Drug Abuse of MDMA or Ectasy Essay

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Drug Abuse: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy)

Drugs abound and they consist of legal and illegal drugs. There are legal drugs that become illegal as a result of abuse and sale without prescription. Other drugs though are manufactured strictly for illegal purposes and one of which is Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy). Developed in the early 1900s as an aid to psychiatric counseling though never used widely, Ecstasy came in vogues again in the club scene in the late 20th century and became even more popular in the early 2000s. Users prefer Ecstasy for the rapture and euphoria it provides; however, there are adverse side effects thereof as in any illicit drugs used. The paper deals with these side effects as well as the prevalence of the used of MDMA not only in the United States but Europe as well.

Drug Abuse: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy)

Drugs and medicines have been developed in order to provide relief from various ailments and help combat dreaded disease. This has always been the premise of drug development throughout history. But like any other developments, there are the downside of the matter and with regards to drugs, abuse thereof has been prevalent. There are drugs developed legally and for health and medical reasons, and there are drugs developed also for illicit or illegal purposes. Some of the contemporary drugs developed illegally are what is known as "club drugs." As the name implies, these drugs are " used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. Club drugs include GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, and others. [MDMA (Ecstasy), Methamphetamine, and LSD (Acid)]. (NIDA, 2010)" Majority of these drugs have been manufactured legally but then abused while there are those that are made solely for the purpose of being abused and one such drug is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or more commonly known as the street name Ecstasy or XTC. The origin of Ecstasy dates back to the early 1900s and based on two literatures, the dates vary. In the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) website (2010), MDMA was reported to have "originally been developed in 1912 by the Merck chemical company, it was never marketed as Ecstasy then." In Campbell and Rosner's journal article (2008), the drug was "first synthesized in 1914 and originally developed as an appetite suppressant; however, the compound was never used for that purpose, and in the 1970s recreational drug use with MDMA was first note."

No matter how Ecstasy has been developed for, its primary used at present is for recreational purposes.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphet-amine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is a derivative of amphetamine and a member of the phenethylamine family. A number of homologous compounds with broadly similar effects (EMCDDA, 2010) have been formulated but did not get the same amount of popularity such compared to Ecstasy. Once ingested, MDMA produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distortions in time, perception, and tactile experiences. (NIDA, 2010) These effects are quite attractive to club users because of the enhanced effect Ecstasy has while they dance the night away.

In addition to the above, Ecstasy has been the preferred drug of choice for those engaging in sexual activities for the same enhanced reason and there are those who even swear that the drug increases sexual stamina and satisfaction. This is not surprising because one of the primary effects of MDMA is on the neurons in the brain particularly those that use serotonin "to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. (NIDA, 2010)" The net result of these CNS effects is to increase acutely the levels of these neurotransmitters at the synapse. These effects on neurotransmitter levels lead to many of the effects that are induced by ecstasy use, including mood changes and thermoregulation and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. (Campbell & Rosner, 2008) Thus, the chemical components contained in MDMA changes the mood or behavior of the drug abuser from rapture, aggression, to increase….....

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