Known by various names, some of which are MDMA , “XTC”, “ecstasy“, this mind altering substance combines stimulant and hallucinogenic properties . In term of its chemical make up, MDMA is closely related to methamphetamine and MDA, both illicit substances. Research has linked MDMA to long term brain damage in regions of the brain that control memory and thought. Like its cousin methamphetamine, MDMA, by degrees, will damage those parts of the brain that are tasked with the creation of dopamine. This, in turn, can mean it is harder for users to maintain focus, enthusiasm and even feel positive emotion in what is known as anhedonia. Damage to Dopamine neurons has also been associated with Parkison’s disease, so that is a very real and possible consequence of the abuse of this drug.
The setting in which MMA is most often used is at clubs, raves, concerts and other raucous settings. The typical profile of the MDMA user is a young adult in their teens and twenties. The fact that it is so prevalent among young people is particularly disturbing given what we know about the sensitivity of the developing brain, and the damage this drug has been known to cause the brain.
Like with MDMA’s sister class of drugs, amphetamines, this substance can result in increased heart rate and blood pressure, and this is particularly concerning for those with circulatory issues and heart disease, or who are at a risk for it. Another system commonly found in stimulant abuse is teeth clenching , muscle tension, and sleep problems. Other physical symptoms include nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills and sweating, and faintness.
Psychological difficulties originating from the use of MDMA include epression, anxiety, paranoia, and in extreme cases, psychotic episodes.
The DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration rates this substance as a Schedule I drug meaning that it is illegal to consume or possess.