Ecstasy was first discovered in 1914. However, no medical use was found for it. It was then used by therapists as a way of encouraging feelings and diffusing anger.
Ecstasy is sold in a variety of coloured tablets, often with a design on them, or capsules and sometimes in liquid or powder form. Since it is all made illegally, the user cannot be sure of what they are buying. Some 'E's have no trace of the drug in them at all, but most samples contain varying amounts of MDMA or other closely related drugs.
method of use
Swallowed or snorted.
The effects begin 20–40 minutes after taking the drug and peak at 60–90 minutes, sometimes longer. The effects usually start to wear off after 3–4 hours.
Ecstasy gives effects similar to amphetamine. It makes the user feel more energetic, suppresses sleep and appetite, raises blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Ecstasy also gives the user some gentle effects similar to LSD such as serenity and calm and an increase in the sensitivity of touch and hearing.
This is all without any strong hallucinations, although some people experience a heightened sex-drive as a result and some experience a tendency towards repetitive behaviours.
There have been over 100 recorded deaths of ecstasy users since 1988, and there are also many people who have experienced unpleasant consequences from using E in large doses or over a long period of time.
E is a stimulant and makes the user able to dance longer, making them hot. E also raises the body temperature itself and makes the user hotter still.
Dancing in a hot sweaty club and not taking rests or drinking lots of fluids (but never alcohol with Ecstasy) can easily lead to heat stroke. This is serious and has killed many people. Watch out for a failure to sweat, perhaps with cramps, dizziness or nausea which could signal if an attack was coming.
There have been reports of allergic reactions, resulting in death, from having taken what was meant to be MDMA.
Long term use could lead to signs of liver damage in some people.
E affects the chemistry of the brain and it appears that those who use the drug regularly over a long period find the negative effects (insomnia, anxiety, depression and paranoia) take over from the more positive ones.
Recent reports suggest regular users may be at risk from long-term brain damage.
Although it is important to drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids when using drugs in a hot club, drinking too much can kill. A user dancing in a hot club should sip only one pint of water per hour, not more, and eat something salty to replace lost body salts.
Remember to take time out and cool down.
Ecstasy is a class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.