MDMA is a synthetic psychoactive entactogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class. It is often known by other names such as ecstasy, E, X and pills. MDMA comes in the form of pills and tablets that are taken orally. It also comes in the form of a crystalline powder which can be snorted or 'bombed' by wrapping in paper and swallowing. MDMA is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, commonly associated with 'raves' and electronic music. MDMA costs on average $10 to $25 per pill.
In the United States of America on 31st May 1985 the Drug Enforcement Administration made MDMA a Schedule I drug meaning that if caught in possession and/or supplying one could face up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a $4 million fine. In the UK MDMA is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Being Class A, anyone caught in possession can face up to 7 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine. If charged with possession and intent to supply one can face life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
What is MDMA?
MDMA is sold in the form of a pill or a white crystalline powder. Its full name is 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and has a chemical formula as shown below:
MDMA, when made into pills can also be made with other drugs mixed in such as Viagra (playboy pills), cocaine or ketamine amongst others.
Once ingested MDMA normally takes effect within 30 to 60 minutes, At the peak it will plateau for around 2 to 3 hours then there will be a "comedown" effect often involving fatigue.
When on MDMA people will often experience increased energy, alertness and endurance. Some find a sense of inner peace and self-acceptance with a diminished feeling of aggression and hostility. Alongside this people will often act irresponsibly and may not make sense when talking. There will be a sense of decreased pain which can have negative consequences if people push themselves physically and injure themselves when they can't feel it.
MDMA dehydrates the bodily rapidly and raises both the body temperature and heart rate. Pupils dilate and the jaw stiffens.
While on MDMA some users experience anxiety, have problems with sleeping and may have panic attacks and paranoid states. Heart and kidney failure can be attributed to use of MDMA alongside hyperthermia.
Long term users may get colds, flus and sore throats.
MDMA has no physical dependency however regular users' tolerance to the drug may increase making the user require more to get the same high. This in itself is potentially very dangerous if the quantities taken get too big as the risk of brain damage will increase.
MDMA is psychologically addictive meaning, although there will be no major physical withdrawal symptoms, the addict will most likely do all that it possible to keep using with complete disregard for personal health or safety.