What are the negative effects of drugs like Ecstasy or Molly?

Ecstasy/Molly are MDMAs.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a type of synthetic drug made from amphetamine. Once taken, it elicits effects, such as feelings of decreased anxiety, mental stimulation, and intensified sensory perception. Moreover, it acts as an empathogen, heightening a person’s sense of compassion and empathy for others. Like most street drugs, MDMAs carry harmful risks.

Ecstasy/Molly rose in popularity among users during the 1970s to 1980s. During the said decades, it was the common drug used in concerts, clubs, raves, music festivals, and other party gatherings.

MDMA works in the body by increasing the activities of three brain chemicals regarded as neurotransmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Dopamine is responsible for regulating focus, mood, and central nervous system functions. MDMA then intensifies the energies or actions and works in the reward system by reinforcing behaviors.

Norepinephrine, the transmitter involved in the flight and fight response, works by regulating anxiety, sleep, focus, and mood. MDMA alters its normal function by increasing blood pressure and heart rate.

Serotonin ensures a stable mood and regulates other emotional functions. MDMA works by triggering hormones associated with trust and sexual arousal. Plus, it results in elevated mood, extreme closeness, boosted empathy.

Generally, people who use the drug experience feelings of openness, excitement, and increased sensation of sound, touch, and smell. MDMA effects typically start around 30 minutes upon consumption and last from 3 to 6 hours. However, most users take a second tablet or pill even before the impact of the first dose to wane.

With continued moderate use of MDMAs, a person may experience various effects, such as:

  • chills
  • nausea
  • muscle cramps
  • chills
  • sweating
  • blurred vision
  • decreased appetite
  • memory and focus problems

More common adverse effects include:

  • teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • depression and anxiety
  • irritability
  • impulsiveness
  • aggression
  • restlessness

There are more severe risks that entail when a person takes the drug, such as cardiovascular effects, impaired mental capacity, hyperthermia, and inclination to do risky behavior.

Using MDMAs regularly may lead to the heart not functioning in its full capacity. Such a condition can be hazardous if a person is engaging in strenuous activity at the same time.

During the hours when ecstasy/molly is in effect, a person also will suffer from considerable impairments with his mental capacity to process information, remember things, discern motion, and concentrate. This effect makes it hazardous to perform activities requiring focus, such as driving.

Meanwhile, in most cases, MDMAs are consumed during party gatherings, club activities, and music festivals, requiring high energy. While it boosts one’s energy, it restricts the ability of the body to regulate its temperature. If a person is exposed to strenuous activity for an extended period, it increases the chances of getting hyperthermia, wherein the body’s internal temperature rises. Such a condition must be treated immediately as it can cause the breakdown of muscles, and eventually, heart issues and kidney failure.

Lastly, a person who takes MDMA is prone to risky behavior. As his inhibition gets clouded, it results in immediate emotional attachment and the likelihood to join unsafe sexual activities, making him also vulnerable to passing sexually-transmitted infections, such as syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis, or HIV.

In severe cases, the use of MDMAs can be fatal, especially when its effects are combined with other factors, such as a humid environment, prolonged vigorous activity, and use of other drugs. Death from the drugs usually stems from cardiovascular failure, dehydration, and hyperthermia.

Spot on these warning signs that indicate a possible fatal even after the intake of MDMA:

  • profuse sweating
  • intense thirst
  • shaking chills
  • extreme muscle cramps
  • seizures
  • fainting

Such symptoms suggest an emergency. Seek medical attention immediately if a person experiences such signs after MDMA use.

More Readings:

MDMA (Wikipedia)

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