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- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
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- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
The Club Drug
Ecstasy is a widely used drug that many people are not educated enough about. The use of among teens is growing at an alarming rate. Ecstasy is also known as MDMA, 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or most popular “the club drug.” It belongs to a family of drugs called "entactogens," which literally means "touching within." It was first made at a lab in Germany in 1912 as a chemical for making more useful drugs later on. The chemicals that made up ecstasy were put back on the shelf until about 1950. In the early 1950’s, the military thought it could be used as a chemical agent used to make chemical weapons. It was found that the chemicals were non-toxic and had no importance to the military. Before ecstasy was made illegal in 1985, psychiatrists used it as a therapeutic tool to relax patients. There has been a rumor that was tested for mind control purposes, or as a “truth drug,” but there is no actual evidence of that. Ecstasy’s use has increased almost fifty percent in just one year and has doubled in the last five years. While pot remains the drug most used by teens, the “club drug” ecstasy is rapidly gaining in popularity.
Ecstasy is a "mood elevator" that produces a relaxed, euphoric state. The drug takes effect twenty to forty minutes after taking a tablet, with little rushes of exhilaration, which can be accompanied by nausea. Sixty to ninety minutes after taking the drug, the user feels the peak effects. Sensations are enhanced and the user experiences increased feelings of empathy, emotional warmth, and self-acceptance. Users report that the experience is very pleasant and highly controllable. Even at the peak of the effect, people can usually deal with important matters. The effect that makes ecstasy different from other drugs is empathy, the sensation of understanding and accepting others.
Ecstasy is almost always swallowed as a tablet or capsule. A normal dose is around 100-125 mg. Ecstasy tablets vary widely in strength, and often contain other drugs. Ecstasy is not physically addictive, however, the drug can often take on great importance in people's lives, and some people become rather compulsive in their use. If taken too frequently ecstasy loses its special effect. Ecstasy releases the brain chemical serotonin, elevating mood and acting as a short-term antidepressant. Compulsive users may be unconsciously trying to self-medicate for depression.
There are many consequences in taking, selling, or even carrying an ecstasy pill. Ecstasy is illegal and a conviction for possession can carry long prison sentences. There have been several deaths associated with ecstasy due to the raise in body temperature and dehydration, which causes heatstroke and can lead to death. Many people feel that since ecstasy is not an addictive substance then it’s ok to use without the risk of suffering consequences. It seems that ecstasy is great since you feel that it makes you feel good, increases self-esteem, and just makes you feel like there is no care in the world. The truth is that the effects can be horrible and even deadly.
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Drug culture, Substituted amphetamines, Euphoriants, TAAR1 agonists, Methamphetamines, 1, 3-Benzodioxolylbutanamine, MDMA, Empathogen-entactogen, Ecstasy, Religious ecstasy, Club drug, Drug user
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