What is Ecstasy?
Originally developed by Merck pharmaceutical company more than a century ago as MDMA, the US army used it for psychological warfare tests in 1953, doctors used it as psychotherapy medication in the 1960s, and individuals started using it in parties in the 1970s.
These days ecstasy is mostly a marketing term for drug businesses selling “ecstasy-like” substances that may actually contain very little or no MDMA. Many credible sources report that many drugs marketed as ecstasy contain substances such as dog dewormers, LSD, heroin, cocaine, rat poison, methamphetamine, and amphetamine, as well as other toxic substances.
How does Ecstasy Work?
The federal government has classified ecstasy as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, available mostly in tablet forms of a large variety of colors. It can be taken through injection, oral, inhalation, rectal, insufflation, and sublingual administration. The MDMA in ecstasy triggers psychedelic and stimulant effects first in the body, starting from the brain. MDMA does not release serotonin, but binds to and blocks the transporter that facilitates its uptake.
It also causes the body to release dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which create intense feeling of happiness and pleasure.
Unlike most schedule 1 substances tolerance to ecstasy in very rare. Researchers have found that sustained use of ecstasy can lead to development of tolerance to MDMA and its reinforcing effects. Eventually, this will lead to ecstasy abuse.
Scientists haven’t yet found out the reason and process that people develop tolerance to ecstasy, but they claim a number of traditional processes are involved. The most accepted claim is that the MDMA in ecstasy causes a mechanism relating to amphetamine derivatives known as “serotonergic neurotoxicity,” which may cause a deficit in several behavioral functions, affecting cognitive and memory skills.
What is Ecstasy Abuse?
People use ecstasy because unlike other illegal substances, it heightens feelings of sexual arousal, empathy, and love in subjects. A person that is high on ecstasy reports feeling love for all people in the room as well as overwhelming joy. Another common experience with the substance is distortion in how time passes and delights in personal senses and enjoyment of soft textures and colors.
As it creates good feeling, people tend to keep abusing it until they can’t help. Studies show that people who use the substance are also very likely to be using other intoxicants “polydrug”.
Is Ecstasy Dangerous?
As much as ecstasy abuse is not as dangerous as abusing some other Schedule 1 drugs including cocaine and heroin, it has its own dangers.
Ecstasy is of wildly variable formulation and potency; as well it is one of the illegal drugs that can kill you with a single dose. The major problem is high unpredictability, as there are a wide variety of street versions called MMDA-analogs, which are frequently infused with unknown chemicals as well as other illegal drugs that can induce serious negative effects.
The drug has fatal long and short-term effects whose potentially dangerous effects on your body tend to increase over time. In the worst scenario, you may become addicted.
Should I Stop Taking Ecstasy?
Like any other drug, ecstasy has serious side effects on users and anyone found manufacturing, selling, purchasing, or in possession will be convicted of a crime. Generally, in almost all instances the cost of using drugs is higher than benefits. Quitting drugs is always the best option.
Withdrawal from ecstasy can produce psychological symptoms and in some cases physical discomfort. But in most cases, the physical effects are not life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms include:
– Changes in self-perception
– Memory problems
– Difficulty concentrating
Who Abuses Ecstasy?
Teens who engage in partying, alcohol, and drugs are more likely to abuse ecstasy than other groups of individuals. Parents and guardians should educate teen about the dangers of this drug and look out for signs of addiction so they can take them to counselors and doctors before it takes a toll on their lives.
Ecstasy has always been a favorite drug among many clubbers as it keeps them in parting mood as it has stimulant and psychoactive properties. As much as few people ever get addicted to it, its high is psychologically addictive. Many users take too large amounts of the substance, too often, or even combine it with other drugs with dangerous results.
Regardless of whether you are a relatively new ecstasy user or an addict, sooner or later you will see a need to quit using ecstasy.
While you can quit at once or gradually on your own, seeking help from an expert could be helpful. An expert will examine your ecstasy abuse situation and create a custom plan for you, as well as offer mental support and other support if you would need. If you would like to explore more options for quitting but don’t know how you need to seek help as soon as possible from counselors and specialists.
The duration of withdrawal for individuals is different from one person to another. Withdrawal symptoms will peak within a few days of quitting for various people and last for less than a week. However, severe symptoms including cravings and depression may persist for several weeks or months.