Ecstasy, America's Club Drug
Teens using ecstasy are more likely than not to
attend what is known as a “rave.” Raves are parties at which a
group of teens stay up, partying, dancing, and popping ecstasy pills
all night. Scientific analysis of human
brains has shown the physiological effects of ecstasy. Comparisons
of cross sections of the brains of individuals who had used ecstasy
heavily for an extended period, but were abstinent from drugs for
at least three weeks prior to the study, to those of non-users of
the drug, clearly show the negative effects ecstasy have on
the brain's functions. Clearly the brain of the "ecstasy"
user is significantly altered.
The specific parameter being
measured is the brain's ability to bind the chemical neurotransmitter
serotonin. Serotonin is critical to normal experiences of mood, emotion,
pain, and a wide variety of other behaviors. This study shows a decrease
in the ecstasy user's ability to remove this important neurotransmitter
from the intracellular space, thereby amplifying its effects within
the brain. This decrease lasts at least three weeks after the individual
has stopped using ecstasy. Given serotonin's critical role in many
behavioral characteristics, one can speculate that this abnormality
of the serotonin system might be responsible for some of ecstasy's
long-lasting behavioral effects.
Will It Help To Remove A Teen From Their Current Environment?
"Memory has long been thought to play a role in causing relapse
to addiction. For example, the mere mention or viewing of drug paraphernalia
or places frequently visited by former drug addicts is enough to
cause addicted individuals to report intense craving for drugs that
have long been eliminated from their bodies." (National Institute
on Drug Abuse)
Ecstasy abuse is an epidemic that is sweeping the country. A teen
caught in the web of substance abuse may have a difficult time freeing
him or herself from the grasp of ecstasy, or any substance abuse,
without a complete change in their lives. An added factor that seems
to compound substance abuse issues is that of peer pressure. Even
if your teen may want to change their lives, they may not be able
to, given their present set of circumstances.
Despite numerous studies that have linked ecstasy use to brain
damage, memory loss and Parkinson's disease, the drug's popularity
continues to grow. At last count, 10 percent of U.S. high-school
students said they have tried ecstasy in the past 12 months. Some
experts believe ecstasy usage continues to grow because users distrust
the evidence concerning the drug's risks.
For more information on programs, schools and placement options
feel free to call us for help. Tried, proven and successful help
is available. Don't allow your child to continue down the path of
self-destruction. Do something now.
Slang or Street Names: Ecstasy,
XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover's Speed
MDMA was developed and patented in the early
1900's as a chemical precursor in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.
Chemically, MDMA is similar to the stimulant amphetamine and
the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA can produce both stimulant
and psychedelic effects.
MDMA is taken orally, usually in a tablet or
a capsule. MDMA's effects last approximately 3 to 6 hours,
though confusion, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and
paranoia have been reported to occur even weeks after the
drug is taken.
MDMA can produce a significant increase in
heart rate and blood pressure and a sense of alertness like
that associated with amphetamine use.
The stimulant effects of MDMA, which enable users to dance for
extended periods, may also lead to dehydration, hypertension, and
heart or kidney failure.
MDMA can be extremely dangerous in high doses. It can cause a marked
increase in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia) leading to
the muscle breakdown and kidney and cardiovascular system failure
reported in some fatal cases at raves. MDMA use may also lead to
heart attacks, strokes, and seizures in some users.
MDMA is neurotoxic. Chronic use of MDMA was found, first in laboratory
animals and more recently in humans, to produce long-lasting, perhaps
permanent, damage to the neurons that release serotonin, and consequent
Pictures may not actually be of Ecstasy