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Understanding Ecstasy

The name ecstasy is the common street name of a party drug which is often abbreviated to MDMA, an achronymic that is taken from its chemical composition. It started to be known by this name in the 1980s under this name when it was legal and easily available. With the drug's illegality status many ecstasy users are buying pills mixed with other drugs which can be extremely dangerous.

Two similar drugs to ecstasy are MDEA and MDA. These drugs are both sold as ecstasy and many users are unable to tell the difference. Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that most often comes as a branded tablet and produces hallucinations and other psychoactive effects. It also produces intense feelings of empathy and has been called 'the hug drug'. It was used in the 1980s during clubs and raves as an alternative to what were considered harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Where Is It Consumed?

Unlike many other drugs users prefer to consume ecstasy at parties or nightclubs. Generally these parties tend to be called raves which tend to be all night parties. It is widely consumed in all big cities in the United States with some use in smaller college cities.

What Are Its Effects?

MDMA causes very pleasurable effects in users like enhanced energy, confidence and self-believe. The user may feel peaceful, accepting and empathetic. Individuals feel close to others and they feel the need to touch others. It can also result in being less inhibited. Negative effects of taking the drug include tightening of the jaw and clenching of the teeth, nausea and chills or sweating. The user might also experience blurry vision. Since the drug is usually used in crowded spacer where the individual might be dancing all night can be a risk factor for leading to hypothermia due to dehydration and general increases in body temperature, which can lead to kidney and cardiovascular failure. After an user has taken ecstasy they can expect the 'come-down' to be full of sleep problems and anxiety as well as depression.

It is thought that if someone uses ecstasy repeatedly he or she could damage the serotonin producing cells in the brain which play a part in regulating moods, pain, learning and memory and appetites.

Ecstasy and Fatalities

Young people can die from taking ecstasy. Sometimes they can die because the drug that is given to them is impure and has a mixture of other drugs in the pill. There are many other reasons why an user might die after taking ecstasy for the first time including a disturbance in their heart rhythm, an increase in body temperature, blood clotting so that a supply of oxygen is not possible, kidney failure, collapse of muscles which can lead to poisoning and damaging of kidneys. In the year 1995 fifteen people died in Germany after taking Ecstasy and about fifty to a hundred people have died in England from Ecstasy use since the year 1990. Ten people have died from ecstasy use in the Netherlands and nine have died in Switzerland.

How Many People Use Ecstasy?

In the United States one percent of adults and teenagers report having used MDMA at one point in their life. in Australia 4.4% of adults have reported taking ecstasy making it the highest ranking country in terms of MDMA intake in the world. Some of the other countries that take great amounts of ecstasy include Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus. The last one ranks 15th in the world along with the United States.

How is Ecstasy Used?

Ecstasy is most often consumed with other drugs like alcohol. It is very popular with teenagers and young adults including those in college and young professional. An alarming number of users also mix MDMA with heroin something which is called rolling. This is particularly popular in Miami and Orlando. This practice is dangerous because it can lead to injuries and long-term ill effects on the individual's health but it can also be considered a gateway drug into harder drugs. By the year 2000 over two-thousand people had gone to the emergency room with so sort of MDMA related emergency.

32% of teens have reported that they are close to someone who has tried ecstasy and 3.1% of eighth graders have tried ecstasy. 12th graders have also been using more ecstasy with their use increasing from 5.6% to 8.2%. That is an overall rise of 46%. 12th graders also indicated that ecstasy was much easier to buy since increased availability went from 40.1% to 51.4%. This is an 11% increase and it is the biggest one when it comes to availability that has been encountered in that particular study ever.

A lot of data reflects that ecstasy is much easier to buy today in the United States than a few years ago. It can be found both inside cities and in suburbs. In America law enforcement considers MDMA to be a huge threat to young people and to law enforcement itself. According to these agencies there has been a sharp rise when it comes to ecstasy seizures between the years of 1998 and 2000. Nearly 200,000 ecstasy tablets were confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States in the year 1998. More than a million were confiscated by the same agency during the year 1999, and about a million in the year 2000. Customs says that the seizures of MDMA have increased by about 165% between the years of 1999 and 2000. MDMA is produced mostly in Europe in Belgium and the Netherlands and smugglers get very high profit value since the drug is easy to make and expensive to buy with prices of production being only a few cents and on the streets prices for twenty to forty odd dollars. Many other criminal groups in assorted countries are also trying to get into the production and manufacturing of MDMA include Russia, Israel and other countries in Western Europe. The Dominican Republic has also been involved in investigations concerning the illegal trade and manufacturing of MDMA. MDMA is now available all over the United States and its use has spread through all coasts and into the military.