The immediate effect of ecstasy is a feeling of euphoria. Users get a sense of well-being, invincibility and connection to others with ecstasy. Along with increased stamina, energy and alertness that are effects of most stimulant drugs, ecstasy is best known and used because of the connectivity and general sense of happiness users attribute to this drug.
Attempts at medicinal use of ecstasy are primarily due to enhanced well-being experienced by users. Believed to have possible therapeutic properties, mood enhancement medications are used frequently to treat depression and those with trauma experiences, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Its negative side effects of ecstasy make it an unlikely candidate for treatment of mood disorders or to enhance a patient’s sense of well-being.
Recreational use of XTC became popular during the advent of dance/musical events called raves. Because of the impact of special lighting and music, E promotes emotional attachment for users to the events. They report a sense of belonging to the music, the lighting, the environment and the people at the event. Users have increased energy, allowing them to participate in raves for hours on end without becoming physically depleted. The drug induces strong sense of community, many times not otherwise present for the mostly young population attending these events.
Side Effects of Ex
Problems occur at raves when the participants become too dehydrated by the physical activity and the increased strain on their hearts and respiratory systems. This increased strain can cause strokes and cardiac arrest.
More serious dangers attributed to ecstasy include stress-related disorders such as hypertension, increased heart palpitations, elevated body temperature, and rapid breathing. Loss of appetite, insomnia and jittery or nervous and talkative behaviors may ensue after use of ecstasy. Some users will experience heightened sexual stimulation and increased libido, as well as cuddling and embracing behaviors in the company of others.
Users frequently grind their teeth, explaining the use of pacifiers--such as used with infants--by those who attend raves while on Ex. Others will become agitated, irritable and argumentative, especially when coming down from the drug.
Coming down from ecstasy produces mild-to-severe depressed, leading many to use another dose. Depletion of energy causes extreme exhaustion. Lack of fluids and food may increase risk for severe drops in blood sugar, increasing exhaustion.
Over-exertion may create muscle tension, leading to torn muscle tissue and injury. This risk is also exacerbated by loss of fluids in the body of the user. As a result, cramping can be a frequent experience of users who are coming down from ecstasy.
When ecstasy is used for long periods, or in high doses, it becomes problematic in several ways. Risks of cardiac damage and elevated blood pressure exist. Users may experience psychotic features of paranoia, delusions or hallucinations under the influence of large doses. Disorientation is common, with feelings of belonging to others that may cause overly sexual behaviors.
Damage to the cognitive formation of the brain has been recognized with long-term use of E. Concentration is diminished and may not be reparable. Concentration becomes more difficult as use escalates.
Dependence on ecstasy is similar to that of other drugs classified as stimulant medications. Users begin to require higher doses to obtain the same effects. This can begin the cycle of addiction for those users who continue to take ecstasy.
Hyperthermia, caused by severe dehydration, can do serious and life-threatening damage to the heart and kidneys of the user. Many users smoke heavily when under the influence of stimulants such as ecstasy. They will, therefore, increase risk for respiratory damage on top of damage from the drug. This includes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx and lungs. Difficulty in breathing may occur.
Increased body temperature also increases risk for seizures, which have been known to be fatal.
Permanent Effects of Ecstasy
Physical damage done to the kidneys of ecstasy users can be permanent. High risk for heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure may continue to plague users long after they stop taking Ecstasy. Recovering from this damage may not be possible for some who abuse ecstasy even one time.
Permanent damage can be found in the teeth and gums of users. They may suck on their teeth, grind their teeth, or use pacifiers to suck on during ecstasy use. This dries out the tissues of the mouth, causing cavities, broken teeth and gum disease. Many users have the same dental problems seen with other stimulant drug abuse.
Damage done to the production of serotonin in the brain of users can take months to recover. Not all users will regain stability in chemical balance of the brain. They may experience long-term or permanent effects to their cognitive abilities, as well as loss of concentration and memory storage faculties.