Effects of Designer Drugs, Ecstasy (MDMA) and Club Drugs


Street terms for MDMA or Ecstasy are XTC, go, X, Adam, hug drug, love drug etc. The designer drug MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or "ecstasy" is a synthetic substance with both psychedelic and stimulant effects, and it is a recreational drug. In the past, some therapists in the United States used the drug to facilitate psychotherapy. In 1988, however, MDMA became a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Currently, MDMA is predominantly a "club drug" and is commonly used at all-night dance parties known as "raves". However, recent research indicates that the use of MDMA is moving to settings other than nightclubs, such as private homes, high schools or college dorms.


MDMA is a stimulant whose psychedelic effects can last between 4 and 6 hours and is usually taken orally in pill form. The psychological effects of ecstasy include confusion, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, drug craving, and paranoia. Adverse physical effects include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, feeling faint, tremors, rapid eye movement, and sweating or chills. Because of ecstasy's ability to increase heart rate and blood pressure, an extra risk is involved with taking ecstasy for people with circulatory problems or cardiovascular disease.

Rave party attendees who take MDMA are at risk of dehydration, hyperthermia and heart or kidney failure. These risks are due to a combination of the drug's stimulant effect, which allows the person taking ecstasy to dance for long periods of time in an atmosphere that is hot and crowded. This is the typical landscape of a rave party. The combination of crowded all night dance parties and Ecstasy has resulted in numerous fatalities.

Research shows that ecstasy causes damage to the parts of the brain that are critical to thought and memory. Ecstasy increases the activity levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The drug causes the release of the neurotransmitters from their storage sites, which increases brain activity. By releasing large amounts of the neurotransmitters and also interfering with neurotransmitter synthesis, MDMA causes a significant depletion in the neurotransmitters. It takes the brain a significant length of time to rebuild the amount of serotonin and other neurotransmitters needed to perform important functions.

In addition to the dangers associated with Ecstasy itself, users are also at risk of taking a drug that is not approved by the FDA and that a person has no knowledge of what substances are actually in the drug.


Ecstasy (MDMA) is often found at nightclubs and raves. Raves first appeared in the United States in the late 1980s in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. By the early 1990s, rave parties and clubs were present in most American metropolitan areas.

Raves are characterized by high entrance fees, extensive drug use, and overcrowded dance floors. Club owners often seem to promote the use of MDMA at their clubs. They sell overpriced bottled water and sports drinks to try to manage the hyperthermia and dehydration effects of MDMA use; pacifiers to prevent involuntary teeth clenching; and menthol nasal inhalers and neon glow-sticks to enhance some of the other effects of MDMA.

Raves are usually promoted as alcohol-free events, which gives parents a false commitment of security that their children will be safe attending these parties. Truly, raves are commonly a suitable environment for sale and abuse of club drugs and other addictive substances.

Street terms for MDMA or Ecstasy are XTC, go, X, Adam, hug drug, love drug etc.
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