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Ecstasy Effects

Ecstasy effects can be felt within twenty to thirty minutes after taking the drug and may last for hours. Users have claimed the experience of taking ecstasy is unlike any other drug they have used. When the drug's effects begin, the user feels a "rush" followed shortly by a feeling of calmness and sense of well being. Ecstasy users experience mild hallucinogenic effects such as a heightened perception of color and sound. An additional effect of ecstasy is the feeling of increased energy.

Ecstasy effects build quickly, coming on in waves within the first two hours and strengthening with each pass. A lightness of mood and relaxation gives way to waves of physical pleasure, euphoria, openness, and empathy to others around. The awareness of touch is strongly heightened and the user's muscles relax. The peak of the user's high then arrives and the effects last 4-6 hours, with a gradual tapering and come-down experienced during the last two hours or so. Many users experience jaw clenching and "clamping." They often try to relive this by chewing on candy or gum, smoking cigarettes, or sucking on lollipops.

Unfortunately, some users only believe in pleasurable ecstasy effects which may explain why ecstasy use has increased steadily in recent years. In three studied grade levels (8th, 10th and 12th), ecstasy use has risen over the past two years. By the time America's youth enters the 12th grade, 11% have been under the influence of ecstasy effects.

The trend of club drug use, especially ecstasy, is rising sharply among children and teenagers because of the mind-altering ecstasy effects it produces, according to Peter Rogers, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbus Children's Hospital, a presenter at the AAP National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco. "Ecstasy's not a new drug," Dr. Rogers said. "Raves have given it a recent push in the last 18-24 months, making it the newest epidemic."

According to Dr. Rogers, the drug is unique because of the combination of hallucinogens and stimulants. "We've learned ecstasy is a social drug, and kids are using it in groups, hence the nickname 'hug drug,'" Dr. Rogers said. "Kids typically combine ecstasy with other substances like alcohol and other illicit drugs-a dangerous combination," Dr. Rogers said.

Although all of the long-term ecstasy effects aren't known, physicians are most concerned with the mounting evidence that club drugs have effects on memory and mood, as well as action, as a neurotoxin that may have catastrophic effects on the central nervous system. Dr. Rogers presented at the 2001 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition where he offered pediatricians and other child health professionals ways to discuss with patients and parents the uniquely devastating ecstasy effects and other club drugs.

Ecstasy effects are created by the stimulation and release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The drug's rewarding effects vary depending on who is taking it, the amount taken, the drugs purity, and the environment in which it is taken. For many who take ecstasy their experience includes an enhanced sense of pleasure and self-confidence, feelings of peacefulness, acceptance, and empathy. Users of ecstasy also claim they have a feeling of closeness with others and a desire to touch them as well as a need to be touched. Heavier doses can cause hallucinations, sensations of lightness and floating, depression, paranoid thinking, and violent or irrational behavior.

Ecstasy brings about feelings of closeness and trust. These ecstasy effects normally only last for a few hours. Because of this, some clinicians in the past have claimed that the drug is potentially valuable as a psychotherapeutic agent. However, the United States government understands how dangerous this drug can be for those who abuse it. For this reason, the government has classified it as a Schedule I narcotic which means it possesses no accepted medical use. Ecstasy causes long-lasting, possibly permanent, damage to nerve endings in the brain that are critical for thought and memory. It also impairs the function and long term production of serotonin, a brain chemical playing a role in regulating mood, memory, sleep, and appetite.

Some effects of ecstasy would be high blood pressure, increase in heart rate and a high sense of alertness.

MDMA can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug abuse within short intervals.

PCP is illegally manufactured as tablets, capsules, or colored powder.

More dangerous than 'club drugs' are 'date rape' drugs, used to help in the sexual assault of others.

Effects of rohypnol include nausea, low blood pressure, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and stomach upset.

Effects of club drugs last up to 3 to 6 hours.

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