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Article Summary

Signs of Ecstasy Abuse

Ecstasy, or MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is an illegal synthetic drug that has psychoactive properties. It is a stimulant and a tranquilizing substance. Its other names include hug, X, XTC, Adam, beans, the love drug, go, and Disco Biscuit. Initially, ecstasy was common among young adults and teens who often attend raves or all-night dance parties. However the drug is now abused in college dorms, house parties, and many other places and this has made it to become more popular.

Once taken, the pill boosts a person's confidence and enhances his sense of pleasure. The drug has hallucinogenic effects which include feelings of empathy, peacefulness, and acceptance. Ecstasy users claim the drug makes them experience feelings of closeness with others and makes them want to hug or touch other people.

How Ecstasy Is Used

Ecstasy is mostly taken orally in form of pills. The pills often have logos imprinted on them such as cartoon characters, Mercedes benz logos, among others. The drug is also snorted, occasionally smoked, and on very rare occasions injected into the veins. Some users of the drug take it anally which they refer to as "shafting" or "plugging." Other users take ecstasy through the "parachute method." They place the pill on a napkin, crush it, and then swallow the napkin so as to quicken the drug's onset. Ecstasy can also be obtained in powder form. The average dose of ecstasy is one to two pills. Each tablet contains about 60 to 120 milligrams of the drug. Many users of ecstasy will take a second dose when the effects of the initial dose start to wear off.

Signs of Ecstasy Abuse

To find out if someone you know is abusing ecstasy, look out for any of these signs:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Presence of a skin rash that looks like acne
  • The person wears a pacifier around their neck at clubs or during parties.
  • The individual is always consuming small colored pills or carries the pills in their bag or pocket. The drug may be in form of candy necklaces on stretchy strings. Look out for pills stamped with cartoon logos or other logos such as the Mercedes auto logo.
  • The person is not aware of pain due to ecstasy abuse. If the person gets hurt, he does not realize it.
  • The individual has multiple sexual partners. This is because the drug makes a person feel like they are in love with someone even if they just met them.
  • The person is always craving for the drug and continues to use it despite the negative effects it brings.

When taken, ecstasy causes jaw-clenching and muscle tension. This has made many users of the drug to use baby pacifiers in order to lessen their discomfort. Ecstasy also causes chills and nausea. The ecstasy user may have dilated pupils, a dry mouth, tense muscles, and may be overly alert for the circumstances.

Ecstasy makes a person to feel enhanced pleasure from physical experiences and to experience distortions in time. A person who takes the drug can dance all night due to increased levels of energy. When taken, the drug causes an individual's body to heat up. When this is combined with many hours of dancing in a warm atmosphere, it makes a person's temperature to reach lethal levels. Dance clubs whose clients use ecstasy often have a "chill room" where users can cool off as they drink cold water. If the person's temperature goes extremely high, organ breakdown occurs and this results in death.

When a person is addicted to ecstasy, they will continue using the drug and going to dance parties and clubs regardless of the negative consequences it brings. While many ecstasy users believe that ecstasy contains only MDMA, researchers have found that ecstasy contains drug combinations or a number of different drugs that can be quite harmful. Ecstasy pills bought by users from the streets include drugs like cocaine, dextromethorphan (over-the-counter cough medication), caffeine, methamphetamine, and ephedrine (a diet drug). As with other abused drugs, users of ecstasy often mix the drug with substances such as marijuana and alcohol in order to get more "high."

The symptoms of ecstasy abuse can be difficult to pinpoint or may be pronounced. By knowing the signs of ecstasy abuse, you will be able to know if a person close to you is abusing the drug and step in before it's too late.

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