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Many of the 'differing presentations' of Ecstasy. 




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 & blurred vision.


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:



  •  Psychological 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. 


  •  Physical 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 later. 


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 stroke.


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 'rise'





Choose an image to begin



Ecstasy - effects on the Brain


Click here for Ecstasy 'Fact Sheet'


Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick 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. 



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Michael J. Salamon, Ph.D., FICPP
Senior Psychologist/Director
ADC Psychological Services, PLLC
1728 Broadway, Suite 1
Hewlett, NY 11557







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