MDMA or ecstasy is a synthetically made psychoactive drug that is similar to a stimulant such as a methamphetamine and similar to a hallucinogen like mescaline. Ecstasy is normally taken orally in a tablet or capsule form. Ecstasy is very popular among the rave crowd and the people who attend the weekend-long dance parties. Nowadays, many drug users experiment ecstasy along with other drugs, but they are not typical rave drug users. Ecstasy or MDMA affects specific neurons in the brain, which are directly involved with controlling and regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain.
Drug: Methylenedioxy Methamphetamine.
Ecstasy Street names: Adam, XTC, hug, beans, and Love Drug.
Ecstasy Effects: The effects of ecstasy generally start within 20 minutes of taking the drug, and may last up to six hours. Certain individuals have reported symptoms persisting for 32 hours after using ecstasy. There are generally three phases:
Coming up: where the effects can be smooth and bumpy, and individuals might feel a rush.
Plateau: where the individual might feel good, happy, relaxed.
Coming down: where the individual might feel physically exhausted, depressed, and irritable.
Ecstasy Description: It belongs to a family of drugs called “entactogens,” which literally means “touching within.” Other drugs in this category include MDMA, MDE, and MBDB. Before it was made illegal in 1985, MDMA was used by psychiatrists as a therapeutic tool.
MDMA is a “mood elevator” that produces a relaxed, euphoric state. It does not produce hallucinations. MDMA takes effect 20 to 40 minutes after taking a tablet, with little rushes of exhilaration, which can be accompanied by nausea. 60 to 90 minutes after taking the drug, the user feels the peak effects. Sensations are enhanced and the user experiences heightened feelings of empathy, emotional warmth, and self-acceptance. The effects of ‘real’ ecstasy subside after about 3-5 hours. Users report that the experience is very pleasant and highly controllable creating an ecstasy addiction. Even at the peak of the effect, people can usually deal with important matters. The effect that makes MDMA different from other drugs is empathy, the sensation of understanding, and accepting others.
Ecstasy Street Use: Oral.
Ecstasy Dependency: There have been some deaths associated with MDMA. Usually, these have been a result of heatstroke from dancing for long periods of time in hot clubs without replenishing lost body fluids. Much of what is sold as “ecstasy” on the black market actually contain other drugs, some of which can be more dangerous than MDMA, like PMA, speed, DXM, and PCP. Mixing ecstasy with alcohol or other drugs increases the risk of adverse reactions.
Ecstasy has been seen in Canada. In 2004, over four percent of Canadians said that they had tried ecstasy at least once in their life. That is almost a million people. Also, in 2002, within the rave community in Montreal, over 65% of the people said they tried ecstasy. In 2003, young people who don’t use injected drugs were surveyed and five percent said they had consumed ecstasy three months prior. Even though ecstasy is not the biggest threat to Canada, it is certainly a problem within the Canadian population. And drug rehab centers certainly see people come in to get off ecstasy.
Ecstasy is a drug in the amphetamine family. Before, it was used to treat depression and other such disorders, but now it is abused for recreation by many individuals. It is used a lot in clubs as a stimulant; for it often helps people dance all night without stopping. People often use it to let the pressure go and forget many things.
Even though ecstasy isn’t fully understood, some very obvious effects happen when one uses it. The users often get euphoric and feel very secure in their environment. It also intensifies their perceptions and feelings for the period of the high. Many people will feel their appetite reduced. People will have more energy but the drug increases their blood pressure and their body temperature. But afterward, there is a down where they feel fatigued and very ill at ease and uncomfortable.
When a person uses ecstasy and then decides to stop, certain physical and psychological effects can happen. Some of them experience depression or anxiety. Others experience panic attacks because of the lack of ecstasy. They often have trouble sleeping and get paranoid and hallucinations. Those are the most common symptoms that one can expect when quitting ecstasy. That is why it is often easier for a person to go to a drug rehab center and have professionals helping them while they go through the withdrawal.
Physical effects of Ecstasy can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. On rare but unpredictable occasions, this can lead to a dramatic increase in body temperature, resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure. Mentally, the effects of Ecstacy can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur during and for days or weeks after taking Ecstasy. The Ecstacy user often feels the only way to get rid of these effects is to once again use Ecstasy, which then increases the effects and can grow into a full-blown addiction.
WHAT IS ECSTASY ADDICTION?
Ecstasy addiction is very much present in Canada. In 2004, over 4 percent of the Canadian population had used ecstasy at least once in their lives. The use of ecstasy starts at a young age as shown in a 2002 study made on 10th-Grade students. 8 percent of the boys and 5 percent of the girls had recently used ecstasy. Those statistics are up by 3 percent compared to a study made in 1998.
In the province of Quebec, there were a few studies done over the years concerning the ecstasy and other street drugs. In a 2002 study done in Montreal on people going to raves, 65 percent had tried ecstasy at least once in their lives and more than 59 percent had taken it recently. In a 2003 street youth survey, more than 48 percent had used ecstasy at least once in their lives. And out of the whole Montreal population, 1.1 percent said they had used ecstasy in the year 2003 alone.
In the province of Ontario, ecstasy abuse is part of young people’s lives. There was a survey done in 2003 comparing Grade 7 and Grade 12 students with regard to ecstasy consumption and ecstasy addiction. The results indicated that somewhere between Grade 8 and 12; many students had taken ecstasy, and some had developed an ecstasy addiction. In Grade 7, the rate was 0.5 percent, which wasn’t so bad. However, once in Grade 12, it was going up with 7.2 percent – way too high.
While ecstasy is not physically addictive like other hard drugs are, it can still be very difficult for someone to withdraw from it. Ecstasy provides an emotional high, creating an ecstasy addiction with the users who often take that drug to escape from their day to day life’s reality. Regular use brings about physical tolerance, which usually pushes the addicts to use more and more ecstasy in order to get the initial high. This is the vicious circle of ecstasy addiction. Mood swings are usually seen when the person addicted to ecstasy is craving for it.
ECSTASY WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
Ecstasy is psychologically addicting, and the most common withdrawal symptoms from ecstasy include:
- Panic attacks
- Paranoid delusions
Ecstasy Long-Term Use: Individuals having any of the following conditions put themselves at greater possibility of physical and psychological harm by taking ecstasy: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, epilepsy, and a history of mental illness or panic attacks.
Ecstasy Legal Status: Illegal drug
ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS OF ECSTASY
Ecstasy can be very dangerous to a person’s overall health and in some cases can be lethal. It can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular failure, and death. There is no current drug being used to treat ecstasy addiction, or being used during a detox period. The best form of drug rehab treatment to help MDMA addiction and detoxification is cognitive behavioral therapy, life skills, and more abilities.
MDMA detox can last from two to three days and will be primarily uncomfortable physically. If the person has ingested large amounts of MDMA, they should be taken to a hospital right away, as the effects can be lethal and can take place within hours after the person has taken the ecstasy.
The severity of these withdrawals will depend on the number of drugs the person has taken and how often. A detox facility and a drug treatment program using the appropriate withdrawal management techniques can handle ecstasy addiction.
The long-term effects of ecstasy usage can cause severe health problems, and increase the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. It is possible for the drug user to experience such things as severe psychosis, and the result could be life-threatening.
Individuals with severe past emotional trauma will experience even more intense drug withdrawal, as they are re-entering reality, after being away from it under the drug effect. This can be difficult for some users to deal with, and push them to use more ecstasy, which will increase the chance of a possible overdose. The ecstasy detox centers in Canada will help you or your loved one to become MDMA drug-free.
WARNING SIGNS OF OVERHEATING AND DEHYDRATING
The following are important indicators to look for: feeling very hot, unwell and confused, not being able to talk properly, headache, vomiting, not being able to urinate, or noticing that urine is thick and dark, not perspiring, even when dancing, heart rate or pulse not slowing down even when resting, fainting, collapsing or convulsing (having fits).
If these symptoms begin, then: stop dancing, tell a friend and ask them to stay with you until you feel better, ask your friend to get some cold water, and sip it slowly, splash cold water on your skin, rest in a quiet, cool area and fan your body. If symptoms continue and your body doesn’t cool down, go to the first aid region of the venue or get to a hospital immediately.
One of the more alarming facts about ecstasy is that despite the detrimental consequences, there seems to be a rise in the number of young teenagers and adults who continue to use this substance. There is also an increase in the number of overdoses that have been reported within the last five years.
One of the signs of the growing consumption of ecstasy is the increasing popularity of clubs and underground raves. These are the locations that the authorities are raiding and finding overdosed teenage victims. There is an important need to do more research and answer several more questions about the dangers of ecstasy. We must all work together in discovering means to prevent ecstasy use from taking over our teenagers’ lives.