MDMA - Street NamesEcstasy, Adam, XTC, hug, beans, love drug
Side EffectsHyperthermia (increased body temperature), Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, Involuntary Teeth Clenching, Nausea, Blurred Vision, Faintness, Chills or Sweating, Confusion, Depression, Sleep Problems, Drug Craving, Severe Anxiety
General InformationMDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam, XTC, hug, beans, and love drug. In 2002, an estimated 676,000 people in the U.S. age 12 and older used MDMA.*
Research in animals indicates that MDMA is neurotoxic; whether or not this is also true in humans is currently an area of intense investigation. MDMA can also be dangerous to health and, on rare occasions, lethal.
MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain.
Cognitive EffectsChronic users of MDMA perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA, among other factors.
Physical EffectsIn high doses, MDMA can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure.
Because MDMA can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short intervals.
Users of MDMA face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.
Psychological EffectsThese can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur during and sometimes days or weeks after taking MDMA
Hidden Risk: Drug PurityOther drugs chemically similar to MDMA, such as MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine, the parent drug of MDMA) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine, associated with fatalities in the U.S. and Australia) are sometimes sold as ecstasy. These drugs can be neurotoxic or create additional health risks to the user. Also, ecstasy tablets may contain other substances in addition to MDMA, such as ephedrine (a stimulant); dextromethorphan (DXM, a cough suppressant that has PCP-like effects at high doses); ketamine (an anesthetic used mostly by veterinarians that also has PCP-like effects); caffeine; cocaine; and methamphetamine. While the combination of MDMA with one or more of these drugs may be inherently dangerous, users might also combine them with substances such as marijuana and alcohol, putting themselves at further physical risk.
Notes* The 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), produced by DHHS's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, creates a new baseline for future national drug use trends. The survey is based on interviews with 68,126 respondents who were interviewed in their homes. The interviews represent 98 percent of the U.S. population age 12 and older. Not included in the survey are persons in the active military, in prisons, or other institutionalized populations, or who are homeless. Findings from the 2002 NSDUH are available online at www.DrugAbuseStatistics.samhsa.gov.
-This text came from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)