Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy (MDMA)

MDMA or Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties and is usually manufactured in a pill form that often resembles candy with a logo on it. People who use Ecstasy may feel very alert, or "hyper," at first and some lose a sense of time and experience other changes in perception, such as an enhanced sense of touch. Others will experience the negative effects right away and may become anxious and agitated. Sweating or chills may occur, and people may feel faint or dizzy.

Ecstasy Pills often contain other drugs such as Ketamine, MDA, Cocaine, Heroin or Dextromethorphan and PCP combinations mixed with Methamphetamine.

Short-term effects

  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Blurred vision
  • Forceful clenching of the teeth
  • Chills or sweating

Also, a person could potentially experience:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dry mouth and teeth grinding
  • Dehydration and exhaustion
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)
  • Seizures and Neurological Damage
  • A breakdown of skeletal muscle
  • Kidney failure
  • Depression leading to Suicide

But it doesn't stop there...

Even if a person takes only one pill the side effects of MDMA - including feelings of confusion, sadness, severe anxiety, sleep problems, depression, and memory difficulties - can last for several days to a week (or longer in people who use MDMA regularly).

What can it do to my Brain?

Messages travel through our brains through nerve cells, or neurons. Researchers that study the brain think that MDMA may affect neurons that use serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays a direct role in controlling our mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Another bit of bad news--researchers have seen memory loss among regular users of MDMA.

Long-term Health Risks

Ecstasy use has been linked to long-term damage in the parts of the brain critical to thought and memory. It is believed that the drug causes damage to the neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons.

Ecstasy is also very similar in composition and effects to methamphetamine, which has been shown to cause degeneration of neurons containing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Damage to dopamine containing neurons is the underlying cause of the motor disturbances seen in Parkinson's disease. Symptoms of this disease begin with lack of coordination and tremors, and can eventually result in a form of paralysis.