Ecstasy is a semi synthetic member of the amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, a subclass of the phenethylamines. Ecstasy also falls under many other broad categories of substances, including stimulants, psychedelics, and the empathogenic-entactogens. It is considered unusual for its tendency to produce a sense of intimacy with others and diminished feelings of fear and anxiety.
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Ecstasy comes in a tablet form that is often branded as a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.
Short Term Effects
Effects start about a half hour after ingestion. Users experience an energy high that lasts between 3 and 6 hours, followed by a slow comedown. Sounds, colors and emotions feel more intense, dilates the users pupils, produces a tingly feeling, tightens the jaw muscles, raises the body temperature, makes the heart beat faster and makes people more chatty. Ecstasy can cause anxiety, panic attacks, confused episodes, first time epileptic fits, paranoia and interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating. On rare but unpredictable occasions, use can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure.
Long Term Effects
Repeated use of ecstasy ultimately may damage the cells that produce serotonin, which has an important role in the regulation of mood, appetite, pain, learning and memory. There already is research suggesting ecstasy use can disrupt or interfere with memory.