During the 1960's and the 1970's, it was known as the "love drug." The following decade, many witnessed the popularization of the "happy drug." This drug is chemically known as MDMA, or methylenedioximetamphetamine. To many of the younger generation, it is dubbed as "Ecstasy" or "XTC." MDMA is a powerful stimulant and mood changer that accelerates your body system and modifies your perception of the world. It is not a drug created from nature, but from laboratories and garages. It can produce stimulant and psychedelic effects by flooding the brain with the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Some therapists believe that it helps people to bring out their true feelings in a peaceful and open manner. Nevertheless, the government classified it as a drug with no recorded medical use and high abuse potential.

MDMA is now illegal in the United States. The increase in the dosage of Ecstasy is partially due to the popularity of raves. Raves are underground parties that are open for nearly twelve hours. As the rave scene expands across the country, the use and distribution of MDMA increases as well. Rave's party scene has often been compared to as a religion. The DJ is the high priest of the ceremony, dancing is their meditation, and Ecstasy is their holy substance.

The atmosphere of raves is designed to be favorable to enjoying the Ecstasy experience, which are common venues for taking Ecstasy. Ecstasy, along with various drugs, is offered openly to the public. This is a familiar scene at raves and security usually takes no steps in preventing it. Raves are known for having a blind eye approach to drug taking and drug dealing. The past two years, Ecstasy has also been practiced in urban areas, especially in college towns. Many college fraternities use the drug as an aphrodisiac.

It is called the "love drug" because it is believed that the best sexual intercourse is when you are under the influence of Ecstasy. The effects have been compared to "a six hour orgasm." In addition, massages are often given to enhance the effects of Ecstasy. Every touch has been described, from users, as a hundred times better under the influence of Ecstasy. They feel a dramatic drop in their defense mechanisms and increased affection towards others. They experience a feeling of closeness with peers and a desire to be intimate with them. This results in an increase in inner arousal and physical interaction.

Another contributor to the increase of MDMA users is that it is perceived as the "happy drug." MDMA stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, from brain neurons. This produces a rush of energy and is followed by a gradual sensation. MDMA can produce stimulant effects like enhanced sense of pleasure, self-confidence, and bouncing energy. Its psychedelic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. Users of the drug claim that it causes euphoria. Feelings of apprehension are eliminated and replaced by feelings of warmth and relaxation.

Everyone is encouraged to think only "happy thoughts." At raves, everyone is neighborly and kindly offers water bottles, pacifiers, drugs, massages, and light shows to fellow ravers. Despite the negative effects of MDMA, the recreational use of the drug is increasing. Information from hype anecdotes motivates today's young adults to try the drug. Addicts, as well as potential users, needs to be correctly educated of the negative effects of MDMA. MDMA causes an almost total loss of desired actions. It increases susceptibility to several afflictions, like sore throats, colds, flu, and herpes outbreaks.

It increases impulsive and hostile behaviors, along with depression. The public needs to be aware that as much as Ecstasy intensifies happiness, it also intensifies depression and fear in the long run. Users need to understand that their high will only last for a couple of hours and that long-term health, memory, and psychological problems are a definite risk.