Known as "the party drug," Ecstasy is both a stimulant and a
hallucinogen, and its effects are potentially life-threatening.
Because it is inexpensive and easily accessible, Ecstasy is gaining
What Is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy is the street name for
methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a chemical substance
that combines methamphetamines with hallucinogenic properties. It
is also known as XTC, Adam, Clarity, and Lover's Speed.
Ecstasy is usually taken in pill form. Some
manufacturers of the drug package it in capsules or generic tablets
to imitate prescription drugs. Among the variations of the drug is a new substance,
Herbal Ecstasy, that is composed of ephedrine (ma huang) or
pseudoephedrine and caffeine from the kola nut. Sold in tablet
form, this drug may cause permanent brain damage and death.
What Are the Effects of Ecstasy?
Ecstasy exerts its effects by altering serotonin levels in the brain.
Researchers have found that chronic use can lead to long-term or
permanent damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought,
memory, and pleasure.
immediate effects, which last for 4-6 hours. These include feelings of euphoria, enhanced mental and emotional clarity, and sensations of lightness and floating. In addition to these "feel good" effects, Ecstasy can cause many unpleasant and potentially dangerous psychologic effects which can last for weeks after use of the drug. These effects include the following:
Severe anxiety and paranoia
Violent, irrational behavior
People who take Ecstasy at rave parties or clubs are at risk of
, hyperthermia (dangerously high body temperature), and heart or
, any of which can lead to death. These effects occur because the drug's stimulant action allows a user to dance for long periods of time; this prolonged exertion combined with the hot, crowded atmosphere of rave parties and clubs can cause dehydration and a dangerously high body temperature.
Other physical effects of Ecstasy include the following:
In addition to the psychologic and physical effects, another danger with Ecstasy is that other drugs may be added as adulterants, without the user knowing. There have been reports of heroin and methamphetamine being added to Ecstasy, which can have dangerous effects.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a