MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is a synthetic stimulant drug known commonly as ecstasy. Although not technically a psychedelic drug, MDMA has psychoactive effects that may hold medical and personal benefit.
MDMA was discovered in 1912, although was not used for its psychoactive properties until the 1970s. Subsequently, many psychotherapists, especially in the US, began using MDMA as part of their sessions, believing it increased patients’ openness and empathy. After over a decade of popular use in psychotherapy and as a recreational drug, MDMA was made illegal in the US and elsewhere in 1985.
MDMA is taken in tablet form, typically at a dose of around 100mg, and has cognitive effects including euphoria, increased empathy and sociability, increased energy, anxiety, sensory enhancement and visual hallucinations. MDMA works by mimicking serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain.
High doses of MDMA can cause dehydration, exhaustion and organ failure if not taken responsibly. Users should always be aware of dosage and purity, drink plenty of water, and avoid mixing with other drugs.
MDMA is a controlled substance in most countries. Frequent use of MDMA has significant potential for harm and as such should be treated with respect and caution.
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