Ecstasy claims thousands of teen lives every year. Currently, the top party drug in the United States, these numbers are not decreasing anytime soon. Also, despite the numerous dangers associated with the drug, most teenagers continue to use it as if there were no ill effects.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known by the acronym MDMA, is a synthetic drug that affects mood and perception. Pure ecstasy is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens and produces intense feelings. The feelings are in the form of unexplained pleasure and extreme emotional sensitivity.
The Common Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse
Ecstasy, or “e pills” can be found in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties known as “raves.” Today, Ecstasy also is also sometimes known as Molly. In fact, teens often talk about Molly as if they were talking about a person, fueled by admiration to be in its presence. Indeed, this is a subterfuge that hides their abuse of a dangerous drug.
These reasons are the supporting factors on why it’s important for parents to know the facts and harmful consequences of ecstasy and other club drugs. Such knowledge opens the door to positive conversations about the dangers of ecstasy abuse. Teens as well as parents need to know about these dangers in advance in order to prevent deadly consequences.
Facts Every Parent Should Know About Ecstasy
Ecstasy (or MDMA) is a mind-altering drug that can cause serious brain damage in users. Most people take Ecstasy in pill form, although some snort or inject it. A single dose of Ecstasy lasts three to four hours. It creates enhanced enjoyment of physical activities and provides a rush of energy.
Since it comes in a pill form, teens often believe ecstasy is not dangerous. They mistakenly think they are safe, treating ecstasy like a prescribed medication for a party.
Side Effects of Ecstasy
Ecstasy carries a variety of harmful side effects, many of which can occur after just a single use. For example, side effects include: confusion, sleeplessness, depression, paranoia, and psychotic episodes. Most Ecstasy overdoses occur when the drug is mixed with other substances such as alcohol, marijuana or crystal meth.
Long term Ecstasy use can cause heart failure, kidney failure and a permanent disabling of the brain’s ability think clearly. Ecstasy causes the individual to become dehydrated, which combined with dancing in a hot, crowded night club or party can quickly cause death. As an illegal synthetic drug, ecstasy often contains dangerous additives. In truth, an ecstasy user never truly knows what they are taking.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that 3.6% of all high school seniors have used Ecstasy in the past year, and 3.3% of all 10th graders have used the drug in that same time span. “Bumps” refers to the action of taking more Ecstasy just before the effects of the last dose are ready to wear off. In most overdose cases, teens engage in “bumps” during the period leading up to the event.
Ecstasy Abuse in Teens
Teenagers who are using Ecstasy are putting their lives at risk every time they use the drug. Parents should use the information above as a “jumping off point” to begin frank discussions with their children about this, and other potentially harmful drugs. If you suspect your teen abusing ecstasy or other substances, please contact us for advice on how to best help your teen get back on track.