MDMA has many names, but is perhaps best known as Ecstasy. It is sometimes classified as a stimulant and does have similar properties to the amphetamines, although it also has some unique effects that distinguish it (Hermle et al., 1993; Shulgin, 1986). MDMA was legal in this country until 1985, when it was made a Schedule I drug. Prior to that, its use was unregulated and therefore legal.

The primary appeal of MDMA is its psychological effect, a dramatic and consistent ability to induce a profound feeling of attachment and connection in the user. The compound's street name is perhaps a misnomer; the Los Angeles drug dealer who coined the term "Ecstasy" originally wanted to call the drug "Empathy," but asked, "Who would know what that means?" (Eisner, 1968).

MDMA has long been known to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) neurons in laboratory animals (McCann & Ricaurte, 1993; Montoya, Sorrentino, Lucas, & Price, 2002). Although a minority of researchers disagree with the conclusion, it has become increasingly apparent over the past decade that MDMA is neurotoxic to humans. Furthermore, the neurotoxicity has real and functional implications (McCann, Eligulashvili, & Ricaurte, 2000; Montoya et al., 2002; Morgan, 2000; Sprague, Everman, & Nichols, 1998). Ecstasy use is associated with sleep, mood, and anxiety disturbances, elevated impulsiveness, memory deficits, and attention problems. Many of these disturbances appear to be permanent and seem likely to depend on the overall amount of MDMA consumed over time, but may be caused by as little as a single dose (Rodgers, 2000; Turner & Parrott, 2000).

Do Not Panic

Do Not Panic

This guide Don't Panic has tips and additional information on what you should do when you are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. With so much going on in the world today with taking care of your family, working full time, dealing with office politics and other things, you could experience a serious meltdown. All of these things could at one point cause you to stress out and snap.

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