Nicknames, Definitions & Forms Other names: Adam, XTC, E…”Ecstasy” was not coined until 1981 by an unamed member of the Los Angeles distribution network Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, is an illegal stimulant drug. It can come in the form of either a capsule, tablet, or powder. May also be snorted, smoked, Or injected.
History Synthesized in 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck as an appetite suppressant. Used in psychotherapy in 1970 for it’s “truth serum” properties It was so widespread that it was available at convenience stores under the label "sassyfras“ because one of the main ingredients is derived from the oil of the plant. Wasn’t discovered to be possibly harmful to people until 1985 via a PET scan, when it was observed to kill brain cells in animals. It was consequently dubbed a Schedule One drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, i.e. "no legitimate medical use or manufacturer" Gained national attention in 2005 with rave goers.
Immediate Effects A sense of euphoria characterized by a feeling of closeness Honest introspection Empathy Loss of inhibitions via subduing the amygdala *proportionally to body weight, women usually Experience more acute & longer effects *Effects are felt faster if taken orally on an empty Stomach where ethyl alcohol cannot subdue the Effects. Onset is felt about 20-60 minutes in.
Environment of Use Majority of use occurs in raves. Some use as a multiple-drug experience that includes marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, & other legal or illegal substances Was associated with ‘Acid House’ music in the 1980s. The Criminal Justice & Public Order Act of 1994 sought (but failed) to snuff the drug by suppressing this music.
Relation with Serotonin Serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep & sensitivity to pain, which are all altered dramatically for the E user. MDMA alters the reuptake pump inside the brain so that instead of pumping serotonin inward, it creates a continuous outflow of serotonin to the outside of the cells, which then is followed by an increase release of dopamine, causing euphoria. If this continues this can cause an exhaustionof the dopamine supply, leading to depression.
Compared to Other Drugs Unlike LSD, MDMA does not cause hallucinations Unlike opioidsor benzodiazepines, MDMA doesn't cloud consciousness even at relatively high doses Like other stimulants such as cocaine & amphetamines, MDMA may increase heart rate & BP, muscle tension, & rarely hyperthermia, which may cause liver, kidney, or cardiovascular failure
Future Developments The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been seeking funding & FDA-approval for controlled trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder. Scientists theorize that safe, long-acting MDMA analogues may prove therapeutic in the treatment of social phobia, body dysmorphia & obsessive-compulsive disorder.