Ecstasy (MDMA) is both a stimulant (amphetamine-like) and mild calming (tranquilizing) substance. Ecstasy is also called Adam, XTC, hug, Go, Disco Biscuit, beans, and the love drug. Ecstasy pills often have a logo, such as cartoon characters, stamped on them. This drug is most often taken as a pill, but the powder form is sometimes snorted or, rarely, injected into a vein.
Ecstasy is popular among teens and young adults who attend all-night dance parties or raves. The stimulant effects help the person dance for long periods of time without getting tired. Ecstasy is said to enhance the sense of pleasure and boost self-confidence. Its hallucinogenic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. People who use the drug claim they experience feelings of closeness with other people and want to touch or hug others.
Ecstasy causes muscle tension and jaw-clenching, which has led to the use of baby pacifiers to reduce this discomfort. It also causes nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. In high doses ecstasy can cause a sharp increase in body temperature, leading to dehydration, muscle breakdown, kidney failure, or heart failure and death. A person who does not drink extra water can become severely dehydrated. When ecstasy is used with alcohol, the effects can be more harmful.
Ecstasy can cause confusion, depression, sleep problems, and severe anxiety that may last weeks after taking the drug. Over time, use of ecstasy can lead to thought and memory problems. If a rash that looks like acne develops after using ecstasy, the person may be at risk for liver damage by continuing use of the drug.
Ecstasy usually does not last in a person's system longer than 12 to 16 hours, and many general drug screening tests do not detect it unless it is specifically targeted.
Signs of use
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.
Most Popular Topics
Pill Identifier on RxList
- quick, easy,
Find a Local Pharmacy
- including 24 hour, pharmacies