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ECSTASY is a Schedule I synthetic, psychoactive drug possessing stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. MDMA possesses chemical variations of the stimulant amphetamine or methamphetamine and a hallucinogen, most often mescaline. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and it is a "controlled substance", making use, possession, supply, or production illegal.

Ecstasy is also called MDMA, which stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The amount of MDMA needed to get "high" is close to the toxic dose. It is similar to methamphetamine and MDA, which is another designer drug, in its chemistry, therefore it may have similar affects to other amphetamines.

Ecstasy is commonly used at "rave" party settings and can be found in capsule, pill, or powder form of various colors. "Raves" are all night parties known for their dance music and drug experimentation. Other names for ecstasy are wonder drug and XTC.Assortment of Ecstasy pills

How is ecstasy used?

MDMA is most often available in tablet form and is usually ingested orally. It is also available as a powder and is sometimes snorted and occasionally smoked, but rarely injected. Its effects last approximately four to six hours. Users of the drug say that it produces profoundly positive feelings, empathy for others, elimination of anxiety, and extreme relaxation. MDMA is also said to suppress the need to eat, drink, or sleep, enabling users to endure two- to three-day parties. Consequently, MDMA use sometimes results in severe dehydration or exhaustion.

What are the signs someone is abusing Ecstasy (MDMA)?

Ecstasy users are often seen with baby pacifiers or an athletic mouthpiece because they often involuntarily grind their teeth while under the influence of Ecstasy. Chemical lightsticks and painter's or surgeon's masks smeared with scented ointments such as vapor rub or other scented muscle ointments often are used while taking Ecstasy. The combination of these products while under the influence of Ecstasy heightens the user's senses and makes lights, smells and sounds much more intense.

IMMEDIATE EFFECTS: feelings of detachment; loss of hunger, sleep, and sexual drives; muscle tension; blurred vision/rapid eye movements; sweating or chills; insomnia; tremors; hypertension; increase in heart rate; decrease in appetite; dehydration; nausea; fainting; death.

LONG-TERM EFFECTS: anorexia; high blood pressure; kidney failure; stroke; change in emotion; affects memory; change in brain chemicals.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS: confusion; depression; sleep problems; anxiety; paranoia; hallucinations; panic; psychotic episodes.

Ecstasy can deplete as much as 90% of the brain's serotonin supply with two weeks of use. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain which controls activities such as regulating aggression, thinking, sleeping, eating, sensitivity to pain, and mood.red ribbon icon

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIDA Infofax 13547 and 13674

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