MDMA AKA ”Esctacy”
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.1,2 Typically, MDMA (an acronym for its chemical name 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is taken orally, usually in a tablet or capsule, and its effects last approximately 3 to 6 hours. The average reported dose is one to two tablets, with each tablet typically containing between 60 and 120 milligrams of MDMA.1 It is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first dose begin to fade.
MDMA can affect the brain by altering the activity of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, which enable nerve cells in the brain to communicate with one another. Research in animals has shown that MDMA in moderate to high doses can be toxic to nerve cells that contain serotonin and can cause long-lasting damage to them.1,3 Furthermore, MDMA raises body temperature. On rare but largely unpredictable occasions, this has led to severe medical consequences, including death.3,4 Also, MDMA causes the release of another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, which is likely the cause of the increase in heart rate and blood pressure that often accompanies MDMA use.5,6
Although MDMA is known universally among users as ecstasy, researchers have determined that many ecstasy tablets contain not only MDMA but also a number of other drugs or drug combinations that can be harmful as well. Adulterants found in MDMA tablets purchased on the street include methamphetamine, caffeine, the over-the-counter cough suppressant dextromethorphan, the diet drug ephedrine, and cocaine.7,8 Also, as with many other drugs of abuse, MDMA is rarely used alone. It is not uncommon for users to mix MDMA with other substances, such as alcohol and marijuana.
Brief History of MDMA
MDMA was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a parent compound to be used to synthesize other pharmaceuticals. During the 1970s, in the United States, some psychiatrists began using MDMA as a psychotherapeutic tool, despite the fact that the drug had never undergone formal clinical trials nor received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans. In fact, it was only in late 2000 that the FDA approved the first small clinical trial for MDMA that will determine if the drug can be used safely with 2 sessions of ongoing psychotherapy under carefully monitored conditions to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Nevertheless, the drug gained a small following among psychiatrists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with some even calling it “penicillin for the soul” because it was perceived to enhance communication in patient sessions and reportedly allowed users to achieve insights about their problems. It was also during this time that MDMA first started becoming available on the street. In 1985, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) banned the drug, placing it on its list of Schedule I drugs, corresponding to those substances with no proven therapeutic value.2
Is MDMA Addictive?
For some people, MDMA can be addictive. A survey of young adult and adolescent MDMA users found that 43 percent of those who reported ecstasy use met the accepted diagnostic criteria for dependence, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response), and 34 percent met the criteria for drug abuse. Almost 60 percent of people who use MDMA report withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and trouble concentrating.
Health Hazards Due to MSMA Use
What MDMA Does to the Brain-
MDMA affects the brain by increasing the activity of at least three neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers of brain cells): serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.5 Like other amphetamines, MDMA causes these neurotransmitters to be released from their storage sites in neurons, resulting in increased neurotransmitter activity. Compared to the very potent stimulant, methamphetamine, MDMA causes greater serotonin release and somewhat lesser dopamine release. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep, pain, appetite, and other behaviors. The excess release of serotonin by MDMA likely causes the mood elevating effects experienced by MDMA users. However, by releasing large amounts of serotonin, MDMA causes the brain to become significantly depleted of this important neurotransmitter, contributing to the negative behavioral aftereffects that users often experience for several days after taking MDMA.
Numerous studies in animals have demonstrated that MDMA can damage serotonin-containing neurons;1,3 some of these studies have shown these effects to be long lasting. This suggests that such damage may occur in humans as well; however, measuring serotonin damage in humans is more difficult. Studies have shown that some heavy MDMA users experience longlasting confusion, depression, and selective impairment of working memory and attention processes.20,21,22,23,24 Such memory impairments have been associated with a decrease in serotonin metabolites or other markers of serotonin function. Imaging studies in MDMA users20,22,25 have shown changes in brain activity in regions involved in cognition, emotion, and motor function.26,27,28 However, improved imaging technologies and more research are needed to confirm these findings and to elucidate the exact nature of the effects of MDMA on the human brain.
It is also important to keep in mind that many users of ecstasy may unknowingly be taking other drugs that are sold as ecstasy, and/or they may intentionally use other drugs, such as marijuana, which could contribute to these behavioral effects. Additionally, most studies in people do not have behavioral measures from before the users began taking drugs, making it difficult to rule out pre-existing conditions.21,29,30 Factors such as gender, dosage, frequency and intensity of use, age at which use began, the use of other drugs, as well as genetic and environmental factors all may play a role in some of the cognitive deficits that result from MDMA use and should be taken into consideration when studying the effects of MDMA in humans.
Given that most MDMA users are young and in their reproductive years, it is possible that some female users may be pregnant when they take MDMA, either inadvertently or intentionally because of the misperception that it is a safe drug. The potential adverse effects of MDMA on the developing fetus are of great concern. Behavioral studies in animals have found significant adverse effects on tests of learning and memory from exposure to MDMA during a developmental period equivalent to the third trimester in humans.31 However, the effects of MDMA on animals earlier in development are unclear;32,33 therefore, more research is needed to determine what the effects of MDMA are on the developing human nervous system.
Life Threatening Effects
Ecstasy forces mass amounts of serotonin (along with dopamine and norepinephrine) to bind to receptors in your brain, and basically does so in such a manner that your brain does not have time to regenerate enough serotonin for normal brain function. The more ecstasy you take, the more serotonin is used, contrary to popular belief you wont “just quit rolling when you’re empty”, your brain has large amounts of serotonin stored up that could literally allow you to continue rolling for an entire week straight, however, over medicating yourself with MDMA can have extremely adverse effects, such as temporary insanity (paranoia, hallucinations, schizophrenia), changes in mood lasting up to two weeks, moderate or severe depression (normal after effect, 5-HTP or combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 will counteract this), as well as changes in appetite, normal thought process, and a change of perception on normal every day events and decisions that usually would not be second guessed. Please enjoy ecstasy safely, and moderately and always know what you are taking, I recommend purchasing a testing kit from our online store, or from www.eztest.com – it’s a small investment, that could save your life.
Effects of MDMA
MDMA has become a popular drug, in part because of the positive effects that a person may experience within an hour or so after taking a single dose. Those effects include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, empathy toward others, a general sense of well being, and decreased anxiety. In addition, users report enhanced sensory perception as a hallmark of the MDMA experience.1,2
As noted, MDMA is not a benign drug. MDMA can produce a variety of adverse health effects, including nausea, chills, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision.2 MDMA overdose can also occur—the symptoms can include high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness and seizures.1
Because of its stimulant properties and the environments in which it is often taken, MDMA is associated with vigorous physical activity for extended periods.2 This can lead to one of the most significant, although rare, acute adverse effects—a marked rise in body temperature (hyperthermia).3,4 Treatment of hyperthermia requires prompt medical attention, as it can rapidly lead to muscle breakdown, which can in turn result in kidney failure. In addition, dehydration, hypertension, and heart failure may occur in susceptible individuals. MDMA can also reduce the pumping efficiency of the heart,6 of particular concern during periods of increased physical activity, further complicating these problems.
MDMA is rapidly absorbed into the human bloodstream, but once in the body, MDMA metabolites interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize, or break down, the drug.8 As a result, additional doses of MDMA can produce unexpectedly high blood levels, which could worsen the cardiovascular and other toxic effects of this drug. MDMA also interferes with the metabolism of other drugs, including some of the adulterants that may be found in MDMA tablets.
In the hours after taking the drug, MDMA produces significant reductions in mental abilities. These changes, particularly those affecting memory, can last for up to a week, and possibly longer in regular users. The fact that MDMA markedly impairs information processing emphasizes the potential dangers of performing complex or skilled activities, such as driving a car, while under the influence of this drug2,14.
The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA)
Over the course of a week following moderate use of the drug, many MDMA users report feeling a range of emotions, including anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and sadness that in some individuals can be as severe as true clinical depression.15 Similarly, elevated anxiety, impulsiveness, and aggression, as well as sleep disturbances, lack of appetite, and reduced interest in and pleasure from sex have been observed in regular MDMA users.16,17 Some of these disturbances may not be directly attributable to MDMA, but may be related to some of the other drugs often used in combination with MDMA, such as cocaine or marijuana, or to adulterants commonly found in MDMA tablets.
Signs of Use and Dependence
• An exaggerated feeling of great happiness or well being “euphoria”
• Reduced inhibitions
• A heightened or altered sense of sight, sound and taste
• Amphetamine like effects, with ketamine and ecstasy
• Impaired coordination
• Memory problems or loss of memory
• Increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure
• Drowsiness and loss of consciousness, with GHB and Rohypnot
How Doses of Ecstasy are Administered:
• The most popular way to administer ecstasy is orally. The majority of users looking for a longer lasting roll will swallow the pill, the onset usually takes about a half an hour to an hour before you’ll feel any effects, peak times usually take longer to occur, but the drug is more controllable and lasts longer this way. Optionally, you can chew the pill which will provide an onset time of anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes, the roll will usually not last as long as swallowing, but is sometimes more intense because the drug will enter your system faster.
• Ecstasy is also administered nasally through snorting the pill after being crushed up into fine powder and separated into small lines using a straw, rolled up dollar bill, or other device. This method will cause your nose to burn, the drug will run to the back of your throat and leave an aftertaste in your mouth, also, if the pill is not crushed up enough, chunks of the pill may become lodged in your nasal passages and may come loose even up to a few days later, which could cause you to feel the effects of the drug at a later date. This method is extremely intense because the pill is being absorbed directly into the blood stream, the onset is usually instantaneous, but the effects usually do not last more than two hours.
• Ecstasy can be smoked as well, although, burning any chemical changes the composition of it, this may cause undesirable results and is not recommended.
• Ecstasy can be injected but the risks outweigh the benefits, most modern pills contain a lot of other chemicals and may not be suitable for injection, doing so could have severe or fatal consequences.
• Ecstasy can be administered anally, which provides an onset time of about 15 – 30 minutes. This method is recommended if you do not have a large supply of ecstasy or have to share a pill with a friend, wish to feel increased results, have a hard time swallowing pills or do not like the taste, or have an irritable stomach from ecstasy ingestion. Administering ecstasy anally works the same way as administering a suppository, the pill must be pressed into the anus up to the second knuckle of your index finger, the pill will dissolve within a matter of minutes and be absorbed into the tissue and immediately enter your blood stream, you should wait however 10 – 15 minutes by laying comfortably on your side after doing so to prevent any mishaps or dislodging. This method is without question the most intense, pills will last longer and all of it will be used since the stomach acids do not have to break down any of the chemicals. If normally you require one to two pills to “blow up” or “peak”, this method will provide you the same results with only half of your normal dose.
Overdose signs, symptoms and What to Do
Ecstasy and MDMA Overdose:
One of the most popular “club” drugs in the United States and all over the world is MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Ecstasy gives feelings of euphoria and can cause hallucinations, and in large concentrations it can be dangerous or even fatal. Some of the effects of an ecstasy and MDMA overdose are:
• Feelings of intense nausea
• An inability to sweat
• Overheating that can result in death or organ damage
The chances of an ecstasy and MDMA overdose are fairly remote, as the users of this drug generally take amounts that are far below the levels that are considered fatal or dangerous. However, a person who has taken MDMA may become confused and may take too much of the drug while he or she is under the influence, and the signs of an overdose should be taken very seriously. Here is a look at a few of the potential signs and symptoms of ecstasy overdose and what do if you notice these signs in a user.
The Symptoms Of An Ecstasy Overdose:
While ecstasy is unlikely to cause death due to overdose, it can cause very unpleasant symptoms. Muscle cramps are common, as are problems urinating or sweating.
The most serious symptom of an MDMA overdose is overheating–when the body enters a state of hyperthermia, various organs and tissues can be damaged very easily. The inability to sweat is a precursor to this. Overweight people may be more susceptible to hyperthermia, and MDMA can be particularly dangerous for anyone who has existing medical conditions like asthma or other respiratory issues.
Ecstasy can be particularly dangerous when taken with other drugs, because MDMA can inhibit a drug user’s ability to limit him or herself. A person on MDMA may take much larger amounts of other recreational drugs than what that person would normally take, leading to other forms of overdose that are complicated by the MDMA still in the drug user’s system.
If you notice the symptoms of an ecstasy overdose, you should contact a physician as quickly as possible, especially if you believe that the chances of hyperthermia are high in the drug user.
How Ecstasy And MDMA Overdoses Are Treated:
Doctors will use medication and other forms of treatment to keep a drug user’s body temperature from rising too much after an ecstasy overdose. They may also treat individual symptoms like nausea and discomfort, but the emphasis will be on keeping the patient safe until the effects of the drug can have a chance to wear off.
When an emergency medical response team deals with an MDMA overdose, they will often ask for as much information about the patient’s drug use as is possible. Therefore, collecting information about what the overdosed drug user took can be very helpful. However, this can be easier said than done, as overdoses can cause people to become confused or unconscious. Nevertheless, any attempt to gather information about drug use will be helpful, and if you’re able to give the medical response team a sample of the drug that was used, it may improve the chances of successful treatment.
After an MDMA overdose occurs, drug counseling or addiction counseling may be necessary. MDMA is not particularly physically addictive, but it can be psychologically addictive due to the feelings of euphoria that the drug gives to its users. Drug addiction treatment can help to prevent another overdose from occurring, and you should consider this if you or someone you know has recently overdosed on ecstasy.
For some people, MDMA can be addictive.2 A survey of young adult and adolescent MDMA users found that 43 percent of those who reported ecstasy use met the accepted diagnostic criteria for dependence, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response).3 These results are consistent with those from similar studies in other countries that suggest a high rate of MDMA dependence among users.4 MDMA abstinence-associated withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and trouble concentrating.
Treatment for Addiction
There are no specific treatments for MDMA abuse. The most effective treatments for drug abuse and addiction are cognitive behavioral interventions that are designed to help modify the patient’s thinking, expectancies, and behaviors, and to increase skills in coping with life’s stressors. Drug abuse recovery support groups may be effective in combination with behavioral interventions to support long-term, drug-free recovery. There are currently no pharmacological treatments for dependence on MDMA.
Will ecstasy burn holes in my brain? No, there are already holes in your brain. In fact, this myth is derived from the actual process of ecstasy causing serotonin neurotransmitters to be dumped in mass quantities from the axon terminals in your brain. Studies have been concluded to show that prolonged use of the drug could cause your axon terminals to “dry up” if the supply of serotonin in them has been depleted too many times. However, these studies have been conducted on lab rats, that were administered 720mg (equivalent to 6 pills), injected into the bloodstream, every hour, for eight hours at a time, a dose that even a human, weighing over 200 times the amount of a lab rat could not withstand safely. These tests are precisely why the test results are seen as incomplete and inaccurate. The FDA is currently testing MDMA to be used as a prescription drug for post-traumatic stress disorder and victims of physical and sexual abuse to help them overcome their issues and is currently under strong consideration for the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Not to mention being legal in Canada with a prescription.
· Ecstasy is the same as MDMA. This is a highly debated statement, in the experiences of TranceSafe, ecstasy is most often sold with various other chemicals adulterated into the pills (which is why this site exists). When you buy ecstasy from someone, you are normally buying a home-made MDMA synthesis which often results in the yeild of MDA or MDE and not MDMA, to make up for the shortcomings, or to help boost yields and profits, the chemists will add other chemicals into the mixture, whereas if you purchase pure MDMA (a.k.a. Molly), you are getting “the real thing”. MDMA is still sometimes called ecstasy, but be aware that they are not typically the same thing.
· When you do ecstasy, you’re doing every drug there is! This is a popular misconception because ecstasy is often speckled and the color of a particular pill isn’t consistent all the way around. Those little white specks you see, and those little brown specs, are not signs of cocaine or heroin, but actually they’re dyes that were not mixed up properly during the creation of the pill, it’s a product of shoddy in-home lab work, thats all. You must look at the street value of other drugs, heroin, cocaine, lsd, are all drugs that cost approx 2 – 5 times more than a pill of ecstasy in the same quantities. If the manufacturer of your pill was yielding a 50,000 pill batch at the time of conception, he would be using about 6 kilos of MDMA, for one 120mg pill to be even 1/4 cocaine or heroin, he’d have to dump in 1.5 kilos of the additional drug. So, instead of the, $150 – $1000 that he has invested into those 50,000 pills, for another 1.5 kilos of cocaine, he’s invested $50,000 – $90,000 just to mix those pills and make a terrible product, rather than selling pure MDMA, or MDMA with caffeine, DXM, ephedrine or other cheaper chemicals that ARE commonly found in Ecstasy Pills.
Ecstasy kills people more than any other drug. This is simply not true, since 1990, according to the DEA there have only been 91 deaths in which the only drug in the users system is MDMA. Almost every ecstasy related death that has occurred has been from heat exhaustion (caused by not drinking water) or from a heart attack (caused by dancing or strenuous movement for long periods of time without resting). The victims of these deaths have shown in their autopsies to contain more than just MDMA (ecstasy), but significant amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and/or alcohol, which when mixed with MDMA which can disorient the user and make him/her unaware of the stress they are putting their bodies under, and unable to regulate their body temperatures. Compare these 91 people that have died in the past 17 years, as opposed to the 10,000+ alcohol related deaths that occur each year