MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) was initially developed in Europe with the intention of using it as an appetite suppressant; but, the intention never materialized as a result of severe side effects derived from the drug. MDMA is a psychoactive synthetic drug with hallucinogenic and stimulant characteristics. The properties of the drug are similar to the hallucinogenic properties of LSD and amphetamine. The street name for the drug is “ecstasy”. Ingestion of the drug leads to altered perception of time, as well as, distance.
The drug was introduced into the US markets back in the 1960s and was, for some time, used to treat many psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, the drug was noted to make the effects of psychotic disorders worse instead of treating them. This led to abolishing it as a therapeutic agent soon afterwards. In the 1980s, the drug hit the streets and became popular as a result of its psychedelic effects. It is from this effect that use of this drug has increased tremendously in the last three decades. Statistics show that this substance is the most abused club drug by college students at the moment.
The majority of individuals who abuse the drug report relaxed and pleasant feelings. Ecstasy is also known to increase affection, love feelings and kindness. These effects are the most sought after by many addicts, thereby leading to increased abuse of the substance by many patients. For college students, the effects of reducing sleep and appetite are the ones that make it highly sought after.
Experts cite that the ability of the drug to reduce sleep and increase physical activity and endurance, as well as decreased fluid intake, puts the user of the drug at risk of extreme exhaustion, dehydration and, in extreme cases, death. In addition, research conducted also reveals that even patients using the substance for recreational purposes are at risk of suffering from permanent defects such as such as anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders and memory loss.
Although ecstasy abuse is not as widespread as that of narcotics, abuse of the substance is slowly increasing, especially in the previous two decades. Many hospitals have reported many cases of patients getting hospitalized as a result of abusing ecstasy. Law enforcement has also reported that MDMA is the most seized club drug. The main countries where widespread use and smuggling, manufacture and use originates from include Mexico, China and Europe. It is expected that the number of people abusing the substance to keep increasing over time.
The drug is mainly targeted at people who often go to raves, night clubs, beach parties and concerts. In addition, recent research revealed that ecstasy is also the leading club drug abused by college students and teenagers. It is estimated that almost every town in North America has had at least one ecstasy craze. In the previous decade, the number of high school students abusing the substance has also increased tremendously.
Ecstasy is a laboratory-synthesized drug. It is manufactured in illegal and uncontrolled laboratories scattered in many places. The chemicals used in manufacturing this drug are hard to obtain as a result of tough, legal regulations. Among the raw materials used to synthesize MDMA, these include: cocaine, caffeine, dextromethorphan, chalk and amphetamines.