Ecstasy is a stimulant because it increases the activity of the nervous system. The use of ecstasy is often associated with all-night dance parties or "raves", where the drug's stimulating effects give people the energy to dance for hours without feeling tired. Ecstasy can also cause hallucinations, which are imagined experiences that seem real.
People generally use ecstasy because it
- creates feelings of kindness, emotional closeness, affection, and love
- makes people feel alert, energetic, social, talkative, and cuddly
Other effects on behavior:
- loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
- jaw clenching and grinding of teeth
- some people may become anxious and agitated
Common street names: X, XTC, E, Adam, Eve, clarity, love drug, lover's speed, and peace.
How is ecstasy taken? Ecstasy is swallowed as a pill.
Risk of addiction: Possible but not common
Effects on the body: Stimulation of the nervous system by ecstasy can cause
- increased heart rate
- increased breathing rate
- increased blood pressure
- increased body temperature
- enlarged (dilated) pupils
Overdose: An overdose of ecstasy has serious risks. For one, increased energy and activity causes the heart to overwork and this can trigger heart attacks. The increased activity can also produce a dangerous rise in body temperature. This rise in temperature can cause a loss of water and the resulting dehydration can lead to seizures and even death.
How is ecstasy produced? Ecstasy is synthesized illegally by altering the chemical structure of both legal and illegal drugs. The proper chemical name of ecstasy is methylenedioxymethamphetamine, abbreviated as MDMA. The word "amphetamine" embedded within this long name tells you that ecstasy is chemically related to amphetamines. This explains why ecstasy and amphetamines have many similar effects on the body.
Can ecstasy be used legally? Ecstasy has no approved legal uses at this time.
How long does ecstasy act? The effects of ecstasy take about 20 minutes to appear and last between 4 to 6 hours, followed by a gradual comedown.
Drug tests for ecstasy: Ecstasy is detectable in the urine for up to 4 days after use.
How many students use ecstasy? About 4% of high school seniors say they have used ecstasy within the past year.