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Term Paper On Effects Of Ecstasy To The Senses, Brain, And Body.

2420 words - 10 pages

Over the course of the semester, we have explored the human senses and discovered many new things about them. We have taken a look at the different effects of natural products, such as chocolate, on our mood, as well as how viewing the earth from above can influence our perceptions of life and humanity. With the senses being such an integral part of being "human", our human curiosity leads us to always want more. People who want to get "more" out of their senses have discovered the ability to turn to a substance called methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). MDMA has been reported to have a profound affect on all of the human senses simultaneously, making it a drug of choice for people looking to broaden their view on life and enjoy their surroundings to the utmost degree. But how does MDMA do this?The drug MDMA, known by its infamous street name, "ecstasy", is a synthetic hallucinogen, which over the past 20 years has swept over the world introducing main stream culture to the sub-culture of the rave and techno music. To those who have used the drug, the name seems especially appropriate. Users facilitate words such as "euphoria" and "peaceful" in their explanation of the drug's profound effects upon the body and mind.MDMA was first developed by the German pharmaceutical company, Merck, in 1912, and then patented in 1914. It did not, however, become available on the streets until the late 1970's; when at the time it also acquired the street name "ecstasy". The word ecstasy comes from the Greek word existanai which means to "stand outside". One can relate the effects of the drug on their senses as being "outside of the body" or beyond anything imaginable. "I am absolutely clean inside, and there is nothing but pure euphoria. I have never felt so great, or believed this to be possible", said Dr. Alexander Shulgin in his book titled PiHKal.The 70's were also a time when many therapists started to use the drug for it's affects on the emotions of patients in their clinics. The effects that let the patients talk about their feelings without inhibition were viewed as breakthroughs in the field, especially with people suffering from very traumatic events such as rape or witnessing a murder. However, the increasing amount of MDMA being sold and consumed illegally outside of a clinical setting led to its scheduling in 1985 by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). It became a Schedule I illicit substance with the likes of heroin, marijuana, and LSD. Schedule I substances are those that have a high potential of abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.. Since it's scheduling in 1985, there have been almost no clinical studies done to test long term and short term effects of MDMA's use. However, as recently as 2004, the DEA has given the private foundation "MAPS" permission to conduct an FDA approved clinical study of MDMA and its therapeutic potentials (Erowid:...

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