- Urge Home
- Your Body
- Your Mind
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Beyond School
- Our Society
- Connecting You
Ecstasy is the name given to a range of drugs that are similar in structure to MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine). It has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties - in other words it can rev you up and distort your perceptions and senses.
Ecstasy is also known as 'E', 'XTC', 'eccy', 'Pills', 'Lollies' and 'the love drug'.
Ecstasy is illegal, and its ingredients are often hard to get - this means that manufacturers may put other substances (such as chalk or caffeine) into the drug when they're making it. There is the chance that when you buy Ecstasy it will contain little or no MDMA or MDA (Methylenedioxyamphetamine) which has a similar effect to MDMA. On rare occasions, dangerous chemicals, such as rat poison have also been found in samples of Ecstasy. What this means is there are no guarantees about the strength or effect of Ecstasy. If you do choose to take, it, take a small sample first to check out its effects - even regular users can be caught out. If you do that, you lessen the risk of having a bad reaction to the drug.
The effects of any drug (including Ecstasy) vary from person to person. It depends on many factors including a person's size, weight and health, how much and the way the drug is taken, whether the person is used to taking it and how they are feeling at the time. It also depends on the person's environment and whether or not they have taken other drugs.
Because Ecstasy is commonly taken prior to, or during, dance parties, the stimulant effects are likely to increase. What that means is that people taking Ecstasy may dance more energetically and for longer than usual, which may increase some of the drug's more negative and possibly dangerous effects (such as dehydration).
People who take Ecstasy who have hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, epilepsy, or a history of mental illness or panic attacks are at greater risk of physical and psychological harm.