Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that 4 days of exposure to the drug caused damage that persisted 6 to 7 years later.
Ecstasy is most commonly used at all night parties called “raves”.
Brain imaging research in humans indicates that MDMA causes injury to the brain, affecting neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons.
Many of the risks users face with MDMA use are similar to those found with the use of cocaine and amphetamines.
Psychological difficulties due to ecstasy include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia – during and sometimes weeks after taking MDMA.
Physical symptoms due to ecstasy include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating.
Ecstasy content varies widely, and it frequently consists of substances entirely different from MDMA, ranging from caffeine to dextromethorphan.
Emergency room data indicate that MDMA is increasingly used by marijuana users, with reports of MDMA in combination with marijuana increasing from 8 in 1990 to 796 in 1999.
Ecstasy tablets seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration increased from 13,342 in 1996 to 949,257 in 2000.
MDMA is on the U.S. Schedule I of controlled substances, and is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell in the United States.
Typical doses of ecstasy range from around 80 to 160 milligrams of MDMA when taken orally.
When ecstasy is taken by mouth, the effects manifest about 30-45 minutes later.
MDMA was first synthesized and patented in 1914 by the German drug company called Merck.
Memory tests of people who have taken Ecstasy as compared to non-drug users have shown that the Ecstasy users had lower scores.