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Positive and Negative effects of MDMA

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Jenna LaBrecque

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Positive and Negative effects of MDMA

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli MDMA (Molly) Positive and Negative Effects of General Facts MDMA belongs to a family of drugs known as phenethylamines. Chemically speaking, it's closely related to another phenethylamine, MDA (3, 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine), and to mescaline. The pure form of MDMA is a white crystalline powder. Although it's increasingly sold as powder in a plastic bag, it's traditionally and more widely available as either a pressed tablet, often branded with a symbol of some sort, or a capsule. The active oral dose of the drug is at least 75mgs, with most pills containing 80-120mgs. MDMA was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a parent compound to be used to synthesize other pharmaceuticals. Scientists thought that this drug could be used as an appetite suppressant. It was first synthesized and patented in 1914 by the German drug company called Merck. During the 1970s, in the United States, some psychiatrists began using MDMA as a psychotherapeutic tool. The drug however had never undergone formal clinical trials nor received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans. It wasn’t until late 2000 that the FDA approved the first small clinical trial for MDMA; which determined that the drug can be used safely with 2 sessions of ongoing psychotherapy, with carefully monitored conditions to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Positive Effects The American Heritage Dictionary defines ecstasy as "intense joy or delight."
Some drug users have said they prefer molly over other illicit drugs because of the limited negative side effects they've experienced; also because it lowers their inhibitions and relaxes them.
Positive effects while on Molly include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, empathy toward others, a general sense of well being, and usually reduces anxiety, however some users experience panic attacks; the substance does not usually cause "bad trips".
Personal Accounts Quotes "Honestly, if I were to pick a drug out of anything else to do, I would pick molly," Evan said. "Molly has a lot to do with loud music and seeing lights -- getting excited about seeing something that's already cool and making it cooler."

"You feel a lot more loose and comfortable in your environment," said recent Georgia high school graduate Jessica, "(After it was over), it wasn't like a depression, but it was like, 'Aw man, I wish I felt that way again,' " Jessica said.
Negative Effects There are some users who report undesirable effects immediately, including anxiety, agitation, and recklessness. Users may also find they have a dry mouth, blurred vision, wiggling eyes and the chills. Involuntary muscular activity and muscular tension sometimes occurs, resulting in twitches and cramps. MDMA has a paradoxical relaxation effect, meaning the user is not aware of the changes in their physical body. This paradoxical relaxation effect also makes physical activity seem easier, with minor pains and fatigue not noticed. A Brief History The drug gained a small following among psychiatrists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with some even calling it "penicillin for the soul" because it was perceived to enhance communication in patient sessions and reportedly allowed users to achieve insights about their problems. It was also during this time that MDMA first started becoming available on the street. In 1985, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) banned the drug, placing it on its list of Schedule I drugs, corresponding to those substances with no proven therapeutic value, putting it on a par with the most dangerous and least medically useful drugs in circulation, such as heroin. This classification was widely disputed, including by the judge overseeing the initial classification hearing, who recommended that MDMA should be classified as a Schedule 3 controlled substance - essentially a prescription medication - because it had a significantly lower potential for abuse than schedule 1 or 2 drugs, accepted medical uses, and moderate or low levels of physical dependence among users. Essentially the DEA overruled its own Administrative Law Judge in the decision to classify MDMA as Schedule 1. Molly's rise in popularity can, in part, be attributed to the current culture, said Tammy Anderson, a professor of sociology at the University of Delaware who has studied the use of drugs, including MDMA, in nightclubs. "We're at a place here historically that people don't think marijuana is a drug anymore." "We are moving into a post-war on drugs era. We're seeing a softening of drug laws and a softening against drugs, especially among young people."
Molly is best known as a “dance drug". The effects are based on one’s body weight, tolerance, and physical/mental state. MDMA releases an excess amount of serotonin to the brain, causing mood effects. This also causes large amounts of serotonin to become depleted quickly. There is no study that proves MDMA is an addictive substance. Ecstasy gained national attention when it was the drug of choice at club parties, called "raves." More than 11 million persons aged 12 or older reported using ecstasy at least once in their lifetimes, according to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In a survey taken in 2005, 3.0% of 12th graders, 2.6% of 10th graders and 1.7% of 8th graders reported that they had used MDMA at least once within the year. An experience with molly starts with a bitter taste, users say, which is soon forgotten as the high kicks in. MDMA is rapidly absorbed into the human blood stream, but once in the body MDMA interferes with the body's ability to metabolize, or break down, the drug. An MDMA pill takes effect after 30 to 45 minutes, starting with little rushes of exhilaration. These are sometimes accompanied by feelings of nausea and disorientation. Others experience a mild panic, especially if they're unfamiliar with the drug. The peak effects of MDMA are felt 60 to 90 minutes after ingestion and last for two to four hours, followed by a gradual comedown.
Education is one of the most important tools for use in preventing MDMA abuse, it is key to minimizing the risks of illicit drugs.
“People feel positive about both themselves and the wider world around them (a state known as entactogenesis from the Latin word meaning 'to touch within'). Inhibitions are loosened, egos are softened and people experience a close emotional bond with others (empathogenesis). Everyday social defenses are weakened and communicating with strangers is no longer taboo.” There's more awareness of the moment and more contentment with whatever that moment might be.
The drug doesn't create happiness, though. It doesn't create anything. It merely unlocks feelings which are already present but held in check on a day-to-day basis. While the effect of MDMA on serotonin levels means these are generally positive, this isn't universally so and a few people encounter sadness. There is, however, a consensus among users that, whatever the exact shape of the experience, it is usually controllable.
There are no major withdrawal symptoms associated with MDMA. Prolonged use eventually begins to diminish users' highs; the risk of physical addiction is low, said The Passages rehab CEO. MDMA addictions make up less than 5% of the company's cliental. Many people feel tired or depressed in the days immediately after taking MDMA. Over the course of the week following moderate use of the drug, many MDMA users report feeling a range of emotions, including anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and sadness that in some in a few cases, depression becomes a long-term problem, sometimes of a severe nature. There have been numerous cases of MDMA-induced hepatitis and, more seriously still, liver failure. MDMA can produce elevated heart rates and distortion of thought processes, causing users not to realize their rising body temperature or fading stamina as they continue to party. Combining MDMA with alcohol or other drugs can also be the cause of its more serious side effects. Both MDMA and alcohol cause dehydration. Mixing both of these can cause fatalities. Mixing MDMA and anti depressants can cause a hypertensive crisis (Panic Attacks). Those who repeatedly take the drug may also suffer from a range of post-MDMA psychological problems, elevated anxiety, impulsiveness, and aggression, as well as sleep disturbances, lack of appetite and reduced interest in and pleasure from sex have been observed.
MDMA overdose can also occur - the symptoms can include high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and in severe cases, a loss of consciousness, and seizures.
Works Cited: http://www.urban75.com/Drugs/e_guide.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/what-mdma
http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/mdma.html
http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/ecstasy/f/mdma_faq04.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/health/molly-mdma-drug/index.html
http://www.gizmag.com/study-effects-ecstasy/10995/
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