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MDMA methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a synthetic, psychoactive drug with a chemical structure similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences. MDMA was first synthesized by a German company inpossibly to be used as an appetite suppressant.
It has been available as a street drug since the s, and use escalated in the s among college students and young adults. Then, it was most often distributed at late-night parties called "raves", nightclubs, and rock concerts. As the rave and club scene expanded to metropolitan and suburban areas across the country, MDMA use and distribution increased as well.
MDMA is frequently used in combination with other drugs. Today, the drug is still used by a broader group of people who more commonly call it Ecstasy or Molly. MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemicals serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to communicate with other neurons. Serotonin is most likely responsible for the feelings of empathy, elevated mood, and emotional closeness experienced with this drug. Overall, these neurotransmitter systems play an important role in regulating:. MDMA is most often available in tablet or capsule form and is usually ingested by mouth.
Ecstasy traffickers consistently use brand names, colors and logos as marketing tools and to distinguish their product from that of competitors. The logos may be produced to coincide with holidays or special events. Among the more popular logos are butterflies, lightning bolts, and four-leaf clovers.
It is also available as a Is ecstasy used for medical purposes and is sometimes snorted, taken as a liquid, and it is occasionally smoked but rarely injected. MDMA stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, from brain neurons producing a high that lasts from 3 to 6 hours, but the length of a high is variable based on the user.
The drug's rewarding effects vary with the individual taking it, the dose taken, purity of the MDMA, and the environment in which it is taken. MDMA can produce stimulant effects such as an enhanced sense of pleasure and self-confidence and increased energy. Its psychedelic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy.
Also, there is evidence that people who develop a rash that looks like acne after using this drug may be at risk of severe side effects, including liver damage, if they continue to use the drug. Damage to brain serotonin neurons can occur; serotonin is thought to play a role in regulating mood, memory, sleep, and appetite.
Studies are conflicting on MDMA use and its affects on memory and cognition. Research are controversial on whether MDMA can be addictive. Some people do report s and symptoms of addiction. Users may encounter problems similar to those experienced by amphetamine and cocaine users, including addiction. Research has shown that animals will self-administer MDMA, an indicator of a drug's abuse potential. After moderate use of the drug over one week, psychological and physical effects due to withdrawal may include:.
MDMA-related fatalities at raves have been reported. The stimulant effects of the drug, which enable the user to dance for extended periods, combined with the hot, crowded conditions usually found at raves can lead to dehydration, hyperthermia dangerous increase in body temperatureand heart or kidney failure. Other drugs chemically similar to Ecstasy, such as MDA methylenedioxyamphetamine, the parent drug of Ecstasy and PMA paramethoxyamphetamine, associated with fatalities in the U.
These drugs can be toxic to the Is ecstasy used for medical purposes or create additional health risks to the user. While the combination of Ecstasy with one or more of these drugs may be inherently dangerous, users might also voluntarily combine them with substances, such as marijuanaalcoholor opioidsputting themselves at Is ecstasy used for medical purposes risk of physical harm and overdose.
There are no specific treatments for MDMA addiction. Therapy is typically directed by a substance use clinic or health care provider and involve supportive care and behavioral and group therapy. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this applies to your personal circumstances. It is known commonly as Ecstasy and Molly. How is MDMA used? How is MDMA used in medicine? In the past year, 0. Ecstasy or Molly may contain other substances in addition to MDMA, including: ephedrine a stimulant dextromethorphan an OTC cough suppressant that has PCP-like effects at high doses ketamine an anesthetic used mostly by veterinarians that also has PCP-like effects caffeine bath salts synthetic cathinones cocaine methamphetamine.
Accessed Sept. National Survey of Drug Use and Health.
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