“Ecstasy” is a slang term for MDMA, short for3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a name that’s nearly as long as the all-night parties where MDMA is often used. That's why MDMA has been called a “club drug.” It has effects similar to those of other stimulants, and it often makes the user feel like everyone is his or her friend, even when that’s not the case.
MDMA is man-made—it doesn't come from a plant like marijuana does. Other chemicals or substances—such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine—are sometimes added to, or substituted for, MDMA in Ecstasy tablets. Makers of MDMA can add anything they want to the drug, so its purity is always in question.
What Are the Common Street Names?
There are a lot of slang words for MDMA. “Ecstasy” is one of the most common. You might also hear “E,” “XTC,” “X,” “Adam,” “hug,” “beans,” “clarity,” “lover's speed,” and “love drug.”
How Is It Used?
Most MDMA abusers take a pill, tablet, or capsule. These pills can be different colors, and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some MDMA users take more than one pill at a time, called "bumping."
What Are the Effects of Ecstasy?
It is known for its energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from physical experiences.
The effect, per use, lasts from three to four hours. Its popularity grew in the late 1980s in the rave and club scenes and on college campuses because of its reputation for producing high energy and a 'trusting and opened' effect among those who take it.
What Are the Hazards of Ecstasy?
Ecstasy produces problems similar to those found among amphetamine and cocaine users. This can include:
The physical side effects that can occur while taking it can last for weeks. Users often experience muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. MDMA is very dangerous for those individuals with circulatory or heart disease, because the drug increases the heart rate and blood pressure.For those users who develop an acne like rash, an increase risk of liver damage and other side effects may result if they continue to use the drug.