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MDMA, ecstasy, stimulates the release of serotonin. Prozac and other prescription drugs also stimulate the release of serotonin the difference being that the release is controlled by the strength of the Prozac.

Ecstasy abuse and the trafficking of Ecstasy is on the rise, posing serious social concerns. Once confined to major metropolitan areas, Ecstasy trafficking has now expanded to smaller communities. Teenagers and young adults continue to be the primary targets of sophisticated crime syndicates who are supplying distribution groups with ever-increasing amounts of Ecstasy tablets. As the trend to consume Ecstasy in tandem with alcohol and other drugs continues, the harmful effects of the drug will increase exponentially.

“The body normally releases serotonin a little at a time, but Ecstasy dumps it all.”

(3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), also referred to as Ecstasy, XTC, Adam, and Essence, is an illegally manufactured variation of mescaline and amphetamine. It is considered a designer drug—a substance on the drug market that is a chemical analog or variation of another psychoactive drug.

MDMA is marketed as a feel-good drug. Devotees say it produces profoundly positive feelings, empathy for others, elimination of anxiety, and extreme relaxation–hence the nickname “hug drug,” or “love drug.” MDMA is also said to suppress the need to eat, drink, or sleep, enabling club scene users to endure all-night and sometimes two, or three-day parties.

MDMA is taken orally, usually in tablet or capsule form. MDMA tablets are often “stamped” with icons or logos intended to appeal to a young audience. Its effects last approximately four to six hours.

Tablets sold as Ecstasy are not always pure MDMA. As demand for Ecstasy has increased, so has the appearance of Ecstasy “fakes” often containing other substances such as amphetamine, caffeine, codeine, DXM, ephedra/ephedrine, ketamine, MDA, methamphetamine, and PCP. When used alone, MDMA is dangerous. It is even more dangerous when used in combination with other substances, as the physical and psychological effects are difficult to determine or predict.


Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature; jaw and teeth clenching/muscle tension, hypertension, dehydration, chills and/or sweating, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, dizziness, confusion, insomnia, and paranoia.



Muscle breakdown, hyperthermia, kidney failure and cardiovascular system failure.


Depression, sleep disorders, paranoia, drug craving, persistent elevation of anxiety, liver damage, brain damage, paralysis, and possible others pending research.

Ecstasy can cause body temperature can soar up to 108 degrees.

For more information, get the Club Drug Booklet or the Drug ID Desk Reference which has hundreds of images of Ecstasy tablets as well as the Ecstasy Poster. See video with the Platinum Membership.

Other Sources

Drug Identification Guide

CDC Facts

CDC Addiction Info

CDC Overdose Stats

CDC Substance Treatment

Whitehouse Drug-Free Communities

Samhsa Workplace Programs


Federal Register Codification

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