Drugs sold as ecstasy may not contain any methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); they can be a mix of amphetamine, paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA), ketamine, NBOMe, methylone or other substances.
What is ecstasy?
Ecstasy is an an empathogen, which means it increases an individual’s feeling of empathy and compassion towards others. Ecstasy contains the drug MDMA. However, many pills sold as ecstasy only have a small amount of MDMA or none at all. Other drugs and ‘fillers’ are often used instead. This makes it hard to know what reactions to expect after taking ecstasy or how bad the side effects will be.
Eckies, E, XTC, pills, pingers, bikkies, flippers, molly
How is ecstasy used?
Ecstasy comes in a tablet form and is usually swallowed. The pills come in different colours and sizes and are often imprinted with a picture or symbol. It can also come as capsules, powder or crystal. Effects of ecstasy There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk. Ecstasy affects everyone differently, based on:
• Size, weight and health
• Whether the person is used to taking it
• Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
• The amount taken
• The strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch)
• The effects of ecstasy are usually felt about 20 minutes to an hour after it’s taken and last for around 6 hours.
You may experience:
• Feeling happy, energetic and confident
• Large pupils
• Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
• Heightened senses (sight, hearing and touch)
• Excessive sweating and skin tingles
• Muscle aches and pains
• Nausea and reduced appetite
• Fast heartbeat
• Increased blood pressure
• Heat stroke
• Drinking extreme amounts of water (can cause death)
If you take a large amount or have a strong batch of ecstasy, you may also experience:
• Floating sensations
• Perceptual changes, such as visual and auditory hallucinations
• Out-of-character irrational behaviour
• Irritability, paranoia and aggression
• High body temperature
• Racing heart beat
In the days after ecstasy use, you may experience:
• Restless sleep and exhaustion
• Anxiety, irritability and depression
• Difficulty concentrating
The use of depressant drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or cannabis to help with these ‘come down’ effects, may result in dependence on both types of drugs.
Long term effects
Regular use of a lot of ecstasy may eventually cause:
• Colds or flu
• Needing to use more to get the same effect
• Dependence on ecstasy
• Memory and concentration problems
• Financial, work and social problems
Mixing ecstasy with other drugs
The effects of taking ecstasy with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Ecstasy + alcohol: increased risk of dehydration and consequently drinking too much water.
Ecstasy + ice or speed: increased risk of anxiety and reduced brain functioning due to dopamine depletion. Enormous strain on the heart and other parts of the body, which can lead to stroke.
Ecstasy + antidepressants: Drowsiness, clumsiness, restlessness and feeling drunk and dizzy.