Renaissance Ranch

Ecstasy: An Overview

Jan 16, 2013


Ecstasy is the common name for MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). It is an illegal, addictive substance that has no legal use. Ecstasy is a popular recreational drug, making an appearance at places like raves, parties, and concerts, but it carries dangerous side effects. As it gains popularity, ecstasy is cropping up more frequently and in a wider variety of situations.




Ecstasy was first manufactured in the 1970s to be used as a psychotherapeutic drug. It never received FDA approval, however, and in 1985 it was made illegal. It is classified as a Schedule 1bsubstance, which means that the drug carries a high potential for abuse and has no known medical benefit. It is a synthetic chemical derived from the sassafras tree and is now one of the most readily available drugs.




Ecstasy stimulates an increase in production of three neurotransmitters in the brain: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This gives the user an increased amount of energy, euphoria, and enhanced mood. Ecstasy is sometimes referred to as the “love drug” because it makes people feel happy, relaxed, and more empathetic towards others. Users feel an increase in trust and emotional closeness.


In addition to these seemingly positive effects, ecstasy also causes the brain to exhaust its reserves of serotonin, and this is where the problem begins. Once the drug has run its course, the person using it is left with depression, confusion, anxiety, and sleep problems. The initial euphoria usually lasts around 3-4 hours, but the negative side effects last for days or even weeks.



Ecstasy is produced in pill form and is usually swallowed, though some users of the drug prefer to crush it and inject it or snort it. It can also be inserted into the anus in pill form. It can come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and is often “branded” with a designer symbol. Many people who use the drug will do back-to-back doses to extend its effects. Ecstasy is commonly used with other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine and Viagra.