Concerts, discos, parties … In all these situations, most people move around for hours, spending large amounts of energy, in some cases reaching exhaustion. However, some people use different drugs and substances in order to endure energy expenditure for hours and at the same time induce feelings of euphoria and companionship.
One of the most widely used substances in this regard is ecstasy or MDMA. However, this hallucinogenic substance is not harmless, but significantly alters our body and sometimes in a way that is dangerous to health and life itself. In this article, we present some of the short and long term effects of ecstasy.
Ecstasy or MDMA
Ecstasy or MDMA is a psychoactive psychodyseptic substance (Or disturbing), a type of substance that causes changes in brain activity and causes disturbances in perception and mood. By its chemical composition, it includes next to mescaline and other drugs from the group of phenylalkylamines.
This substance (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) it generates an expansive and euphoric atmosphere, Increased self-confidence and ego, hyperactivation, hallucinations, altered perception of time and feelings of peace and trust with others. It speeds up the heart and breathing and reduces the feeling of hunger, thirst and physical fatigue. However, at the same time, it generates a state of tranquility and relaxation.
Ecstasy is one of the most common types of hallucinogens, Marijuana and cocaine being one of the most widely used illicit drugs. This consumption is generally practiced for recreational purposes, although it has occasionally been used in various research and was even explored for therapeutic purposes in the 1960s.
However, today ecstasy is not considered an element with proven therapeutic properties, so it is only used as a recreational drug, especially at parties and nightclubs.
The main mechanism of action of this substance is based on the acceleration and increase of monoamine synthesis, Affecting dopamine and serotonin.
This increase in the synthesis and transmission of these neurotransmitters explains the activating effects of ecstasy, as well as the feeling of peace, tranquility, empathy and social connection.
In addition, it is observed that the continued use of this substance leads to a degradation of serotonergic neuronsThis explains the presence of different side effects in chronic consumers and poisonings.
Short-term effects of MDMA
The immediate effects of ecstasy they are widely known and some have been mentioned above. MDMA generates an increase in nerve activity, causing arousal and euphoria. It also generates feeling of closeness and trust both with oneself and with others, peace and quiet.
In addition, another effect of ecstasy is that alters the perception of fatigue, hunger and thirst, Which diminish to the point of noticing their presence.
Ecstasy causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which leads to an increase in the level of energy we can spend and an increase in activity. However, this increase can lead to serious injury and bleeding to muscles, kidneys and viscera, as well as cause heart damage if overdosed. This factor is one of the most dangerous when consuming MDMA.
Another of the short-term effects of ecstasy is the increase in body temperature, which is also worsened by the increase in physical energy caused by the substance and its habitual use. increase the temperature even more). This hyperthermia can cause fever, seizures and even death, being one of the most common causes of death from this drug.
On the other hand, it can also induce visual hallucinations, confusion and intense fear towards those around them with paranoid traits, especially in what is called a “bad trip”.
Finally, other typical short-term symptoms are bruxism and increased jaw tension, as well as hyperreflexia and muscle tension. as well amnesia and loss of consciousness may occur, In extreme cases reaching a coma.
Long-term effects of ecstasy
Beyond the effects of the immediate consumption of ecstasy, it should be borne in mind that if the consumption of this substance is prolonged over time it can cause serious damage to the body.
It has been observed through several studies that its prolonged consumption produces changes and deterioration of serotonergic neurons, specifically causing damage to their axons, damage that can become permanent. These changes can lead to depressive and anxious symptoms.
MDMA consumption has also been linked to loss of mental faculties such as memory and decision-making ability, as well as sleep disturbances Frequent consumption of this substance has also been shown to cause chronic psychosis, as well as intermittent hallucinations, increased impulsivity and aggression and symptoms anxious.
The use of ecstasy also causes damage to the blood brain barrier while causing inflammation of brain tissue. It can also cause and / or facilitate the onset of a stroke and severe or even fatal brain hemorrhage. Other organs that are damaged by the action of ecstasy are the liver and the heart.
- Colat, MI (2008). Ecstasy (MDMA) and designer drugs: structure, pharmacology, mechanisms of action and effects on humans. Addictive Disorders, Vol. 10 (3): 175-182. Madrid.