MDMA, known also as ecstasy, XTC, X, E, Adam, Molly, Hug Beans, and Love Drug is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is very similar to the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA gives users increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others; it is also known to produce distortions in sensory and time perception. MDMA is very popular in nightclubs and at “raves.”
MDMA is taken by mouth, usually in pill form. The effects of MDMA usually last about 3 to 6 hours. Many users take multiple doses of MDMA for a longer effect. Some report taking MDMA in combination with other drugs for a multi-drug experience such as cocaine, GHB, methamphetamine, ketamine and Viagra.
MDMA effects produce an increase in activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The emotional effects of MDMA are caused by the release of large amounts of serotonin, which highly influences the user’s mood, appetite and sleep. Serotonin also triggers the release different hormones which play roles in how we perceive various social experiences, our sexual arousal, as well as love and trust. This is why users may feel emotional closeness and empathy when on MDMA drug; studies have shown that MDMA raises the levels of these hormones.
There are negative effects from taking MDMA because the brain is depleted of serotonin when the MDMA wears off. Some of these negative effects may be: confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and anxiety. These types of negative effects can occur right after taking MDMA and can continue for days and even weeks.
MDMA has many of the same physical effects as other stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. These effects are an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be very risky for people with circulatory problems and heart disease. MDMA users may also have other symptoms like muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.