A very commonly abused drug by teens, one that falls under club drugs, is Ecstasy or MDMA. Ecstasy is a synthetic drug very similar to mescaline and methamphetamine. MDMA stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Ecstasy is known to produce feelings such as euphoria, high energy levels, distortion of perception and distortion of time. The most common shape of Ecstasy is a pill; hence it is being taken orally.
Like many mood effective drugs, Ecstasy stimulates the neurons in our brain that use serotonin. In other words serotonin bridges the gap between our neurons, and MDMA blocks the gap and terminates the communication in our brain and terminates the signal between neurons.
Ecstasy can lead to various effects:
- Sleep issues
- High energy levels
Most of these issues will appear a few days after the consumption of Ecstasy, in some cases even weeks. But this is just after one time; frequent users of Ecstasy have a high chance of brain damage leading to poor cognitive and memory tasks. What Ecstasy does to our brain if taken for a longer period of time is that it will damage the nerve terminals used by serotonin, these effects last for years. But none of this is 100% tested as most research has been done on animals and the effect on humans is not well known.
Although teens think that Ecstasy is not an addictive drug they are wrong and are a prey of an urban myth. Like most drugs Ecstasy does form an addiction, although a slighter one with 50/50 chance of being addicted. There is in fact a high rate of addiction on Ecstasy, when teens stop taking the drug symptoms like fatigue, depression, concentration issues and loss of appetite appear, which are the common symptoms of withdrawal.
Ecstasy also has other negative effects on the body, which negates the myth of it being a safe drug. It can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, nausea, faintness, excess sweating and muscle tension. With regular usage and high dosage Ecstasy is known to cause problems for our body and interfere with our ability to regulate body temperature, in some cases it can even lead to hyperthermia and that can result in liver failure, kidney failure and even failure of our cardiovascular system. The more Ecstasy is taken and with repeated intake the risks are higher.
There is no specific treatment of Ecstasy abuse. The most common form of therapy is talk therapy where the patient is learning how to change his lifestyle and the way of thinking. Early intervention is of great importance as teen Ecstasy abuse tends to get even worse and is followed by mixing of Ecstasy and alcohol and other drugs, which creates an even harder problem to deal with.