MDMA (Thizz) a Dangerous Club Drug
What Does Ecstasy do?
You don't want your kid to get his/her hands on a 'hit' of ecstasy (also known as "X", "E" and "MDMA" among many others). It is generally taken orally (through the mouth), but can be snorted (sniffed up the nose), taken intravenously (injected into the vein with a syringe), or smoked (inhaled into the lungs). Its many forms include tablets, capsule, or loose powder. This is a deadly drug and has taken the lives of too many young adults worldwide.
I will be explaining the ins and outs of the drug and what you as a parent, guardian or good neighbor should be looking for and what the consequences of using MDMA may be. Your child may know all about this drug, which means so should you!
What is Ecstacy
It is classified as a psychoactive drug, which means it is a hallucinogen (drugs that make the user see or hear things in a distorted fashion). And at the same time, it acts as an amphetamine (speeding up the bodies activities). The dangerous combination of these two elemental reactions is what draws the rave population to the drug.
Ecstasy was developed over 80 years ago, but didn't make it into the mainstream as a recreational drug until around the 1980s. Merck, a German company, first created the drug in 1912 to be used as a diet pill, however no evidence shows it ever being used in this manner.
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A chemist named Alexander Shulgin, re-created MDMA in 1965, right here in America. A small group of his friends were introduced to the drugs effects, psychiatrist were among the group. It was the psychiatrist that in the 70's started using ecstasy as an aid in psychotherapy (treatment of mental disorders). They nick-named the drug Adam, because the effects would give the impression of a blissful, innocent state like that of Adam in the Garden of Eden, prior to eating the forbidden fruit. They believed that a patient taking the drug under a doctor's watchful eye, would be able to more easily express their inner thoughts and fears.
These are the many faces of ecstasy. Recognize them for your childs safety!
Why is it Called Ecstasy?
What's in a name?
Blue Motorola, green smurf, green CK, blue lifesaver, black Mercedes and molly,; none of these are electronics, cartoons, cologne, candy, cars, or the girl next door. They are the secret names of ecstasy. The Los Angeles drug dealer who coined the term 'ecstasy', wanted to call it, "empathy", but asked, "who would know what that means?"
How would your kid answer this question?
Would you try ecstasy if your friends convinced you it was safe to take?
MDMA's street level popularity rest primarily on its psychological effect. It brings with it the constant feeling of being connected or attached. You might not feel attached or connected to other humans, but rather to the entire world. In a large group such as the rave environment, your connection to all things seems to be amplified even more so. This false sense of connection with all things loving and peaceful, can lead to dangerous situations where trust is exploited by those who have alternate motives among the club goers.
Direct implications indicate that ecstasy does in fact damage neurons. Several recent research studies show that people who use the drug have decreased amounts of serotonin metabolites in their spinal fluid, and decreased serotonin activity when the brain is measured through imaging and cognitive deficits. This is quite frightening when we consider the fact that people who are prone to mental illness, show reduced amounts of these serotoninmetabolite levels already, which correspond with depression, impulsiveness and suicide. (J. Holland M.D. 2001)
Do you know the answers to these questions? Your kids just might...
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MDMA is a Schedule 1 Drug
MDMA makes it on the hot list!
In the early 80's a drug company caught wind of the effects of MDMA and began developing it and using it for recreational purposes. At this point in its short history ecstasy was not categorized as a controlled substance under federal law and was actually a legal high. Some bars and clubs in Texas had began to sell the drug to young professionals and young adults while promoting "Ecstasy parties." At this point the hype of ecstasy started to grow in popularity throughout the United States.
In June of 1985 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) banned MDMA, placing it on the most restricted category of drugs list. This category, known as schedule 1, also harbors drugs like heroin and LSD. These schedule 1 drugs are considered to have the highest risk of abuse and offer no medical use. It is illegal to make, use or possess any schedule 1 drug while in the United States.
The Rave Ecstasy Connection
Just what the heck is a rave? Raves are illegal gatherings of huge numbers of young people at a secret location. Considered secret and illegal, because the promoters of these parties generally house them in places that are abandoned buildings, parks or night clubs that can last all night long. Legal gatherings require permits, inspections and are subject to safety regulations. The rave promoters change location regularly to avoid being caught, thus not complying with such health and safety standards.
Raves can be really large adding up to thousands of youth, dancing, drinking while a DJ spins techno-trance like music including jungle tunes that can reach 180 beats per minute. This music has a hypnotic rhythm that effects the pace of the room. Ravers (dancers) regularly turn to drugs like ecstasy to get them high so they can hypnotically dance all night long. In several recorded cases, using the drug increased the heart rate and blood pressure in ravers so much that the body overheated and succumbed, leading to unconsciousness and even death.
How does your kid know where the next rave will be?The organizers of raves begin spreading information about the next rave by word-of-mouth to prevent law enforcement from discovering the location. Unsuspecting young adults and even kids, will find colorful flyer's in local record stores, hip clothing shops or skateboard stores. With the wireless information highway, the raves have expanded from huge numbers to numbers that can rarely be counted. One text message can lend itself to the notification of hundreds of wireless-connected ravers, who send there text to another several hundred ravers and the cycle continues as such until the numbers reach into the thousands. This makes marketing these events as easy as pressing 'send'. And secretive enough to become dangerous for any one of any age.
A 2 min. 30 sec. video on the devastating results MDMA can have on the human brain and body.
Okay, so you want to get technical...
Medical Issues of Using MDMA?
The pharmacology of MDMA mostly involves two brain chemicals: serotonin and dopamine. These two chemicals work in tandem to assist nerve cells in communicating with each other in a normal manner, each of them having their own complicated neural systems and behavioral responses. MDMA uses three ways to operate inside the brain: blocking serotonin reuptake, induction of serotonin release, and induction of dopamine release. In functioning this way, MDMA acts like three separate drugs in the brain. It is like fluoxetine(think Prozac), the serotonin reuptake inhibitor and antidepressant; fenfluramine(think pondamine), the serotonin releaser (and the "fen" in "fen-fen"); and amphetamine a dopamine releaser. MDMA also can act as a monoamine oxidase (MAO1) inhibitor. All of these chemicals design our mood, emotional stability and our general state of being within our world. Any addition or subtractions from this delicate chemistry can have devastating effects on the mood and state of well being in MDMA/ecstasy users.
1It is common knowledge in the medical community that the combination of MAO inhibitors and an amphetamine can induce an increase in blood pressure called hypertensive crisis. The heart will race at such hyper life-threatening speeds that if not treated with immediate medical attention, unconsciousness and death are viable outcomes. Because ecstasy is an amphetamine, you should never take it if you take MAO inhibitors (in my opinion, you should never take it at all). Several people have died since this was discovered in 1987, even tho the information has been made available in medical literature.
Defining MDMA vs. ecstasy
MDMA is the name of the pure form (or medical grade) drug as used by the medical/psychological industry. Ecstasy is a street level drug rendered from the pure MDMA. This ecstasy is 'cut' or 'mixed' with other harmful elements making the street sales more profitable for illegal manufactures and dealers. No regulations, safety considerations, health concerns or cleanliness are considered in the making of the street level drugs. Mixing, cutting or altering the pure drug can make for many dangerous combinations that can cause heart and blood pressure to escalate resulting in unconsciousness, and on occasion even death.
MDMA in its pure form, has been studied in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs following a traumatic event. Its symptoms include continued thoughts and fears of the event, sleeplessness and flashbacks, to name a few. Some people who suffer from PTSD withdraw from society due to the debilitating effects of the symptoms.
If in fact MDM (medical grade) has a use in the mental health venue, it must be better monitored and prescribed under the most scrutinized conditions. Careful prescribing has to be the priority, due to the drug having such a high probability of abuse.
PTSD And Therapeutic MDMA
The study announced on July 20, 2010, according to the Journal of Psychopharmacology, that new preliminary research shows that MDMA (the pure form) may be helpful in treating severe cases of PTSD when used in conjunction with intensive therapy in a very controlled setting. It provides an easily controlled altered state of consciousness that medical mental health professionals desire in difficult cases.
Used under these conditions, MDMA, showed that 80% of the studied participants found resolution of their PTSD symptoms following the trial period. And a measure of the group was able to return to the workforce whereas before the trial they were unable to work at all. The study was sponsored by a nonprofit organization based out of Santa Cruz, California. The group is known for its studies in difficult-to-treat conditions.