What is Ecstasy?
Plain and simple, ecstasy is a recreational drug that is supposed to contain MDMA. Once a legal drug to treat depression, once the addictive properties became clear, this drug was made illegal for all uses. As mentioned, ecstasy is sold with buyers often believing it contains MDMA, but this is rarely the case. To offer a better understanding look at the quoted statistic below from Science Direct (2005):
61% of ecstasy tablets that were tested contained other drugs; 46% of ecstasy pills contained 0 MDMA; and 39% contained only 5% MDMA
This means ecstasy is not all it is thought to be. A large number of pills are mixed with DXM, the main ingredient in cough medicine, caffeine, methamphetamine, pseudo-ephedrine, and many unknown substances. A combination of medications and unknown substances can be dangerous as the user may have a reaction or die from a deadly combination.
Ecstasy most often comes in pill form. The pills are usually colorful with a picture or symbol on each. The picture or symbol represents the maker and a specific type or strain is often sold exclusively by a given dealer. Just because the same picture is on two pills it does not mean the pills contain the same ingredients in the same amounts. Since ecstasy is not regulated, due to it being illegal, the potency or amounts of any given ingredient are totally unknown.
Oceania Ecstasy Market
Though ecstasy use has leveled out or even dropped in some places, Australia and New Zealand continue to have a large market for the drug. This is likely because Western and Central Europe remain large scale trafficking hubs for ecstasy among other drugs. Specifically, high levels of ecstasy use continue to be reported in Oceania. In the past year the prevalence rates for ecstasy use in the region are the highest in the world. This makes the 24 countries in this region a hot bed for ecstasy use.
Though there is no single reason why this highly diverse area is such a hotbed for ecstasy, part of the problem may be related to the environment. Oceania is faced with considerable challenges related to poverty, political instability, and poor governance and technical capacity. The area is also in close proximity to major drug producing countries in East Asia. This all comes together to create a highly trafficked area with plenty of supply.
Effects of Ecstasy
The effects of ecstasy are dependent upon what is mixed to create the pill. If taking pure ecstasy, which would be an anomaly today, then the world could feel perfect and the user totally euphoric with enhanced touch and bodily sensations. Users may also feel a greater empathy toward others and seem to connect on a deeper level. The side effects of coming down from pure MDMA appear to be jaw clenching, lack of appetite, thirst, impaired balance, and anxiety.
Taking ecstasy that has other substances mixed in, as most ecstasy, can mimic the effects of pure ecstasy with increased alertness and euphoria, but may also lead to anxiety. These more common forms of ecstasy are often found at music festivals, nightclubs, house parties, or even raves. When people use ecstasy as a party drug it is often in a crowded, over heated environment. This leads to dehydration and many other problems as a person on ecstasy forgets to eat or drink. This is made worse by mixing ecstasy with other drugs or alcohol. Dehydration ultimately leads to the body shutting down and the related complications.
Signs of Ecstasy (MDMA) Use
If you suspect that a loved one has been using or experimenting with ecstasy look for the following signs:
- Heightened sensory perceptions
- Increased positive sensations
- Energy (high levels)
- Extreme empathy
- Staying awake for long periods of time (days)
- Impulsive behaviors
- Desire to touch others and be touched
- Lack of pain perception
- Jaw clenching or teeth grinding
- Sweating and thirst
These signs and symptoms should decrease as the drug works out of the system, but if the person takes more ecstasy they will return or lead to worse conditions. These may include seizures, rapid heart beat, heart attack, or even stroke.
Getting Help at DARA
If you or a loved one live in Australia or New Zealand and need help in dealing with an addiction, consider DARA. DARA is an affordable, luxury style, in-patient facility with locations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, among other countries. DARA facilities not only help with addiction, but work to heal the mind, body, and spirit of each and every patient. This is accomplished through individualized plans for each patient that focuses on counseling, education, and physical wellness. Physical wellness and nutrition are included because addiction harms the body as much as the mind.
It is common for addicts to quit taking care of themselves physically in the areas of nutrition and hygiene. This can lead to health problems that make it even harder to get on the road to recovery. Each day includes a physical activity with a personal trainer and healthy meals prepared by top chefs in the area. As the body heals the mind will follow. Each patient also receives individual and group counseling. Individual counseling covers private matters while group counseling teaches addicts tools that will help in recovery. Group counseling also allows for shared experiences to be brought to the group and people to relate to one another’s triumphs and struggles. Finally, there is an educational component that helps patients understand addiction and what it does to the body over time. When leaving DARA, the hope it that you will be well prepared to stay in recovery long term.
When you or your loved one is ready for the help you need and deserve, call DARA. Someone will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also check out the website online to get further information. Life can be better without an addiction to tie you down. Get started on the rest of your life today by calling DARA.
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