What is it? “X”,”E”, Ecstacy or Ecstasy in its pure form is a speed like drug that has hallucinogenic properties as well. A “club” or “rave” drug, people report increased energy, heightened senses and sensuality, dis-inhibition and feelings of interpersonal closeness, even with strangers. The drug, however, is now most often a product of clandestine labs which often use any number of safe and unsafe, unknown ingredients to mimic the effect of the drug MDMA.
How does it affect the body?
N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (or MDMA for short) is the chemical name of what is referred to as Ecstasy in its pure form. The drug was banned in the 1980s by the FDA because it was considered to have no legitimate medical use. MDMA appears to trigger a dumping of serotonin into the brain which influences moods. The stimulating effect gives an initial feeling of energy and mastery. People with mood, thought or medical issues are at risk for exacerbation of these issues. Most users, regardless of health, experience a rebound downer, as it takes hours or days for the brain to replace the serotonin. Some people complain of exhaustion, moodiness, sadness and irritability after they come down from the initial high. When used in all-night party, concert, festival or rave settings, there are all the associated risks related to sexual indiscretions and regrets "the morning after," including concerns about HIV and other STDs. Inebriated all-night dancing increases the chances of dehydration. That is what is known when it is in its pure form. What is in the pill now when acquired from friends or strangers may or may not be a close imitation of the above, so it is anyone’s guess as to the effect, side effect or after effect.
- Can kindle panic or paranoid reactions
- Impaired judgment
- Rebound depression
- Sexual indiscretions and increase in HIV/STD
- Abuse potential
- Arrest and incarceration
- Unknown long term effects
- Taxes the liver and heart
How to cut back?
People who get into the habit of using Ecstasy seem to use it in association with certain settings. Most often people are tempted to switch what they use to keep up with raves and all night dancing. Others are able to just enjoy the partying without any chemical enhancement. People who find it hard to not use in these settings might do well creating alternative ways to physically challenge themselves and express their enthusiasm for life and people. If that doesn’t work, the logical next approach is seeing a counselor familiar with addictive behaviors, who can advise and support the person in developing healthier habits.