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Many of the 'differing presentations' of
Ecstasy (also known as XTC,
X, E, Adam, Clarity, hug, beans, love drug)
Ecstasy (MDMA) is a man-made drug that acts as both a stimulant
and a hallucinogen (causing hallucinations or psychotic symptoms). It is taken orally as a capsule or tablet.
Its chemical structure is similar to two (2) other synthetic drugs, MDA & Methamphetamine, which are known
to cause brain damage.
Short term effects include feelings of mental stimulation,
emotional warmth & increased sexuality, enhanced sensory perception, and increased physical energy. Adverse
health effects can include nausea, chills, sweating, hyperthermia, teeth clenching, muscle cramping &
Bad Boys II
This video is an scene from 'Bad Boys II', where one of the characters
(played by 'Martin Lawrence) accidentally swallows an ecstasy tablet. While it is very humourous, the
signs & symptoms are surprisingly accurate, despite a little 'artistic licence' designed for
entertainment. In no ways does it suggest that the drug is harmless of those who consume it will behave in an
'amusing manner'. Take note of the increased emotional warmth, increased sensuality or sexuality,
dishinhibition, hyperthermia, heightened perceptions & thirst; among others.
Many of the risks users face with Ecstasy use are similar to
those found with the use of amphetamines & cocaine. They are:
difficulties including confusion, depression, sleep
problems, drug craving, severe anxiety and paranoia –
during and sometimes weeks after taking Ecstasy. Even psychotic episodes have been reported.
symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching,
nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, hyperthermia, faintness and chills
or sweating. Increases in heart rate & blood pressure are a special risk
for people with circulatory or heart disease.
Recent research findings also link Ecstasy use to long-term
damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought & memory. *In trials with monkeys, four (4) days
exposure to Ecstasy caused brain damage that was evident 6 to 7 years
Ecstasy is most often available in tablet form and is usually
ingested orally. It is also available as a powder and is sometimes snorted and occasionally smoked, but rarely
injected. Its effects last approximately 4 to 6 hours. Users of the drug say that it produces very positive
feelings, empathy for others, elimination of anxiety and extreme relaxation. Ecstasy is also said to suppress
the need to eat or drink, enabling users to endure 2 to 3 day parties. As a result, Ecstasy use sometimes
results in severe dehydration &/or exhaustion.
An ecstasy overdose is characterized by high blood pressure,
faintness, panic attacks and in more severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures and a drastic rise in body
temperature. Ecstasy overdoses can be fatal, as they may result in heart failure or extreme heat
The effects start about 20 minutes and can last for hours.
There is a ‘rush’ feeling followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being to those around,
often with a heightened perception of colour and sound. Some people actually feel sick and experience stiffening
up of arms, legs and particularly the jaw along with sensations of thirst, sleeplessness, depression and paranoia.
The prevalence of ecstasy use and abuse
in Australia is increasing rapidly. It is fast becoming the Number
One (1) illicit drug of choice, particularly amongst the young. At present it is 2nd only to
Marijuana in usage.
The very sad aspect of the age groups involved, the manner in
which it is used and the areas where it is used is that lives are seriously being put at risk. The combination
of alcohol & ecstasy is a cocktail for disaster. There have been many
reports of fatalities and near fatalities from ecstasy. Along with this is an increase in aggression &
violence, sexual assaults and extreme antisocial behaviour.
Given the side effects, the potential long term effects and the
risk to reputation and career, is it really worth it?
Ecstasy on the
Choose an image to begin
effects on the Brain
Click here for Ecstasy 'Fact
Should you have concerns regarding any issue
relating to your 'mental or physical
off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This
may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may
also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your
choice, ensure you see someone who might help.