Ecstasy is one of the street names for MDMA (the chemical name is N-Methyl-3, 4-). MDMA is an amphetamine like drug with hallucinogenic properties. People taking the drug get a sense of increased energy, euphoria and a curious feeling of empathy. While we know something about the short-term effects of ecstasy use, we do not have a very good understanding of the long-term effects.

The short-term effects of the drug are related to the amount taken. If the dose used is relatively high, there is a danger in the short-term of seizures and heart-rhythm abnormalities. Ecstasy also can cause an increase in body temperature (called hyperthermia). This can cause difficulties if the drug is taken during strenuous exercise (such as dancing).

The common practice of drinking large amounts of bottled water can lead to a reduced amount of sodium in the blood. This is called and, if severe, can cause neurological problems. There have been a number of deaths reported in people taking the drug. The long-term effects of ecstasy are less clear. Ecstasy alters the parts of the brain that are governed by a neurotransmitter called serotonin.

Serotonin is a very important 'messenger' in the brain and is involved in learning, emotion and memory. The results of studies done in animals given multiple doses of ecstasy show damage to specific parts of the brain related to memory, learning and emotion. We don't really have a good understanding of the long-term effects in people because much of the 'ecstasy's old isn't really ecstasy. So when side effects are seen in users, we don't know if it is from ecstasy or another drug. The studies in animals, however, suggest that long-term use has the potential for causing learning and memory problems and psychiatric illnesses later in life.

Ecstasy also appears to have an effect on the immune system. No drug is free of unwanted side effects. No drug is completely safe. This is true of ecstasy, alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

We have learned a great deal about the long-term effects of cigarettes and alcohol by doing animal experiments and looking to see what happens to people taking the drugs over a long period. We will learn more about the ecstasy and its long-term effects from the experiences of the users. What is ecstasy? MDMA or ecstasy is a Schedule I synthetic, psychoactive drug possessing stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. MDMA possesses chemical variations of the stimulant amphetamine or methamphetamine and a hallucinogen, most often mescaline. Short-term effects of ecstasy abuse~nausea~hallucinations~chills & sweating~increased body temp~tremors~muscle cramping ~blurred vision While it is not as addictive as heroin or cocaine, MDMA can cause other adverse effects including nausea, hallucinations, chills, sweating, increases in body temperature, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. MDMA users also report after-effects of anxiety, paranoia, and depression An MDMA overdose is characterized by high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and a drastic rise in body temperature.

MDMA overdoses can be fatal, as they may result in heart failure or extreme heat stroke. The effects start after about 20 minutes and can last for hours. There is a 'rush' feeling followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being to those around, often with a heightened perception of colour and sound. Some people actually feel sick and experience a stiffening up of arms, legs and particularly the jaw along with sensations of thirst, sleeplessness, depression and paranoia. Gives a feeling of energy. Some mild hallucinogenic effects.

Many problems users encounter with Ecstasy are similar to those found with the use of amphetamines and cocaine. They include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills, sweating, and such psychological problems as confusion, depression, sleep problems, craving, severe anxiety, paranoia, and psychotic episodes. Ecstasy's chemical cousin, MDA, destroys cells that produce serotonin in the brain. These cells play a direct roll in regulating aggression, mood, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Methamphetamine, also similar to Ecstasy, damages brain cells that produce dopamine.

Scientists have now shown that Ecstacy not only makes the brain's nerve branches and endings degenerate, but also makes them 'regrow, but abnormally - failing to reconnect with some brain areas and connecting elsewhere with the wrong areas. These reconnection's may be permanent, resulting in cognitive impairments, changes in emotion, learning, memory, or hormone-like chemical abnormalities. What are the long-term effects of ecstasy abuse? The effects of long-term MDMA use are just beginning to undergo scientific analysis. In 1998, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted a study of a small group of habitual MDMA users who were abstaining from use.

The study revealed that the abstinent users suffered damage to the neurons in the brain that transmit serotonin, an important biochemical involved in a variety of critical functions including learning, sleep, and integration of emotion. The results of the study indicate that recreational MDMA users may be at risk of developing permanent brain damage that may manifest itself in depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other neuro psychotic disorders. MDMA stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin from brain neurons, producing a high that lasts from several minutes to an hour. The drug's rewarding effects vary with the individual taking it, the dose and purity, and the environment in which it is taken. MDMA can produce stimulant effects such as an enhanced sense of pleasure and self-confidence and increased energy. Its psychedelic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy.

Users claim they experience feelings of closeness with others and a desire to touch them. Because MDMA engenders feelings of closeness and trust and has a short duration of action, some clinicians claim that the drug is potentially valuable as a psychotherapeutic agent. However, MDMA is classified by Federal regulators as a drug with no accepted medical use. The logos are produced to coincide with holidays or special events. Among the more popular logos are butterflies, lightning bolts, and four-leaf clovers. The popular 'club' drug ecstasy can harm your sleep pattern, alter your mood and diminish your memory -- and these effects can last up to two years after you stop using the drug.

Moreover, a new study says, there's no way to gauge accurately how much use it takes to trigger the ill effects. Hospital emergency room visits related to ecstasy use have skyrocketed from 253 nationwide in 1994 to 4, 511 in 2000, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Positive short-term effects: "h Extreme mood lift "h Increased willingness to communicate "h Increase in energy "h Feelings of comfort and closeness to others "h Increased awareness & appreciation of music "h Urge to hug and kiss people Negative short-term effects: "h Nausea "h Chills "h Sweating "h Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure "h Involuntary teeth clenching "h Muscle cramping Negative long-term effects: "h Anxiety "h Paranoia "h Dehydration "h Depression "h Heart or / and kidney failure "h Memory loss "h Releases serotonin that is stored in your brain (might or might not restore) As well as causing general health problems, drugs and alcohol can have long-term effects on your moods and your mental health. The long-term effects of...

speed and amphetamines include: irritability, aggression, depression and paranoia. The long-term effects of... Ecstasy include: edginess, depression, paranoia, anxiety, short-term memory problems, long-term depression, and difficulties in coping with complicated tasks. A few years ago, we could have said the jury was out on whether or not Ecstasy was likely to have any long-term effects on people's brains.

But more and more research is beginning to show that Ecstasy can have long-term effects on your memory, your appetite, your moods, your sex life, your visual perception and your sleep patterns. It may also affect your perception of pain and your ability to think clearly. REMEMBER: mid-week blues, depression, panic attacks may not be caused by your boyfriend, your job, your exams, your friends, your mother... or even the fact that you " re feeling very lonely. They may be a result of the fact that you " ve just been taking too many drugs Short-term effects of ecstasy? While it is not as addictive as heroin or cocaine, ecstasy can cause other adverse effects including nausea, hallucinations, chills, sweating, increases in body temperature, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. Ecstasy users also report after-effects of anxiety, paranoia, and depression.

An ecstasy overdose is characterized by high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and a drastic rise in body temperature. Ecstasy overdoses can be fatal, as they may result in heart failure or extreme heat stroke. Short-term effects of ecstasy"h Nausea "h Hallucinations"h Chills & sweating"h Increased body temp"h Tremors"h Muscle cramping "h Blurred vision The effects start after about 20 minutes and can last for hours. These is a 'rush' feeling followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being to those around, often with a heightened perception of color and sound. Some people actually feel sick and experience a stiffening up of arms, legs and particularly the jaw along with sensations of thirst, sleeplessness, depression and paranoia. Gives a feeling of energy.

Some mild hallucinogenic effects. Many problems users encounter with Ecstasy are similar to those found with the use of amphetamines and cocaine. They include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills, sweating, and such psychological problems as confusion, depression, sleep problems, craving, severe anxiety, paranoia, and psychotic episodes. Ecstasy's chemical cousin, MDA, destroys cells that produce serotonin in the brain.

These cells play a direct roll in regulating aggression, mood, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Methamphetamine, also similar to Ecstasy, damages brain cells that produce dopamine. Scientists have now shown that ecstasy not only makes the brain's nerve branches and endings degenerate, but also makes them 're-grow, but abnormally - failing to reconnect with some brain areas and connecting elsewhere with the wrong areas. These reconnection's may be permanent, resulting in cognitive impairments, changes in emotion, learning, memory, or hormone-like chemical abnormalities Long-term effects of ecstasy? The effects of long-term ecstasy use are just beginning to undergo scientific analysis. In 1998, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted a study of a small group of habitual ecstasy users who were abstaining from use. The study revealed that the abstinent users suffered damage to the neurons in the brain that transmit serotonin, an important biochemical involved in a variety of critical functions including learning, sleep, and integration of emotion.

The results of the study indicate that recreational ecstasy users may be at risk of developing permanent brain damage that may manifest itself in depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other neuro psychotic disorders. Ecstasy stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin from brain neurons, producing a high that lasts from several minutes to an hour. The drug's rewarding effects vary with the individual taking it, the dose and purity, and the environment in which it is taken. Ecstasy can produce stimulant effects such as an enhanced sense of pleasure and self-confidence and increased energy. Its psychedelic effects include feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. Users claim they experience feelings of closeness with others and a desire to touch them.

Because ecstasy engenders feelings of closeness and trust and has a short duration of action, some clinicians claim that the drug is potentially valuable as a psychotherapeutic agent. However, ecstasy is classified by Federal regulators as a drug with no accepted medical use Short term effects Effects are experienced after 20-60 minutes and can last for 3 - 6 hours. Pupils become dilated, the jaw tightens and users often experience brief nausea, sweating, dry mouth and throat, some rise in blood pressure and heart rate and loss of appetite. MDMA can affect bodily co-ordination making it potentially dangerous to drive or operate machinery under the influence of the drug. "h Ecstasy is a stimulant.

It acts on the central nervous system and increases brain activity. "h Users report a mild euphoric 'rush' feeling, followed by a feeling of calm. "h Users claim that ecstasy makes them feel close to others, dissipating feelings of anger and hostility. Ecstasy can make users more talkative. "h The user also experiences a greater awareness of the surroundings and sounds.

Whether the experience is 'bad' or 'good' often depends on the mood and expectations of the user, and how comfortable the users feel in their immediate surroundings. "h Users report flashbacks (short-lived, vivid re-experiences of part of a previous experience on a drug) after using ecstasy heavily over a period of time, although this is very probably caused by tablets containing LSD, but purchased as ecstasy. "h Large doses of the drug can lead to anxiety, panic and confusion. "h After using the drug people often feel tired, depressed and hungry. "h Ecstasy affects body temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere increases the risk of users overheating and dehydrating (losing too much body fluid) which can be fatal.

"h Ecstasy has caused deaths. Due to the fact that there is no quality control associated with the manufacture of ecstasy, when someone buys an ecstasy tablet they have no way of knowing what it contains. This is a very serious risk. There have been cases in the USA where people attempting to purchase a designer drug, unwittingly bought tablets containing M PTP - an extremely toxic chemical which causes irreversible Parkinson's disease.

Long term effects Although tolerance levels increase in regular users of ecstasy, there is no risk of addiction, and no withdrawal symptoms. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in the USA suggests that heavy users of ecstasy may be risking brain damage that remains long after the effects have worn off. In a series of studies conducted with rats and nonhuman primates, it was found that a single dose of MDMA (the chemical name of ecstasy) only slightly larger than the size of doses taken by humans, significantly damaged brain cells called neurons that produce serotonin. Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter (or chemical messenger) in the brain that is thought to influence mood, appetite, sleep and other important functions. It was found that 12 - 18 months after the brains of squirrel monkeys had been damaged by MDMA, serotonin-producing nerve fibres had regrown abnormally in some brain regions and failed to regrow at all in others. The question remains whether the neuronal changes seen in animals from MDMA exposure occur in human beings who use the drug.

Experts are concerned that long term use of ecstasy may increase the risk of severe depression and other mental illnesses in later life. Use has been linked to liver and kidney problems. Some long-term users have reported increased susceptibility to minor ailments such as colds, 'flu and sore throats. There is speculation that ecstasy may activate latent infections in the female genito-urinary tract.

However, this could be caused by other factors such as exhaustion and dehydration.