also known as MDMA is a synthetic creation that was patented by the
German pharmaceutical company Merck. Considered for its potential as a
diet pill, MDMA was soon dropped by Merck for reasons unknown. Virtually
dormant until 1953, MDMA was researched-and used-by a former pesticide
chemist named Alexander Shulgin. Shulgin was on a quest for the ideal
psychoactive drug but was frustrated by the regulations and required
trials mandated before a medication could be brought to market. Other
scientists met similar obstacles. Ecstasy abuse
came under scrutiny in 1985 when the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration banned its use due to its potential as an agent of brain
damage. It remains on the list of drugs prohibited from sale or use
until today, though the Food and Drug Administration has conducted tests
of the compound’s effect on humans. Its usage is popular at parties and
celebrities tend to be fond of the drugs, it can be heard in artist
music and seen in a number of drug related movies.
Shortly after taking ecstasy, the user may experience a positive increase in energy levels and a euphoric state of being. Feelings of emotional peace and empathy are also common among those who are high on ecstasy. When recounting what the ecstasy high is like, many users report perceived perversions in time and space, as well as in their sense of touch. Another short term effect of the drug is the suppression of certain basic physical needs, like eating, drinking and sleeping. As a consequence, contemporary “rave” parties where ecstasy is present can exceed 24 or even 48 hours in duration.
Like any drug, ecstasy can produce unexpected side effects. Some physiological effects of the drug include the following:
- Sweating and chills
- Shaking and tremors
- Muscle cramping
- Blurred vision
The side effects of ecstasy overdose are more extreme. These symptoms merit immediate medical treatment:
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme increase in body temperature
At its most extreme, ecstasy overdose may cause death by heat stroke and heart failure. Because it masks the need for food, water and rest, this substance has also been implicated in dehydration and exhaustion. While research on the long term effect of ecstasy is ongoing, certain traits are shared by regular users. For example, a 1998 study asserted that irreparable damage to serotonin neurotransmitters was observed in a subject group of users. Since serotonin levels affect learning, sleep and emotional processes, such damage can leave users severely impaired. Without proper functioning of the neurotransmitters, conditions such as depression, anxiety and memory loss are much more likely to occur. Of course, continued use can also bring about an addiction.
In : Education
Tags: "ecstasy drug"