and extreme physical fatigue, which may last as long as two days.
Side effects & withdrawal symptoms:
Psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia can occur during and sometimes weeks after taking MDMA (Psychotic episodes have been reported).
Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating cn also occur. Increased heart, blood pressure, pulse and body temperature. (This drug is a special risk for people with heart disease, high blood pressure or circulatory problems.)
The physical side effects that can occur while taking it, can last for weeks. Users often experience muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. MDMA is very dangerous for those individuals with circulatory or heart disease, because the drug increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Death can occur from heat stroke.
Long term effects:
Neurotoxicity occurs when exposure to natural or artificial toxic substances, which are called neurotoxins, alters the normal activity of the nervous system in such a way as to cause damage to nervous tissue. It disrupt or even kill neurons and cause physical brain damage.
Brain & liver damage
Terminology and Information on Drugs, Revised Edition, United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, New York, 1999.
Merck Index, 13th Edition, Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station NJ, 2001.