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Ecstasy/MDMA

Ecstasy

Also known as

E, Doves, Pills, Mandy, XTC, Superman, Dolphins, Mitsubishis.

About

  • Ecstasy is the most common street name for MDMA (3,4Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), particularly when it is in tablet form.
  • It is an amphetamine-type stimulant which provides various effects including feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and a sense of wellbeing .
  • Increased sensual awareness, love and feeling connected to others are also commonly reported.
  • The use of ecstasy is associated with a number of unwanted effects including anxiety, paranoia, risk taking and confusion.
  • Withdrawal and comedown symptoms include low mood, low energy, difficulty concentrating, and increased anxiety.

Appearance

  • Ecstasy is normally found as a tablet or capsule.
  • The tablets are sold in a variety of different colours and shapes, often with a wide range of logos or symbols on them.
  • MDMA can also be bought in powder/crystalline form, which is normally off-white/yellowish in colour.

Method of use

  • Ecstasy is usually taken orally in tablet or capsule form.
  • In its powder form, MDMA tends to be snorted or wrapped in a cigarette paper and swallowed.

Risks

  • You can never be sure exactly what you are taking. It is rarely pure and is often mixed with other substances which can be very dangerous.
  • You increase the risk to yourself if you combine alcohol with ecstasy or other substances that cause a high.
  • Short-term risks of ecstasy can include anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia and confused states.
  • The comedown from ecstasy can cause people to feel lethargic and low in mood.
  • Long-term use has been associated with liver damage, depression and memory impairments.
  • Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control. This can lead to overheating or dehydrating, which can be fatal. Some people over compensate by drinking too much water which can be equally as dangerous.

Keeping safe

  • If you choose to use ecstasy, then use it in a safe environment and in the company of someone you trust. Ideally, this person will not have used the substance themselves and will be in a position to get help if things go wrong.
  • Take small amounts first to test strength and effects; start low and go slow.
  • The use of ecstasy with alcohol or other substances should be avoided.
  • Avoid using if you have a history of depression, heart problems or circulatory problems.
  • If using ecstasy and dancing then take regular breaks to cool down.
  • Although it is important to drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids when using ecstasy, be aware that drinking too much can also be dangerous.
  • Chew on gum to avoid grinding your teeth.
  • If you suffer from any kind of heart condition you should avoid stimulant drugs like ecstasy.
  • Ecstasy can interact with certain medications, particularly anti-depressants, and cause a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. If you regularly use any medication, do some research before using ecstasy so you are aware of the potential risks.
  • If someone is suffering bad effects like convulsions, panic attacks or unconsciousness, then seek medical attention.

Legal status

  • Ecstasy is controlled as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
  • Possession of ecstasy could result in a prison sentence of up to seven years and/or an unlimited fine
  • Supplying ecstasy to someone else could result in a prison sentence of up to life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.