• The proper name of “ecstasy” is MDMA, which stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
  • Like other amphetamines, MDMA is a central nervous system stimulant and also hallucinogenic.
  • They slow down or depress the actions of the brain.
  • On taking MDMA, abusers may have a feeling of boundless energy and thus commonly take the drugs to help them dance for lengthy periods.
  • The truth is, MDMA depletes the serotonin in the central nervous system, causing convulsions of muscles (usually muscles of the four limbs and the neck).
  • Therefore, all those “shaking and dancing” are actually uncontrollable behaviour of the abusers.
  • MDMA is usually sold as round tablets of various colours impressed with a multitude of logos. Many MDMA tablets are adulterated with ketamine, amphetamine or methamphetamine and some are also adulterated with caffeine, phenobarbitone or methaqualone.
  • Street Name:“Ecstasy”, “E”, “XTC”, “Adam”, “Happy pill” etc.

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Adverse Effects of Ecstasy Use

  • Relate to over-exercise, which leads to dehydration, exhaustion, muscle breakdown, over-heating of the body and eventually convulsion or collapse Insomnia
  • Lead to unpleasant and frightening experiences
  • Cause sudden death from respiratory failure
  • Cause renal failure
  • Cause depression and psychosis
  • Neural cell damage

There are serious adverse consequences of abusing MDMA. These include psychological disorders, such as confusion, depression, sleep problem, anxiety and paranoia during, and sometimes weeks after taking the drug; and physical effects including muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills and sweating. Increase in heart rate and blood pressure poses a special risk, especially for people with circulatory or heart disease.

Ecstasy also causes damage to the neurons. Research findings link MDMA use to long-term damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought and memory, producing chronic disorders that range from memory loss to motor disturbances.

The strength of the drug may vary considerably and it may contain harmful impurities. Some of the purported MDMA tablets contain no MDMA but substituted with something else altogether. These substitutes may be more dependence forming (such as methamphetamine), or more prone to induce overdose (such as methaqualone at grossly elevated dosages) or having properties seemingly antagonistic to those of MDMA (such as ketamine). These variants and mixtures obviously pose serious risks for the uninformed user.

The associated reduction in inhibitions combined with a sense of invulnerability can undermine safe sex practices.

  • MDMA is a dangerous drug controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
  • It is an offence to illegally produce, possess or supply MDMA.