Ecstacy; A large proportion of young people, especially in Britain,are regular users of the drug Ecstasy,Adam,X or MDMA for a simple reason: it provides ....ect.

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A large proportion of young people, especially in Britain,

are regular users of the drug Ecstasy,Adam,X or MDMA for a simple reason: it provides them with access to an experience which they value. Yet the majority of first-time users have no access toreliable information about the drug and rely on folklore forguidance, while little serious attention is paid to the potential uses and benefits of MDMA.

MDMA was patented as long ago as 1913 by the German company merck. Rumour has it that the drug was sold as a slimming pill alongwith comic descriptions of its strange side effects, although it wasnever marketed and the patent doesn't mention uses. The next time itcame to light was in 1953 when the US army tested a number of drugsfor military applications - again, folklore says it was tried as a

truth drug but there is no evidence for this.

MDMA was patented as long ago as 1913 by the German company Merck. Rumour has it that the drug was sold as a slimming pill alongwith comic descriptions of its strange side effects, although it wasnever marketed and the patent doesn't mention uses. The next time it came to light was in 1953 when the US army tested a number of drugs for military applications - again, folklore says it was tried as a

truth drug but there is no evidence for this.

The father of MDMA - or 'stepfather' as he describes himself is Alexander Shulgin. After obtaining a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, Shulgin got a job as a research chemist with Dow Chemicals, for whom he invented a profitable insecticide. As a reward, the company gave him a free hand and his own lab. Having had an exciting experience on Mescaline, Shulgin used the opportunity to research psychedelic drugs. An accepted test for psychedelic effects was to observe how fighting fish change their behaviour. But there were problems: fish don't say when they are under the influence and, well, have you ever seen a fish that doesn't look stoned? His answer was to 'suck it and see'.

What Ecstasy does is very simple, yet difficult to describe. It combines two opposite effects, stimulation and relaxation, but in addition provides a subtle quality of empathy. A psychotherapist, who took MDMA at Esalen, California, in 1984 when it was still legal, !

said, "It made me feel how all of us would like to feel we are anyway . . . smooth and open hearted, not soggy, sentimental or stupid". Another psychologist described it as providing a "brief, fleeting moment of sanity".The most similar experience familiar to most people is being in love.

The most predictable feelings experienced are empathy,openness, peace and caring.However, what people experience can vary from paranoia to sleep. depending greatly on other factors called 'set and setting'which includes their cultural beliefs, expectations and state of mind at the time. Even your genetic make up may affect your experience. Psychiatric effects

When MDMA is experienced at raves, it lacks some of the subtle effects experienced in quiet surroundings, but has an extra quality not seen when the drug is taken in private. The combination of the drug with music and dancing together produces an exhilarating trancelike state, perhaps similar to that experienced in tribal rituals or religious ceremonies. Ecstasy is often called the 'love

drug', a name which suggests another way of looking at its effects. MDMA opens the heart and allows love to flow. This may extend to loving oneself, overcoming awkwardness and allowing oneself to feel good.

In 1992 researchers in the US attempted to identify the effects of MDMA in psychological terms through studying its effects on psychiatrists. The psychiatrists' experiences varied, but apart from losing track of time, the most commonly noted effects were that they related to other people more openly with less fear or

defensiveness. Half said the drug had a lasting positive effect on their 'social/interpersonal functioning',...
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