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What Is Ecstasy?

The popular name for MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It is regarded as one of the most popular club drugs in the world today. One of the few illicit drugs not derived from a natural substance, Ecstasy gets its name from the feeling of euphoria that most users say they enjoy when taking the drug.

Ecstasy, a combination of methamphetamine or amphetamine and hallucinogen, officially hit the party scene sometime in the late 70s and early 80s. Over the last 15 years, ecstasy abuse and ecstasy addiction has become increasingly widespread, especially at raves.

The Basics

What it is, what does it look like, how is purity determined, what common drugs sold as ecstasy

Ecstasy is sold in a white, yellow, or brown tablet or capsule. It is also available in powder form. Some users crunch it up and snort it. It may be stamped with an image, which gives it a candy-like appearance. Ecstasy is known as the "love drug," X, or XTC on the street. Learn more about the basics... of using ecstasy.

Effects of Ecstasy

What it does, the physical and mental effects while high, what happens in the brain, after-effects of using ecstasy.

Ecstasy is a stimulant that produces a feeling of well-being when taken. It makes the user feel more comfortable in social situations. These feelings may last for between one and six hours. After use, the individual may feel irritable, depressed, anxious, or have memory problems. Learn more about the effects... of doing ecstasy.

Ecstasy Dosage and Amounts Taken

How much ecstasy will cause an overdose? What is a lethal dose of the drug?

The usual dosage for ecstasy is 100-125 mg. An issue with ecstasy dosage is that the purchaser doesn't know what other substances the drug has been laced with. Sometimes the substance being sold as ecstasy is something completely different.

Dangers and Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy Abuse

Risk of overdose, dehydration, what are the long term effects of use?

Since ecstasy increases heart rate and blood pressure, it can lead to heart problems or stroke. Dehydration is another danger of ecstasy use, since it is commonly associated with use at dance clubs where users may be partying for extended periods. Memory loss is another danger of ecstasy use. Learn more about the dangers and long term effects... of ecstasy abuse.

Ecstasy Addiction & Tolerance

How addictive is it? Is addiction a myth? Do I have a problem? Signs and symptoms of ecstasy abuse and dependency.

The person who takes ecstasy continues to use it to recreate the good feelings associated with the drug. Taking a higher dose won't increase the feeling of well-being, even though the ecstasy user might think so. Learn more about ecstasy addiction... and the effects of long-term use.

Ecstasy Overdose Symptoms, Signs, and What to Do

What are the signs of an overdose? What to do if you spot symptoms of an ecstasy overdose.

A person who is experiencing an ecstasy overdose may feel faint or have a panic attack. An overdose may cause an increase in body temperature or seizures. Heat stroke is a definite possibility.

We recommend that you call your local emergency line or any of the US poison control centers and addiction resources listed in our drug emergencies resource page if you or someone you are with is possibly experiencing an OD. Please consider seeking treatment once the emergency is neutralized

Mixing with Other Drugs

What are the effects of mixing ecstasy with alcohol, amphetamines, cannabis, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, tobacco and other drugs?

Combining ecstasy with medications that affect the level of serotonin in the body, such as certain types of antidepressants, can be toxic. Taking cocaine or other stimulants gives the body an extra dose of something that will increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Learn more about mixing... ecstasy and other substances.

Drug Tests and Detox

What are the detection times? How long does ecstasy stay in my system? Will I pass an ecstasy drug test?

Ecstasy can be detected for up to four days after the most recent dose. Many ecstasy addicts report no significant amount of time needed to be spent on detox centers after entering a treatment facility. Learn more about ecstasy drug testing and how long it takes to detox... from ecstasy.

Legality, The Laws of Possession, Use, and Distribution

Is ecstasy illegal? I got caught with ecstasy, am I going to jail? How long are sentences for ecstasy dealers; what about just possession for recreational use? Is it a felony?

Under U.S. law, ecstasy is an illegal substance. It's a crime to make, distribute, possess, buy or sell it. Ecstasy is also an illegal drug in the U.K. Learn more about the legal and criminal aspects... of the drug.

Spiritual or Medicinal Use

Can ecstasy be used for purposes other than recreational, like spiritual or medicinal?

At one time, ecstasy was used by some psychotherapists to help their clients get a different perspective on their lives, deal with emotional problems or access repressed memories.

In the Media

How is ecstasy portrayed in the media? Pop culture and ecstasy in the mainstream press

Because of its popularity, there is considerable media coverage about MDMA. From scientific to sensational and celebrity, below are a few examples of ecstasy in the press.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ecstasy addictive? What causes ecstasy deaths? How long does ecstasy remain in the body?

A number of questions are commonly asked about ecstasy and its effects, its origins. From the ordinary and logical line of questions to the often bizarre, we present answers to questions... about this drug.

Sample questions posed by visitors to the site:

» Is there a safe way to take E?

» Will ecstasy affect my sex life?

» How do you know its genuine ecstasy you're taking?

Related Site Links

» the gallery: 'dolphin' ecstasy pills

» the gallery: 'fbi' ecstasy pills

» the gallery: selection of ecstasy pills

» the gallery: '007' ecstasy pills

» articles: the politics of XTC

» articles: a brief history of raving

» articles: e therapy

» articles: famous users: ecstasy

Offsite Links

» ecstasy@erowid.org massive resource

» thedea.org very good site, including an ecstasy user's guide

» ecstasy testing kits international buy online

» ecstasy.org the late Nicolas Saunders's comprehensive site (inactive)

» dancesafe.org essential harm reduction site

» ecstasy in the uk Peter McDermott on the rise of E in the UK

» ecstasy & parkinson's disease extensive review of the evidence

Related News Stories

View Treatment Centers Find Local Treatment Centers Now Learn more now
» Interview with Alexanda Shulgin (New York Times, 1995)

» Ecstasy In The UK (The Face, 2001)

 
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