What it is:
An illegal recreational psychoactive drug, usually taken in the form of a tablet. Standard doses range from 60-120mg; higher doses carry increased risk of overdose or death.
What it does:
- Produces warm feelings of empathy and euphoria
- Enhances or distorts sensory perception
- Increases alertness and energy
- Increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Decreases appetite
- Effects are felt 30-45 minutes after dose, peak 60-90 minutes after dose and hold for approximately 2 hours, then taper and disappear 4-6 hours after dose
- Jitteriness, teeth-clenching, dry mouth, muscle cramping, nausea
- Increased body temperature can lead to dehydration, muscle breakdown, or kidney failure that can be fatal. Exacerbated by hot environments with physical activity, such as raves or concerts.
- Over-hydrating in response to high body temperature can lead to headache, nausea, vomiting, seizure, and brain-swelling, and can be fatal
- Heart attack, stroke, or seizure
- Psychological consequences after use may include depression, irritability, aggression, panic attacks, paranoia, and impaired memory
- Possible permanent damage to dopamine or serotonin neurons in the brain
- Ecstasy purchased on the street is frequently impure and may be laced with cocaine, heroin, PCP, or toxic chemicals
Effects of combining ecstasy with other drugs:
- Stimulant effects of ecstasy may mask sedative symptoms of alcohol intoxication, blocking the body’s signals that too much alcohol has been consumed. This increases likelihood of alcohol overdose.
- Alcohol exacerbates the dehydrating effects of ecstasy.
- Opiates (OxyContin, Vicodin, heroin, etc.)
- Similarly to alcohol, the sedative effects of opiates can be masked by the stimulant effects of ecstasy, making it more difficult to recognize symptoms of overdose.
- Amphetamines or Stimulants (ADHD medications or cocaine):
- Highly increased risk of overdose
- May lead to cognitive decline, specifically memory impairment