MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic drug and best known as the active ingredient in the XTC pill. Other names for the drug include molly, ecstasy and E. In recent years, the drug has been in the spotlight due to several promising studies currently underway. Research is underway to determine whether MDMA can be used as a drug in therapy sessions, including for the treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). For the time being, MDMA remains an illegal drug.
In nightlife, MDMA is one of the most popular drugs, alongside alcohol and cannabis. Dangers of the drug lie mainly in the combination with other drugs, the occurrence of mental dependence and impure pills.
MDMA was first developed in 1912 by the pharmaceutical company Merck. German scientist Anton Kollish was looking for substances that could help stop excess bleeding. In this process, he saw potential in the drug and thus the other possibilities were not considered. As a result, the psychoactive effects of MDMA remained unknown.
Alexander Shulgin synthesized MDMA in 1965 and tried it out several years later. The American scientist was greatly impressed by the effects of the drug and soon shared his knowledge with psychotherapists and psychiatrists. He was convinced that the drug had medicinal potential.
It was not long before the effects of the drug became known. The first anecdotes of its use date back to the 1970s. Then the drug became known in the underground psychotherapy circles in the United States. At one point it was given to more than 4,000 patients by the psychiatrist Leo Zeff. At the time, the drug was still legal.
Later, MDMA was also increasingly used in nightlife and rave culture. It was not long before the government intervened and declared the drug illegal. Initially it was put on the Schedule III list. This means that the drug could still be used as a medicine. Later this was revised and the drug was placed on the Schedule I list, as a "drug without any medical value”.
MDMA and the dance scene
Recreational use of MDMA is linked to electronic dance music, dance parties, the club and rave scene.
Current research on MDMA as a medicine
Today, there are several scientific studies underway investigating whether and in what ways MDMA can be used as a therapeutic drug to treat PTSD, social anxiety, autism, and anxiety in patients with life-threatening illnesses, among others.
What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a condition that can occur after experiencing a shocking, traumatic experience. Some examples include being involved in a war situation, natural disaster, or accident. The person in question has difficulty processing the events and this can have long-lasting emotional effects. For example, flashbacks and recurring nightmares about the event may recur. People with PTSD often have destructive thoughts of shame, guilt and fear about themselves and the outside world.
In addition to counseling sessions and therapy, MDMA appears to work exceptionally well for a subset of patients who respond poorly to conventional forms of therapy.
MDMA allows patients to better access trapped feelings. This allows traumatic experiences to be seen and released. It is an extremely effective tool. This research shows that approximately 68% of patients make a full recovery.
In the Netherlands about 6000 war veterans have PTSD. The intention is to offer MDMA therapy as regular treatment in the near future and for the drug to become a registered medicine. The dosage here is up to one third of what is used in nightlife. Meanwhile, some war veterans in the Netherlands have officially received legal MDMA therapy as well as in the US.
Effects of MDMA
MDMA was initially described as a psychedelic substance. However, the drug has been given a different classification, namely entactogenic. One of the drug's most distinctive features is that it causes feelings of closeness with oneself and improves social contact.
An MDMA trip lasts an average of 4 to 6 hours.
- Increased sensitivity: MDMA causes the body to become extra sensitive to touch. It may seem as if the skin becomes more sensitive to different textures. It may also seem as if something soft is stroking all over the body.
- Increased body temperature: MDMA is often linked to overheating. This is a real danger, especially for dancers who are somewhere inside with little oxygen pushing their bodies to the limit and not drinking water. There are several stories of MDMA users overheating, sometimes resulting in coma or death. This is often in combination with other drugs and when the body is weakened.
- Various physical experiences: a characteristic of MDMA is the spontaneous occurrence of physical experiences. Some examples are a tingling feeling all over the body, a "rush", a kind of warm wave that seems to wash over you, a euphoric feeling. These intense feelings ebb away after the peak of the trip. It is important to note that these strong physical experiences become less and less intense the more often one uses. This is also known as "losing the MDMA magic”.
- Abnormal or Accelerated Heart Rhythm: Use of MDMA can disturb the heart rhythm. People with heart problems should be extra careful with this. This becomes dangerous as the dosage increases.
- Teeth grinding: A common side effect of MDMA is uncontrolled teeth grinding and chewing movements. This is harmful to the teeth and inside of the mouth. It can be somewhat avoided by taking a chewing gum. Taking a magnesium supplement can also help.
- Large pupils: A characteristic for MDMA users is that they have dilated pupils.
- Social: MDMA increases feelings of connectedness with others and encourages social contact. A user has heightened feelings of empathy and can evoke strong affection for loved ones, friends and strangers. This connectedness may become weaker after multiple MDMA uses, causing a user to not feel the strong inclination to make social contact as they did in previous experiences.
- Emotions: an MDMA user is better able to look at certain feelings from a loving perspective. This can make it easier to face and work through difficult experiences. Also, feelings of anxiety can be suppressed.
- Euphoria: strong feelings of euphoria can be experienced, combined with a blissful and in love feeling.
Increasing the dosage
As with many other drugs, MDMA also makes a user want to take more. Although MDMA is not physically addictive, one wants - certainly under the influence - to take more. This is to prolong the high as long as possible. Often this is not useful because the physical rush cannot come back after it has reached its peak. Increasing the dosage causes more exhaustion of the body and increases the risk of complications.
Although MDMA is not physically addictive, mental dependence can occur. A user then wants to use the drug all the time, because otherwise a party is not fun.
MDMA hangover or come-down
Many users suffer from a hangover in the day to week after use. In combination with sleep deprivation and (heavy) alcohol consumption, these symptoms are of course intensified.
MDMA can cause damage to the brain cells. This is called neurotoxicity. Long-term users and users who take very high doses can suffer permanent damage. Even if you do not use regularly, it is important to protect yourself as much as possible. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and going outside every day are things that can help tremendously. There are also several dietary supplements that can contribute to a speedy recovery from MDMA.
- After E: specially developed capsules to accommodate people in nightlife and offer a tool. This is a form of harm reduction.
- Magnesium: taking a magnesium supplement can help protect your brain.
- Vitamin C: is found in fruits and vegetables, but is also available in the form of a dietary supplement. This way you can get a dose of vitamin C quickly and easily. This antioxidant protects your body on several levels.
- Green tea: drinking green tea gives your body extra protection by means of various protective components that, among other things, help to drive off toxins. Jacob Hooy Performance's dietary supplement combines green tea with the healing properties of CBD.
Test your XTC
One risk of XTC pills is the possibility that, as a user, you may take something other than what you were told. You can't see what the ingredients are and so there is a chance that you are taking a completely different drug, possibly with life-threatening consequences. Also the amount of active ingredient (MDMA) can vary a lot per pill. Especially in combination with other drugs (for example alcohol) the effect can be too strong physically and mentally with dangerous consequences.
Therefore always test your pill or MDMA. Sirius sells specially developed test kits to quickly find out whether you have an XTC pill, or something else. There are also tests available with which you can measure the purity of MDMA.
Sirius sells legal and natural herbal XTC
Sirius is aware of the high level of MDMA use within the nightlife. As a smartshop we offer natural and legal alternatives. These substances are safe, do not harm your body and will make you feel even better in the days after. Although MDMA is not physically addictive, mental addiction can occur. Because of this, there is a chance that a user may become increasingly desensitized to stimuli and cannot have fun at a party without MDMA. Is this a risk for you or are you interested in other ways to experiment? Take a look at the Smartshop category of Sirius.
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