by Teen Drug Abuse Staff
Ecstasy is a pyschostimulantive drug used mostly by teens and young adults. Ecstasy consists of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA. Ecstasy works by affecting the concentration in the brain. This drug changes the natural effects of serotonin. The chemical serotonin is a messenger that carries signals from one nerve cell to another, which helps to modulate moods and emotions. Once this chemical has done its job, it is then sucked back into the cell that created it by a protein called serotonin transporters. Ecstasy works by disenabling the transporter protein, and at the same time opening the flood gates so that all the brains serotonin is released in one glorious gush.
There have been many publications claming that ecstasy is a safe, recreational drug. Many party goers and rave enthusiasts support this claim. Unfortunately, there are no references to prove or even support this idea. In fact, most scientific studies show the opposite in that the drug is harmful.
Studies of ecstasy users show that there are risks in the safety and reduction in the brain activity, due to the loss of serotonin levels going up and down so drastically. Long periods of ecstasy use indicate that the increases of MDMA may be fun at first but very toxic to the brain, and can cause damage to the body and brain cells.
Here are some consequences caused by long periods of use:
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
These are some of the deadly things that can happen from the prolonged use of ecstasy. We as parents need to look for signs and get word out about these effects and symptoms. This may help keep teenagers from trying other illicit drugs and abusing alcohol.
What are some common street names for ecstasy? Some slang words include:
- Lovers Speed
- The Love Drug
These are just a few street names for ecstasy. If you ever over hear these names in your child’s conversations or your teen uses any of these slang words, you had better confront them about the use of ecstasy and its many dangers.
One of the more alarming facts about ecstasy is that despite the detrimental consequences, there seems to be an increase in the amount of young teenagers and adults who continue to use this drug. There is also an increase in the number of overdoses that have been reported within the last five years.
One of the indicators of the use of ecstasy is the growing popularity of clubs and underground raves. These are the places that the police are raiding and finding overdosed teenage victims. There is a great need to do more research and answer many more questions about the dangers of ecstasy. We must all work together in finding ways to prevent ecstasy use from taking over our teenager’s lives.
National Institute of Drug Abuse. NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin—Club Drugs (http://www.drugabuse.gov/ClubAlert/ClubdrugAlert.html): Bethesda, MD: NIDA, NIH, and DHHS. Retrieved June 2003.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA InfoFacts: High School and Youth Trends (http://www.drugabuse.gov/Infofax/HSYouthtrends.html): Bethesda, MD: NIDA, NIH, DHHS. Retrieved June 2003.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Neurobiology of Ecstasy, Slide Teaching Packet IV (http://www.drugabuse.gov/pubs/teaching/Teaching4/Teaching.html): Bethesda, MD: NIDA, NIH, DHHS, 2001.
Adolescent Forensic Health Service. Abstract: research in MDMA, Known as Ecstasy. Royal Children’s Hospital.