The name of it may sound appealing, but the potential risks are the exact opposite.
Ecstasy, a drug that is more formally known as methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, is readily available at parties and music festivals. Those are the same social gatherings your kids go to.
You’re probably not going to stop them from going to parties, but educating yourself and your children about MDMA facts can prevent them from potential harm or worse.
If you or someone you love is already abusing ecstasy, then getting them treatment is a good option.
Here are some key MDMA and ecstasy facts you should know:
1. Its Use is Growing
MDMA is on the rise among young people. And we’re not just talking about young adults. A survey of drug use among youth revealed that 17 million people as young as age 12 have tried MDMA at least once.
That number from 2014 was about six million higher than the survey results from 2004. More data from 2016 shows that almost three percent of 12th graders used the drug in the past year.
That trend is not unique to the U.S. Reports from the U.K. show a similar rise in MDMA use among younger people overseas.
2. The Powder is Not Pure
A version of MDMA known as Molly is sold as capsules or even as a white powder. It was said to be a “pure” form of MDMA as opposed to Ecstasy pills, but that claim is not true despite its appearance.
The truth is, you can’t tell for sure if what you’re taking is pure Molly. There could be a number of other potentially harmful substances mixed in with it. And even if it is pure, the effects of MDMA can land you in a hospital or even cause death.
3. Users Can Build Tolerance
Science hasn’t proven whether MDMA is physically addictive. But it may take higher doses over time to achieve the same results as you build a tolerance to the drug. That may lead to you using more, and high doses of MDMA can have a range of serious effects.
Using too much too often may also mean there are no euphoric effects at all anymore. However, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer dangerous.
4. It’s Improperly Used For Depression
Some people use it as a way to lift themselves out of depression. The effects of MDMA on depression are being studied, but there’s no regulated use of the drug for mental illness.
If you’re already treating depression with antidepressants, using MDMA can add to the potential side effects of the drug. What’s more is that MDMA can affect the chemicals in your brain, actually causing depression days after using it.
5. It Causes Serotonin Syndrome
Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is associated with happiness. However, taking drugs like ecstasy cause the levels of this chemical to spike, which can have negative side effects.
Serotonin syndrome typically happens when you first start taking a drug or increase the dosage. This can result in high blood pressure, a racing heartbeat, sweating, shivering, headache, and diarrhea.
Other unpleasant or serious side effects from MDMA use include nausea, muscle cramps, and blurred vision.
6. The Effects Can Last For Hours
The ecstasy pill can change your perception and you can lose track of time. However, the effects can last up to seven hours or more. That’s assuming what you’re taking is pure MDMA – the lasting effects can be different if there are other substances hiding in the mix.
7. It Can Bring Back Trauma
While the primary draw of ecstasy is to feel euphoric and full of love, the drug can also lead you down a rabbit hole of bad memories.
Because the drug is often a hallucinogen, it can conjure up experiences that you’d rather forget about. That could mean reliving the trauma. It may also make you imagine things that aren’t really there.
8. It Can Lead To Memory Loss
While the drug can cause you to remember bad experiences, it can also lower your capacity to remember.
One of the negative effects on the brain from heavier use of MDMA is memory loss, which was first noted in 1991. Since that time, other tests have shown that frequent ecstasy users have less capacity for memory than non-users.
Other long-term side effects from regular use of MDMA can include depression, insomnia, decreased appetite, and lowered libido.
9. It Carries a Heavy Penalty
Ecstasy is actually in the same class of drugs as heroin, LSD and magic mushrooms. Drugs in this class are deemed to have no medical value but pose a high risk of abuse.
The penalties for possessing MDMA can vary by state. But possessing just a small amount can land you in jail for a year while distributing the substance can result in multiple years in prison for a first offense.
Keep in mind that many states have no minimum age for criminal responsibility. Meaning even if you’re still a kid in most people’s eyes, the law may see it differently.
10. It Can Lead to Death
While there are fewer deaths related to MDMA compared to other drugs, the numbers are still quite high.
The drug can lead to death in a few different ways. You can end up dehydrated, which can raise your core temperature to lethal levels. This is a medical condition known as hyperthermia.
Interestingly, some people using MDMA actually die from drinking too much water. This is because the drug also shuts down urination.
The drug can also affect your heart’s rhythm, which can lead to a fatal heart attack.
Know Your Ecstasy Facts
Learning more about the party drug and how it can affect the brain and body is an important first step. You should also aware that combining MDMA with other drugs including alcohol can increase the risk of overdose.
However, sometimes it takes more than ecstasy facts to stop the problem. Sometimes a professional is needed.
If you need mental health treatment including drug abuse recovery, contact us today to see how we can help you.