Ecstasy: An Overview of the Psychoactive, Mind-Altering Drug

Topics: Illegal drug trade, Drug, Amphetamine Pages: 5 (1573 words) Published: April 22, 2013
How many drugs out there are people afraid of? Quite a few because some of them have deadly side effects. Party- goers, teens, and users of ecstasy feel that the good side effects of the drug outweigh the bad and that it should be legalized. However, ecstasy should remain illegal due to its harmful nature, what it does to the user, and the negative consequences of using it. Ecstasy is a bad drug because of its negative qualities. Ecstasy’s name is 3,4-methylene-dioxy-N-methamphetamine. It is often abbreviated MDMA. Ecstasy is an illegal drug that comes in the form of a pill, powder, or tablet (“What you”). On the street ecstasy is known as XTC, X adam, E, roll, 007, lover’s speed, hug drug, bean, M, clarity, disco biscuits, and Scooby snacks. Ecstasy was developed in a laboratory in 1912 and patented in 1914 (Lopez 6). It is a synthetic drug derived from amphetamines and similar to hallucinogens and methamphetamines (Lopez 6; Schroder 13-140). Some ecstasy tablets only contain a low percentage of MDMA; instead they are filled with other drugs such as LSD, MDA, DMT, PMT, PMA, PCP, GHB, cocaine, ketamine, and cough medicine (Lopez 3). These other drugs make the negative qualities worse than if the user was taking only ecstasy alone.

Due to the high cost and location of where ecstasy is used it is increasingly dangerous to use. This psychoactive, mind-altering drug is popular because it increases openness, euphoria, loving feelings, and empathy as well as energy and stamina (Mehling 16-17; Schroder 13-24). It has stimulant and hallucinogenic properties and one pill, which is one dose, costs between twenty and forty dollars. Some of the most common and immediate side effects are dry mouth, increased heart rate, clenched teeth, blurred vision, and chills (“What you”) Ecstasy is sold everywhere that includes cities suburbs, clubs, bars, college dorms, parties, schools, hotels, and on the internet (Olive 56).

Rave parties are one of the biggest places to find ecstasy users. However, the drug is also used in small groups of friends and often in conjunction with other drugs (Schroder 15). Ecstasy is dangerous because it is used and the condition of the location. For example heat cause by movement at parties can cause high blood pressure and dehydration. The chemicals in ecstasy and what it is cut with make it so dangerous. It can be cut with large amounts of cocaine, LSD, heroin, or acid and could be completely substituted; meaning no MDMA (Olive 54).

The immediate and short term effects of ecstasy prove to be documented as a reason to avoid the use. Ecstasy takes away the sense of fear aggression, defensiveness, distorts time perception, it causes hyperactivity, and inhibits the function of the user’s lungs (Lopez 4; Kuhn, Swartzwelder, Wilson 76). The immediate side effects of ecstasy include, but are not limited to, dilated pupils, dry mouth and throat, nervousness, muscle tension, and involuntary movements. Some elevated heart rate and blood pressure, jaw clenching nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, chills, blurred vision, and extremely high body temperature. Also panic attacks, depression, paranoia, and suppressed appetite (“Ecstasy: Dancing 2”;Lopez 3-4; Kuhn, Swartzwelder, Wilson 76). These effects begin within thirty minutes of taking the dose of ecstasy and some say last from four to six hours and others say three to eight, depending on the user (“Ecstasy: Dancing 2; Lopez 2-3). High body temperature leads to dehydration which will cause the user to drink large amounts of fluids which can cause over hydration (Lopez 4; Kuhn, Swartzwelder, Wilson 76). The effects of ecstasy can continue beyond active use, which may cause permanent problems with concentration, mood, sleep, appetite, depression and muscle aches (Lopez 3). Large doses of ecstasy also destroy serotonin receptors (Kuhn, Swartzwelder, Wilson 76).

Long term affects of ecstasy use have shown to be detrimental to the user’s health. Ecstasy can cause...

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