15 Nov Understanding Ecstasy Addiction

Welcome back to our Understanding Addiction series. Previously, we discussed cocaine and heroin, and part 3 of this 7 part series explores Ecstasy. Among teens and young adults, Ecstasy is one of the most popular drugs. It is the choice of drug at most raves and parties and there are about 9 million users around the world. Ecstasy actually refers to the tablet form of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a psychoactive drug part of the entactogen family (entactogen means “touching within”). It has a mood elevating effect that relaxes the user and creates a euphoric effect. It stimulates feelings of empathy, acceptance and emotional closeness. However, Ecstasy pills are rarely regulated and are often mixed with other substances and contain unknown doses. Some common street drugs are Adam, Eve, California Surprise, Molly, Lover’s speed, Scooby snacks, Hug, X, XTC, Clarity, and Essence.

Why Do People Use Ecstasy?
Since Ecstasy is the drug of choice at many parties, many young adults and teenagers begin using it in clubs and at raves. The initial effects of Ecstasy are incredible, they produce a euphoric high that can last 3-4 hours after use. Ecstasy creates a rush of serotonin and dopamine, filling the brain with positive emotions. Some effects of the drug cause people to feel more open, sensual and empathetic. The sense of touch is also exhilarated. However, as the drug wears off, the natural seratonin in the brain is depleted and can lead to depression. Ecstasy also raises a body’s temperature and heart rate, and suppresses a body’s natural defense system, and you may pass out without realizing that you were overheated. Since the drug is unregulated, and you never know how much MDMA or other substances you are getting, it is very dangerous to take ecstasy. It is often mixed with heroin, speed, LSD, caffeine, aspirin, ketamine, atropine, and other dangerous substances. If you use alcohol and ecstasy, it can lead to dehydration, worse come-downs, and even death. Most Ecstasy-related deaths also involved alcohol.

Ecstasy Statistics
About 14.2 million Americans have used Ecstasy in their lifetime, about 5% of the population. That statistic is even higher among high school seniors, and nearly 7.3% of high school seniors have used Ecstasy. Ecstasy use begins as early as 8th grade, and about 3.3% of eighth graders have used the drug. 92% of Ecstasy users eventually turn to other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. In 2009, there were about 1.1 million new users of Ecstasy in America.

Join us next week as we seek to understand Alcohol addiction.

Author: Chasity Edwards

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