Ecstasy Essay, Research Paper
In America today, somewhere around 4 and a half million people regularly take some kind of illegal pill. One of these pills that have lately increased in popularity is known as ecstasy. Ecstasy, or also known as MDMA, was first developed as an appetite suppresser. Eventually it was figured out that this little pill could give you quite a trip. Some people may say that ecstasy is fun, but what they fail to realize is that it can have physical effects as well as mental ones (Source 2).
Ecstasy first originated in Germany as an appetite suppressant. It was never tested; therefore, when it hit the market, dieters seemed to complain of mirages, psychedelic features, and afterimages. But before these side effects occurred, many felt increases of confidence, well-being, a rise of blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse rate. With a rise of blood pressure comes dehydration. The problems increase with a higher dosage (Source 3).
Ecstasy, or MDMA-methylenedioxy-n-methylamphetamine, is a synthetic chemical that can be found in the oil of the sassafras tree. Ecstasy s molecular formula is C11H15O2N. Its molecular weight is 193.25, and it has a melting point somewhere around 148 degrees Celsius. Here is a structural diagram of the drug:
Ecstasy was patented in 1912, but wasn t used until the late 1970s (Source 4). It started out just being a psychotherapeutic tool, but gradually it has become a mainstream street drug. Earlier this year, ecstasy was brought to national attention when ex-mafia man Sammy the Bull Gravano was arrested for selling it throughout the southwest United States (Source 1).
Unfortunately, ecstasy today has a completely different prescription. It has gained popularity over the last 15 years, and is most commonly used by high school and college kids at dance clubs and raves. It produces strong feelings of comfort, empathy, and a strong connection to others. The drug breaks down communication barriers and allows a great recipe for intimate contact, which a lot of young people today strive for. But in today s world, with all the STDs out there, this may not be a good thing. MDMA is usually taken orally in the form of pills synthesized by independent labs. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. The designer drug may also be taken in the form of a powder and injected into the blood stream for a quicker ” high”. The actual potency of the pills is determined by the size. They range from 50mg to 300mg depending on where it is made. Usually ecstasy is combined with smack, cocaine, heroin, or LSD as a way of coping with some of its undesirable effects (Source 2).
The exact risks of ecstasy are not quite clear. For instance, the most common complaints are heat exhaustion and dehydration. Users must beware to replace fluids or even just simply, take a little breather. Deaths associated with the drug have been due to fatigue and once again dehydration. Hospitalized patients are treated the same way, as a marathon runner would be; with rest, and a fluid device that injects water into the body. Ecstasy leaves rigorous symptoms lingering. For example, prior to using, the “burnout” symptoms appear. Muscle aches and pains, sluggishness, and fatigue are among the major effects. Evidence is inconclusive on whether ecstasy causes permanent brain damage, though researchers suspect frequent users tend to have poor short-term memories. All in all, ecstasy is not worth all the pain (Source 2).
There are a few things that can be done if a situation dealing with ecstasy occurs. If for some reason you find yourself around some that has taken ecstasy in one form or another, do not leave that person alone. If you suspect someone is using the “hug drug,” watch for signs such as confusion, nausea, excessive fluid consumption, severe headaches or convulsions. Call for help immediately if the situation becomes unsafe. If the user is unconscious and you know first aid, place them in the coma position and ensure the airway is clear. The next day is crucial in a healthy recovery. Eating and drinking a substantial amount will only increase homeostasis (Source 2).
Originally introduced as a dietary supplement, but was untested and people soon figured out that it was more than just an appetite suppressant. As it becomes more and more popular, it was found to be illegal in the United States as a Schedule I substance in 1985. It may seem like a good time at first impression, but in all reality, ecstasy is a nasty party drug that can do nothing but harm to the human body. The positive effects such as the mood change to a happy, carefree environment are grossly outweighed by the negative side effects, which include, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, and possible permanent brain damage (Source 3). This drug spells only trouble for those who choose to use it.