Ecstasy


Ecstasy, America's Club Drug. Teens using Ecstasy are more likely than not attending what is known as a rave. Raves are parties at which a group of teens stay up, partying, dancing, and popping Ecstasy pills all night. Scientific analysis of human brains has shown the physiological effects of Ecstasy. Comparisons of cross sections of the brains of individuals who had used Ecstasy heavily for an extended period, but was abstinent from drugs for at least three weeks prior to the study, to those of non-users of the drug, clearly show the negative effects that Ecstasy has on the brain's functions. Clearly the brain of the "Ecstasy" user is significantly altered.

The specific parameter being measured is the brain's ability to bind the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is critical to normal experiences of mood, emotion, pain, and a wide variety of other behaviors. This study shows a decrease in the Ecstasy user's ability to remove this important neurotransmitter from the intracellular space, thereby amplifying its effects within the brain. This decrease lasts at least three weeks after the individual has stopped using Ecstasy. Given serotonin's critical role in many behavioral characteristics, one can speculate that this abnormality of the serotonin system might be responsible for some of Ecstasy's long-lasting behavioral effects.

Will It Help To Remove A Teen From Their Current Environment? "Memory has long been thought to play a role in causing relapse to addiction. For example, the mere mention or viewing of drug paraphernalia or places frequently visited by former drug addicts is enough to cause addicted individuals to report intense craving for drugs that have long been eliminated from their bodies." (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Ecstasy abuse is an epidemic that is sweeping the country. A teen caught in the web of substance abuse may have a difficult time freeing him or herself from the grasp of Ecstasy, or any substance abuse, without a complete change in their lives. An added factor that seems to compound substance abuse issues is that of peer pressure. Even if your teen may want to change their lives, they may not be able to, given their present set of circumstances.

Despite numerous studies that have linked Ecstasy use to brain damage, memory loss and Parkinson's disease, the drug's popularity continues to grow. At last count, 10 percent of U.S. high-school students said they have tried Ecstasy in the past 12 months. Some experts believe Ecstasy usage continues to grow because users distrust the evidence concerning the drug's risks.

For more information on programs, schools and placement options feel free to call us for help. Tried, proven and successful help is available. Don't allow your child to continue down the path of self-destruction. Do something now.

Slang or Street Names:

Ecstasy, XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover's Speed

MDMA was developed and patented in the early 1900's as a chemical precursor in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals. Chemically, MDMA is similar to the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA can produce both stimulant and psychedelic effects.

MDMA is taken orally, usually in a tablet or a capsule. MDMA's effects last approximately 3 to 6 hours, though confusion, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and paranoia have been reported to occur even weeks after the drug is taken.

MDMA can produce a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure and a sense of alertness like that associated with amphetamine use.

The stimulant effects of MDMA, which enable users to dance for extended periods, may also lead to dehydration, hypertension, and heart or kidney failure.

MDMA can be extremely dangerous in high doses. It can cause a marked increase in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia) leading to the muscle breakdown and kidney and cardiovascular system failure reported in some fatal cases at raves. MDMA use may also lead to heart attacks, strokes, and seizures in some users.

MDMA is neurotoxic. Chronic use of MDMA was found, first in laboratory animals and more recently in humans, to produce long-lasting, perhaps permanent, damage to the neurons that release serotonin, and consequent memory impairment.