Ecstasy: More Than a Club Drug

Ecstasy is an illegal drug that has been compared to LSD because of its effects and popularity. In some circles, ecstasy is considered the hottest drug around. Even though Ecstasy is most often associated with teen raves and dance parties,  officials say the drug (also known as MDMA) is so readily available that teens can easily buy it on the street or at school.

One in four teens has a friend or classmate who used Ecstasy, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Ecstasy is also known by the slang terms Scooby snacks, X, hug drug, love drug, B-bombs, essence, go and many others.

Ecstasy is dangerous enough on its own, but many other drugs are being sold under the name Ecstasy but are laced with other dangerous drugs such as PCP.

"When somebody tells me they've taken Ecstasy these days, I have no idea what they've taken," said Dr. Grob, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Ecstasy Basics

  • Ecstasy (or MDMA) was patented in Germany before World War I and is chemically similar to amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.
  • MDMA was classified as an illegal drug in 1985 by the Drug Enforcement Administration. It continued to be sold on the black market, and by the mid-90's, Ecstasy had become a popular "club drug" in many parts of the world.
  • Youth looking to extend the high of Ecstasy are engaging in a dangerous practice of "stacking," or using multiple doses in one night. Others combinei Ecstasy with alcohol or other drugs, which can prove fatal.
  • When someone buys Ecstasy, they can never be sure what they're taking. Impure forms of Ecstasy, laced with other drugs, are common, as are look-alike pills.
  • Dehydration and overheating are major concerns with Ecstasy use, particularly when the drug is taken at crowded dance clubs.

While the "I love you" feelings that go along with an Ecstasy trip can be enticing, there are better ways to feel excited about life than using a drug that can kill you. If you or someone you care about is using Ecstasy, talk to a counselor or Ecstasy rehab program right away.


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