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MDMA, (ecstasy), is a synthetic, mind-altering drug that contains hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. Ecstasy (MDMA) has been reported to have a similar chemical structure two similar drugs, MDA and methamphetamine; it is important to note that both of these drugs have been reported to cause brain damage. Ecstasy consists predominantly, of the chemical MDMA; however, there are no standards that are in place for producing Ecstasy pills. An individual purchasing ecstasy is at a high risk, because they do not know exactly what substances that they will be ingesting. Ecstasy tablets may contain a variety of different types of chemical substances, such as ephedrine, which is a popular stimulant; dextromethorphan, ketamine, cocaine and methamphetamine. The effects of ecstasy can appear in as little as 15 minutes and can last for up to several hours. In the initial stages of ecstasy use, an individual will experience a "rush" feeling that is often reported to be followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being.

Some individuals using ecstasy have experienced negative physical effects such as stiffening up of arms, legs, and particularly the jaw; ecstasy use has also been reported to increase heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels. Other negative psychological effects of ecstasy use can include, confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia during and sometimes long after taking MDMA; in some cases of ecstasy use, psychotic episodes have also been reported. An ecstasy overdose can often be characterized by a number of symptoms including loss of consciousness, seizures, kidney and cardiovascular system damage, or even death. Over an extended period of time, ecstasy use can deplete the user's serotonin levels in the brain; in turn, this can cause the user to experience episodes of severe depression and increased anxiety and irritability.

Because ecstasy is reported to be a "party drug" that is commonly used at teenage dance parties, many people underestimate the danger of this highly potent and illegal drug. What many people do not realize, is that when a person combines MDMA (ecstasy) with additional substances such as marijuana or alcohol, they may be putting themselves at a very high risk for adverse health effects that could be fatal. Ecstasy use has been reported to cause long term damage to parts of the brain that are critical to both thought and memory; one study that was conducted on animals indicated that exposure to ecstasy for only 4 days caused extensive damage to serotonin nerve terminals that was still evident up to 8 years later.

Signs and symptoms of ecstasy use can include confusion, depression, dizziness, panic attacks and a sore jaw, as involuntary jaw clenching is a common side effect of ecstasy use; users often use lollipops to guard against this action. An individual that is high on ecstasy may exhibit the following symptoms: rapid eye movement; chills or sweating; dehydration; vomiting or nausea; muscle tension; severe anxiety or paranoia; a trance-like state; or an intense focus on sights and sounds.