Ecstasy is one of the most popular ‘club drugs’ and is most commonly produced as pills. Also known as methylene-dioxymethyl amphetamine, ecstasy is a hallucinogen manufactured illegally in home laboratories. The dose of this synthetic drug is normally 75-100 mg, its price being on the fall since few years ago.
‘The love drug’ heightens the sensual senses in the user, making him/her extremely affectionate and open to sexual encounters. This happens due to the effect of the drug on the brain activity: ecstasy causes a higher production of neurotransmitters, having the same impact as adrenaline and inducing a state of total relaxation. Ecstasy causes the most significant changes in the serotonin levels, which account amongst others for the sensitivity and emotions. Apart from the atmosphere of happiness created by Ecstasy, the hallucinogen also causes an increased heart rate.
The withdrawal effects of ecstasy involve in most of the cases feelings of depression, lasting for few hours or even days. The regular substance abusers can suffer from memory losses and deficit, due to the strong effects of prolonged ecstasy use.
Despite the fact that ecstasy’s natural colour is white, it can be found illegally on the streets in a large variety of colours, having tacky ‘brand names’ on them, such as Rolls Royce or Mitsubishi. More ‘reliable’ brand names generate more profit to the drug dealer. However, brand names can be easily falsified and in many cases, unbranded ecstasy can be of superior quality. The quality of the product depends entirely on the manufacturing process. There also is a powder version of the drug, having a yellow-brown colour and can be snorted or eaten with gelatine capsules.
Quite frequently, ecstasy users become easily addicted to the substance, requiring higher doses in order to create an illusion of reality. The more one uses, the more he/she feels the effects of speed and amphetamines, rather than the shower of euphoria expected. A sign of addiction is the amount of time spent thinking or trying to find new doses of the substance. If the time is considerably too long, considering making a change in the lifestyle might be a good option. A way to combat this addiction is by setting breaks between the uses. Moreover, the entourage that might have a negative influence of the personal way of thinking should also be avoided.
Ecstasy pills are often mixed with amphetamines, caffeine, ketamine or any other hallucinogenic substances. Ecstasy users do not like to discuss about their withdrawal symptoms, mainly because they deny having an addiction problem. Many users even pretend not to notice that their tolerance to the drug has increased and that the mood swings during withdrawal are quite powerful. Other signs of addiction are short term memory losses, and experiencing inability to concentrate on simple activities. With time, ecstasy abuse leads to deterioration of the physical and emotional health. This can include lack of appetite or inability to sleep. Consequently, the organism becomes very weak and incapable to fight (the flu for instance or other viral diseases). This might also lead to regular memory impairment and loss of desire for life.
Ecstasy is a very powerful synthetic drug and many people cannot give up the extraordinary feeling created by the substance. However, thinking what other priorities one might have in life might bring things into perspective and help one overcome the delicate situation concerning drug use. Offering support to people overcoming the withdrawal effects of drug use is not an easy thing to do: being understanding and free from any prejudices or judgemental is the best approach.