Medindia

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'Ecstasy' the Drug

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  August 27, 2008 at 3:52 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
These little dolls go by the name of Playboy bunnies, Adam, beans, hug, dove, and love drug, although 'ecstasy' is the name they swear by! Ectasy crumbles outer reserve and embarks the users on a magnificent mind journey by allowing them to transcend barriers. It is a journey that many wish would never end!

Ecstasy is the street name for the psychoactive drug 3,4- MethyleneDioxy-N-MethylAmphetamine or MDMA. It belongs to the class of amphetamines and has the potency to function as a stimulant, an empathogenic-entactogen or as a psychedelic substance. Its psychotic effects are far more consistent than any other drug studied and the sense of euphoria that it evokes is emphatically unique.

In the early eighties MDMA, which went by the name of 'Adam', shot to prominence in the posh nightclubs and gay dens in the United States. From there it cruized its way into mainstream society. In the late eighties and nineties, 'ecstasy' became popular in the dance-floor scenario of the UK and other European countries. From there it crept into several universities and schools and slowly seeped its way into the various strata of contemporary society.

MDMA was first manufactured and patented by the German pharmaceutical company, Merck. Today, the manufacture, sale or possession of MDMA is banned in several countries as research on animal models revealed its toxic effect on the brain.

Earlier MDMA was widely used in psychotherapy as it helped patients to come clean with their thoughts, uninhibited. Today, MDMA is used for reasons that are far removed from its original application. It is now intricately entwined with the pan-global rave culture.

Movers and Shakers

There are many who swear by 'ecstasy' for its ability to provide relaxation and for the ease with which it helps to dance the night away. The confidence level and energy, in the users, hits an all-time high; peace, acceptance and empathy descend on them in bountiful measure.

But what takes the cake is that there is a surge in their sensitivity to pleasure and a feeling of intimacy is invoked in the users, creating in them a compelling craving for touch.

MDMA enables extended hours of dancing but all is not well for these dancers. The stimulants in Ectasy, along with the warm ambiance in discothèques and dancing clubs, can cause dehydration and hyperthermia. This can lead to liver, kidney and cardiovascular failures, besides muscular break down. Some of the other effects of ecstasy are listed below-

• Involuntary teeth clenching
• Loss of inhibitions/memory/cognition
• Transfixion on sights/ sounds
• Chills and/or sweating
• Nausea
• Headaches
• Blurred vision
• Increase in heart rate / blood pressure
• Seizures
'Ecstasy' the Drug
'Ecstasy' the Drug
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Ecstasy or MDMA is known to impact the function of Serotonin Transporter protein (SERTs) by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter, thereby, depleting its level. This, in turn, may have deleterious effect on mood, appetite, learning, memory and pain.

Ecstatic Cure

Several studies are afloat in the western world regarding the effect of MDMA in controlling post-tarumatic stress disorder or cancer-related anxiety. It has been revealed that there is a reduction in disease severity in MDMA- administered patients although critics are quick to point out that the potency of MDMA has deleterious effects on the neurotransmitter pathways. They warn that the negative effects of the drug should never be ignored.

First Is Never The Last

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It is but human to succumb to a craving for sublime existence. While ectasy can transport anyone onto rapturous shores, it must be remembered that these journeys are short-lived and that the magic carpet can easily be pulled from beneath the feet.

Long-term usage of ectasy can make a person fickle and forgetful and impair his ability to make snap judgements. Although these fantasy trips takes us on the path of 'least resistance', it is our need to say 'no' the very first time because the first is, always, never the last!

Source: Medindia
Dr. REEJA THARU/L
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