Whether you are a parent, a teenager, an average person, or a regular user of ecstasy, there is a good chance that you probably do not know many facts about the drug. It has become a part of our society, but it is one that we tend not to think about too much.
In this article, we look at a variety of questions and answers about ecstasy, which should help you to understand the drug, its effects, and everything else about it in a little more detail.
What Is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy, E, X, or XTC is actually based on a drug called MDMA. This drug is a mild hallucinogen, and unlike some drugs, it is one that can only be created in a lab. It has not grown, or derived from a plant or any other organic material.
Is Ecstasy Used In Medicine?
Ecstasy is not used in medicine. However, there have been some, particularly in the psychology field, who have suggested that it might be useful as a possible treatment for certain diseases or disorders.
Because ecstasy is illegal, however, no official testing with regards to its potential has taken place.
What Does Ecstasy Do?
Ecstasy works on the brain, stimulating the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals, like serotonin. It takes between a half an hour and forty-five minutes for the user to feel the first effects of the drug, but once they do, they experience a sensation of euphoria.
The name ecstasy comes directly from the experience that most users have – they feel happy, ‘in love’ with the world in general, and in touch with themselves and those around them.
However, just like any other drug, some users have reported having ‘bad trips.’ They find themselves feeling anxious, or panicked, and there may even be unpleasant physical effects.
How Long Does an Ecstasy ‘High’ Last?
The high that ecstasy gives to users typically lasts for between one and a half to two hours, with the peak of the experience occurring roughly in the middle of the experience.
What Does Ecstasy Look Like?
In its purest form, MDMA, the drug that ecstasy is based on, is a white powder. However, this powder is blended with other ingredients, and then pressed into tablets, or poured into capsules. Tablets and capsules may be any colour, and many have a picture or symbol pressed or printed onto them.
What Are the After Effects of Ecstasy?
Most ecstasy users report experiencing what they call a ‘come down’ after taking the drug. This experience may leave them feeling tired, depressing, or anxious. It may also include physical symptoms, like dry mouth, abdominal distress, or even shivering.
Long term, there is some concern that because ecstasy works directly on user’s brains, they may cause brain damage in some form. However, so far, because ecstasy is still relatively new, and many studies are not complete, there is no concrete evidence to support or refute this.
Is Ecstasy Dangerous?
Yes. Ecstasy is dangerous for several reasons. First, users often drink a lot of water, to counteract the known risk of dehydration. However, if they drink water, and not an electrolyte blend, they run the risk of depleting essential salts in their bodies, and a condition known as over hydration.
Then there is the risk of overdose. Because ecstasy is illegal, and therefore unregulated, there is no way of knowing exactly how much MDMA is in each tablet. Users can unwittingly overdose, even if they take the same number of tablets they ‘usually’ take.
Finally, there is the risk that there may be other dangerous substances in the ecstasy tablet itself. These can include anything from other drugs, like LSD, to toxic substances. Again, because ecstasy production is illegal, there are no guarantees, and there is no telling what is in a tablet!
How Illegal Is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy is considered a class a drug in the UK, and a schedule 1 drug in the US. This puts it in the same category as heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs.
Possession of ecstasy could land you in prison, and production and selling of ecstasy can carry as much as a life sentence.
Is Ecstasy Addictive?
Ecstasy is not considered to be addictive in the same way that heroin, for instance, is addictive. Users will generally not experience the symptoms of physical addiction associated with those types of drugs, but they can become addicted to the feeling it gives them, and use more frequently as a result.
Who Uses Ecstasy?
Ecstasy used to be associated with people who attended ‘raves.’ However, these days, the average ecstasy user is as likely to be a forty-year-old executive partying with friends, as he or she is to be a high school student.
You cannot tell just by looking who uses ecstasy or not. There are no tell tale signs, like yellow fingers (associated with marijuana smokers), or track marks (associated with heroin and other intravenous drug users.
In fact, the only way to be sure whether someone does, or has recently, used ecstasy, is to perform a drug test.
Ecstasy is often thought to be harmless. It is seen as a designer drug, used by social drug users – rather than something that a ‘junkie’ would use. However, it can be just as dangerous – even deadly. So whether you choose to use it or not, remember that it could kill you if you are not careful!
There are programs in most countries that will advise you on the risks, and how you can mitigate them, but remember that even though those programs are designed to save lives, they do not make the drug legal. If you are caught possessing it, you can still get in a lot of trouble!