Not since LSD in the 1960s has the world witnessed a drug phenomenon like the rapid and widespread emergence of Ecstasy. In the past five years, Ecstasy use has doubled among teens; 11% of American high school seniors now report they have tried the drug. This summer in New York City, officials seized over a million tablets in the largest Ecstasy drug bust. In Illinois, possession of fifteen tablets now carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. Enthusiasts describe Ecstasy (also known by its chemical name MDMA) as the most intense euphoria they know, while detractors maintain that it is a cause of brain damage and even death. With its growing use, Ecstasy has created an unprecedented level of controversy-and misinformation.
Merck, the German pharmaceutical company, developed ecstasy in 1912 in the process of trying to find a substance that would stop bleeding. It was not studied on its own until 1927, and then again in 1959, but no human trials were conducted. It was re-synthesized in 1967 by US pharmacologist Alexander Shulgin. For a period, with its serious side-effects unknown, it was used in psychotherapy particularly for people who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As it became better understood, this work ceased, and it was made illegal in 1985.
MDMA (ecstasy) is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogen, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences. 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.
MDMA can affect the brain by altering the activity of chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, which enable nerve cells in many regions of 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.
Overdose from ecstasy can occur. It is usually presents with a very high body temperature and blood pressure, hallucinations and an increased heartbeat. This is especially dangerous for those who have preexisting heart or lung disease and for individuals with psychiatric disorders. Although the exact cause and number of deaths from ecstasy are difficult to determine, hospital admission records indicate that ecstasy is known to cause deaths by inducing:
• bleeding in the brain
• kidney failure
• overheating of the body, dehydration
• excessive increase in blood pressure
MDMA is an addictive drug and can cause both physical and psychological dependence. Besides the side effects, the drug has severe social, behavioral and health consequences. As to who and when someone becomes addicted remains unknown. Even though long term use of MDMA is known to cause addiction, it is very likely that even short term use may cause partial dependence.
Ecstasy recovery or full treatment for the consequences of ecstasy intoxication and addiction, should include a full and complete Ecstasy Detox. As Ecstasy gets trapped deep in the body tissues, a long sauna detox sweat out program would be needed to remove the build up of these chemical residues from the body. The body has an amazing ability to repair itself and rebuild itself once there is no more threat to its survival. If you cannot stop, you need to learn what it is that makes you crave intoxication, learn how you can overcome cravings to use, and learn how to enjoy yourself without a need to get high. A period of in or outpatient treatment may provide you with the therapy and re-education you need for a better life free from ecstasy and other drug abuse.