Ecstasy is a class A illegal substance with severe penalties if a person is found in possession or with intent to supply.

It is a synthetic drug scientifically named 3,4-methylenedioxy-n-methylamphetamine otherwise known as MDMA. This drug is a stimulant that increases brain activity releasing serotonin which affects moods, emotion, tolerance of pain, sleep and appetite. Other names for ecstasy are dolphins, disco biscuits, the love drug.

Taking ecstasy

Ecstasy will provide an energy buzz, alertness, heightened senses, increased sociability and positivity to others and talkativeness although others may find this hard to understand. These effects may seem quite appealing but there are dangerous risks. Raised body temperature and a dry mouth from dancing for long periods of time may cause dehydration to a dangerous level. Ecstasy interferes with body fluids, control mechanisms and salt balance and it’s easy to drink too much fluid causing over hydration and swelling to the brain.

Ecstasy deaths

There have been many deaths related to ecstasy and the drug also has long term effects such as mental health problems, depression and personality change due to the depletion of serotonin. Sufferers of epilepsy, depression or high blood pressure are more likely to suffer these side effects from taking ecstasy.

Is Ecstasy addictive?

Although not thought to be addictive as there appears to be no withdrawal symptoms, over time tolerance builds up and people need to take more to get an effect. Some people do become psychologically dependant feeling a need to take it even when they are aware of the harm and danger. It is scary how something that sounds like harmless fun can carry such risk and danger short term and long term. Even if not addicted, using this drug is like playing Russian Roulette especially if the user has no knowledge of the risks – which can include contaminated tablets.

Young people often give in to peer pressure and want to gain confidence so they may not question what they are taking in the heat of the moment.

It’s always helpful to teach young people about the effects and risks of this type of party drug. We can’t keep an eye on them all the time but knowledge is power and at least it can enable them to choose and hopefully say NO!