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What Is Ecstasy? Essay

941 words - 4 pages

What is Ecstasy?In 1912, scientists created a new chemical derivative of amphetamine, 3.4-methylenedioxyemthamphetamine or MDMA, and patented it soon afterwards for use as a versatile chemical intermediate in the synthesis of other pharmaceuticals. For reasons that have been lost over time, the company that invented this compound did little to explore its own properties as a drug. In fact, there was little interest in MDMA before the 1950s. In the 1970s, many psychotherapists used as a regular part of therapy, with some calling it "penicillin for the soul" because of the way that it seemingly enhanced communication in patient sessions and supposedly allowed users to reach important, healing insights about their problems.The popularity of MDMA as "club drug" or "party drug" which was used at raves or all-night dance parities began in Europe in the late 1980s - about 5 years earlier than in the United States. It is also the same time that MDMA got a new nickname, Ecstasy (also XTC and E), given to it by the newest group to experiment with it. In great Britain and Germany researchers have found that MDMA users - and even former users who have not taken the drug for at least 6 months - perform more poorly on some tests of memory and learning than do nonusers. MDMA also is associated with psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Evidence showed that this compound was not harmless, and could caused damaging effects on serotonergic neurons. As a result, in 1985 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration added MDMA to the Schedule I list of drugs with no accepted medical use.In 1990, MDMA use began to expend rapidly in the United States with more pills going to younger populations. This upsurge in use led to an increase in drug-related problems. For instance, MDMA-related hospital emergency room incidents increased from 253 in 1994 to 4,511 in 2000. MDMA now is being used not just in urban but also in suburban and rural areas. It was often be used more than the rave party or some all-night dance party. MDMA was also used on college campuses and at small group gatherings, such as house parties. Its euphoric effects can lead to unplanned or unwanted sexual contact that increases the risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.The majority of past year Ecstasy users were young adults aged 18 to 25. The research released by the Monitoring the Future survey in the United States showed that from 2001 to 2002, rates of past year and past month Ecstasy use declined among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students, which means that for the first time in recent years Ecstasy use is declining among middle school and high school students. Unfortunately, myths about the acute effects and long-term consequences of this drug with many young people believing that MDMA is safe, offering nothing but a pleasant high for the...

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