Ecstasy And What It Can Do To Its User.

913 words - 4 pages

The buzz about X (Ecstasy) is reaching an all-time high. Since 1997, teen use of this drug has grown more than any other drug, according to Monitoring the Future, a research group tracking youth behavior; approximately 10.5 percent of 12th graders say they've tried X in the last year.Ecstasy is supposed to bring about a feeling of euphoria. It shuts off parts of your brain and supplants an extended dose of adrenaline and seratonin (that stuff in chocolate that makes you feel good) so you're happy and carefree -- or feel nothing at all. But a recent Johns Hopkins University study shows that over an extended period of time, Ecstasy gradually destroys parts of the brain that regulate memory, sleep, sexual function and moods.What else do we know about X? Below, the experts answer your questions.What is Ecstasy?Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA, also known as X, E, Adam and Roll. It can make you have warm and fuzzy feelings for just about anyone-whether it's your boyfriend or the Quickie-Mart cashier. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), however, has no love for the stuff: It made X a Schedule 1 drug, which-like cocaine and pot-is an illegal substance that the DEA says has the highest potential for abuse.Where did it come from?Back in 1912, Merck, a German pharmaceutical company, stumbled upon MDMA while developing a new antibleeding medication. The drug sat around unused for 60 years until some researchers found it could alter mood or behavior ("psychoactive" is the technical term). By the early 1980s, psychotherapists were giving it to their patients to help them loosen up and talk about their feelings. And in Texas, where it was dubbed "Ecstasy" for the first time, it could even be legally bought at bars and clubs just for fun. In 1985, the DEA outlawed the drug, but underground X labs have popped up all over the world to feed the raging demand.How does X make you feel?That depends-on how much you take (a typical one-pill dose is 60 mg to 120 mg); how pure it is (Ecstasy is sometimes mixed with substances like ephedrine or LSD); and your state of mind at the time. You might feel: a big-time mood lift; an intense bond with anyone you happen to run into; a rush of energy; the urge to talk your head off; or happy hallucinations. But the chances are pretty good that you'll also experience: panic attacks; teeth grinding; chills; sweats; muscle tension; confusion; nausea; headache; scary hallucinations; a loss of appetite; an increase in thirst; or a post-trip hangover that can last for days.Why do people call it the "Love Drug"?Ecstasy triggers a big blast of the brain chemical serotonin, which puts you in a great mood in a hurry....

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