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According to the book Ecstasy: The Clinical, Pharmacological and Neurotoxicological Effects of the Drug MDMA, ecstasy (MDMA: 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a drug that has the properties of both amphetamines (stimulant drugs/medications) and mescaline (psychedelic or hallucinogenic drugs). MDMA was originally used as a therapy aid for individuals in the treatment of psychological disorders. There are currently clinical trials investigating its use for the treatment of disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder.
One of the side effects of its use is that it produces euphoria and results in individuals being very open and social. Due to its tendency to make people feel sociable and “more in tune” with others, it became a popular drug on the nightclub scene used by young adults and adolescents.
Some of the more common street names for MDMA are ecstasy, X, E, XTC,Molly,Rolls.
Based on the research link above and many other different studies, there are a number of different side effects that occur with MDMA use. These can be divided into short-term effects and long-term effects. Short-term effects are outlined below.
Over the long-term, there is evidence for some serious potential side effects.
The research is mixed on whether or not chronic use of MDMA produces physical dependence (having both the syndromes of tolerance and withdrawal). However, there is less controversy regarding the notion that MDMA is a potential drug of abuse and its chronic use/abuse can result in a substance use disorder. There is certainly the potential for chronic use of MDMA to produce a number of emotional, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that would indicate the presence of a substance use disorder. Individuals who appear to be most vulnerable to developing a substance use disorder as a result of MDMA abuse are between 16 and 24 years old.
Some of the signs an individual might be abusing MDMA include the following:
Ecstasy is a drug that is most often used in the context of socializing, especially with adolescents and younger adults. Because of the demographics of individuals who primarily use MDMA, a solid prevention program may be the most promising treatment approach. This would involve the use of high schools and universities to deliver the message regarding the facts about the dangers of ecstasy use. Peer-led advocacy groups and programs are likely the most effective means of delivery regarding prevention programs.
Certain drugs of abuse, such as alcohol, narcotic pain medications, and so forth, have well-developed and very structured approaches to treatment that are tailored for the specific factors associated with recovery from abuse of these types of drugs. There is no specific tailored approach for the treatment of MDMA abuse. Instead, the general blueprint regarding substance use disorder treatment would be the most efficient approach. This approach includes: