Ecstasy is the common name for the illegal synthetic drug called methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) which has long term and short term affects, that I will explain in more detail in this report. It is both a stimulant and a hallucinogen, since it speeds up the workings of the central nervous system and alters the user’s perception of reality1. Ecstasy is commonly used as a mood enhancer at parties and bars and nightclubs. In high doses, ecstasy can cause seizures and vomiting or may contribute to death; the most common cause of drug death is from ecstasy. This occur when the drug is taken resulting in the thinning of the blood. The affect of the blood thinning can cause severe haemorrhaging, leading to possible death in the worst cases. More than half of a ecstasy users have had at least one bad experience. Common slang terms for ecstasy include the ‘Love Drug’, ‘E’ and ‘Eckies’. The effects of ecstasy are usually felt about 20 minutes to an hour after it is taken and last for around six hours. The comedown (or return to normal as the drug leave the body) may one to two days or up to a week2. These days users cannot find pure MDMA because the pills are mixed or replaced with synthetic cathinone, the chemicals in bath salts. Some of the ecstasy pills and tablets have also been found to contain caffeine, dextromethorphan, amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine3. In this report I will discuss about Why do people take Ecstasy and what are its effects to help rich the conclusion about whether this drug should stay illegal or not.
How do people take ecstasy? Most people take Ecstasy in the form of a tablet, pill, capsule, which can be swallowed, and are easier and more convenient than any other form at a party because it is easily portable and less obvious; but it can come in powder form as well4. In addition, some of the users do crush them and smoke or snort them. MDMA powder can also be dabbed onto the gums. Ecstasy pills come in different colours and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them5.
What effects does it have on the human body? What effects does it have on the human mind and emotions? Ecstasy produces a euphoric feeling, which lasts approximately 3-8 hours. The drug can affect the brain and body in many ways.6 Chemicals that been used to make ecstasy cannot be considered safe once people inject ecstasy pills. The user’s body goes through a series of chemical reactions that can have short and long term affects. Long-term damages and effects are 7
• Liver damage
• Kidney damage
• Brain damage
• Heart failure
• Depression (only use infrequently maintain good diet avoid if prone to depression)
How does it effect on users brain? MDMA can affect the brain by increasing the activity of at least three neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers of brain cells) 8serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine9. MDMA causes greater release of serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep, pain, appetite, and other behaviours. The excess release of serotonin by MDMA likely causes the mood-elevating effects people experience.10
More people have experience issues with the drug firsthand, negative and even harmful side effects have been clear:11
• the loss of full control of body movements
• dry mouth
• muscle tension
• mild intoxication
(Bridge of Hope, 2017)
The behaviour and physical changes both can be signs of ecstasy addiction, which will appear after first time or second time of taking this drug.
Studies have shown that some heavy MDMA users also experience mental and emotional problems that are long lasting including confusion, depression and problems with memory and attention12.Users can feel the increasing heart rate, increase confidence, jaw clenching, teeth grinding they also experience the feeling of wellbeing, Nausea and sweating usually after 20 minutes13. Higher quantities do not appear to enhance the desirable effects and may cause 14
• Irrational or bizarre behaviour
What are the short-term effects of ecstasy? Ecstasy has short-term effects, which will appear after 24 hours. Short-term effects of ecstasy are not that effective as long term is, but it is include the following affects: 15
• Muscle tension
• Severe anxiety
• Faintness and chills or swelling
• Sleep problem16
• False sense of affection17
Is Ecstasy addictive? MDMA targets the same neurotransmitters that are targeted by other addictive drugs. Ecstasy can be addictive. If users use too much of ecstasy they may become tolerant to the drug’s effects, which means they need to take more and more of it to feel the drug’s effect18. Some users experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms after regular use of the drug is reduced or stopped such as fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, trouble concentrating and other harmful affects, which users will experience them after taking the drug. These experiences make them feel like they need to get more of this drug so they can get rid of the drug’s effects. While developing an addiction to ecstasy the users exhibit a high risk taking behaviour, which is one of the biggest dangers of ecstasy19. The users tend to engage in highly risky activities like climbing on the rooftops due to the psychedelic state and false euphoria caused by the drug20. Today users often cannot find pure MDMA and they are taking a mix of wide variety of drug, which are addictive21. Evermore, some of the users take few pills at once because they think the effects of them will stay for the long time; however, this action might kill them.
(Given that it is against the law, and its effects are potentially bad) Why do people take Ecstasy? People take drugs because they want to forget or change something in their lives. Teenagers and adults who go to clubs, concerts or rave parties and music festivals mostly use ecstasy because they think it will make them feel good and give them energy for the rest of the day without getting rest22. Here are some reasons that young people have given for taking drugs:23
• To fit in
• To escape or relax
• To relieve boredom
• To seem growth up and experiment
• To rebel
Ecstasy users think taking drugs is the best solution to their problems and they can forget their problems that they have in their lives but eventually, taking drugs becomes their habit. Because drugs have harmful effects and some of the people might get addicted to the drug, this can become one of the main problem in their lives.
What are the laws around illicit drugs such as this?
Laws for ecstasy in Australia Ecstasy is one of the illicit drugs. Federal and state laws provide rules for contain, using, making or selling ecstasy. In Victoria, Australia penalties, rages are between $2000 fine and/or one year imprisonment for cultivation (if court is satisfied that the offence is not related to trafficking), $3000 and/or one year’s prison for possession/use (not relating to trafficking) to fines up to 250000 and/or 25 years prison for commercial trafficking24. Possession can get you to seven years in jail and supplying someone else including your friends can get your life and an unlimited fine.25
40 per cent of young people in South Australia population use ecstasy compared with 25 per cent nationally26. Usually they take it weekly or even more frequently, it was also found that they were more likely that rest of the country to take it in larger amount.
How does the habit of taking Ecstasy affect people’s lives? Drug use have some strong impact on your life in ways that you might not expect. Drug can effect on user’s behaviour, emotion and relationship with their parents and friends. Some of the illicit drugs, like amphetamines and ecstasy can increase the likelihood of acting in a violent way, or being the victim of violence. Ecstasy make users feel low after using some drugs is common (including alcohol). This can be due to the effect of the drug itself or because of things that happened when you were using them. Using drug can make the users become a homeless, their parents threatened to kick you out of home, or you might finding it hard to pay your rent, buying food, or having the money to buy medicine when you get sick. ecstasy drug can have effect on user’s education, keeping up with your assignments and concentrating in class are two examples of how your study can be affected by drug use and you might not immediately notice the impact that.
You may finding it difficult to live about taking drugs. When you use drugs there is a risk that you will become addicted/ dependent on them, which means that might feel like you can not live without it or that you are spending a lot of time and energy to search and use the drug. Another sign of dependence can be when you start taking more drug as a way to cope, or avoid the symptoms related to the comedown.
Methylendioxymethamphetamine/ ecstasy is a Class A drug and is illegal to have, give away or sell. However, it makes users feel alert and alive and gives them energy for a limited time and on its own, it is not a drug that makes people violent but it has a harmful effect on the human body, especially on the brain after 30 minutes. Ecstasy is an illicit drug and mostly teenagers and adults use this drug at parties, discos, music festivals or nightclubs; it usually comes in form of pills and capsules. Ecstasy or Molly make people happy and give them energy for the rest of the day without getting rest. However, they do not know that they are putting themselves in a very dangers level of risk. There are both short-term effects (elevated mood27) and long-term effects (brain damage28 )that ecstasy has on body, which are not pleasant, and users will try to take more to remove and to get rid of those affects. In addition, because users cannot find the pure MDMA29they will get addicted to the other chemicals in the pills, which are cocaine, heroin etc, which can be very dangerous for the users. This drug has to remain illegal and banded and make heavy fines for the people who are using and making them.