Substance Use and Abuse: What You Should Know about Ecstasy

ecstasyEcstasy, or MDMA, has a reputation for being a party drug, but the short and long term risks and side effects can be anything but a good time. Prolonged use of Ecstasy is also associated with the risk of longer-term problems with memory and learning.

A commonly used drug today and regarded as a party-starter, MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a synthetic, mind-altering drug that acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogenic. Sometimes other chemicals, such as caffeine, amphetamines, PCP, or even cocaine, are added to or substituted for MDMA, so purity is never guaranteed. You may hear this drug referred to by various names, including: Molly, XTC, Adam, Eve, clarity, hug, beans, love drug, lovers’ speed and uppers.

Aftereffects of Ecstasy Use:

Once the initial effects of Ecstasy wear off, aftereffects reported by some users are both psychological and physical:

  • Psychological:
    • Anxiety and paranoia
    • Depression
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue
    • Impaired attention, focus, and concentration
  • Physical:
    • Dizziness or vertigo
    • Loss of appetite
    • Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation
    • Insomnia
    • Aches and pains, usually from excessive physical activity, such as dancing
    • Exhaustion
    • Jaw soreness, from grinding the teeth

What are The Risks?

ecstasyThere have been assertions that Ecstasy is one of the safest drugs to use; this claim has been repeated so many times that some people actually believe it is true. A close look at the effects a user will experience, however, should let you judge for yourself.

Ecstasy is a drug that directly affects the way your brain cells communicate, which can cause users to have problems with memory or learning. Furthermore, the drug effectively compromises the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, leading to the possibility of hyperthermia, and kidney, liver, or cardiovascular failure. Other effects of this substance use and abuse include: muscle cramps, nausea, blurred vision, chills, sweating, dehydration, tremors, and in severe cases, death may occur.

This is a drug that be extremely hazardous in high doses or when a number of small doses are taken within a short time. High levels of the drug in the bloodstream can increase the risk of seizures and affect the heart’s ability to maintain its normal rhythm. Some of the detrimental psychological side effects of Ecstasy use, such as depression and severe anxiety, have been known to occur days or even weeks after taking the drug.


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