MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, is infamously known worldwide as an extremely popular rave drug. Typically taken at parties, clubs or music festivals, millions of people worldwide pop this pill to experience certain stimulations and hallucinations.
One man by the name of Kyle Thurston had experienced these symptoms first hand, which further lead to an array of quite interesting actions. At 4 in the morning, police responded to him screaming for help, standing on the Lake Eola fountain. When questioned by the police, he admitted to ingesting a large quantity of molly and the stole a swan-shaped pedalo because “the swans don’t judge him”. Unable to tie the boat down when reaching the fountain in the middle of the lake, Kyle Thurston had been stranded. He was quickly taken to the hospital shortly after. Another incident that was not as fortunate took place in London about five years ago. Isobel Jones-Reilly, 15 years of age, was at an unsupervised house party. One boy came across a container filled with “numerous bags of pill and powders” in a cupboard at the house.
Isobel took a large amount and seemed fine initially. Pacing in circles, she started to get very hot as time moved on. Breathing heavily and acting panicky, her jaw started to move unnaturally at around 3 AM.
When lying down, Isobel’s friends grew wary and asked if they should call an ambulance. Worried about getting into trouble, she didn’t allow her friends to go through with it. The ambulance was eventually called when she collapsed but unfortunately, Isobel passed away even though she had been given eight shots of adrenaline and 28 cycles of CPR.When an ecstasy pill is taken, it dissolves in the stomach in a short amount of time. Once fully disintegrated, the MDMA molecules move from the stomach to the small intestine where they are absorbed into the bloodstream. When the blood travels to the liver, some of the molecules are metabolized to become inactive compounds.
The rest flow through the veins all the way to the heart, where it is then pumped out throughout the whole body. When they pass through the lungs, the blood mixed with the ecstasy molecules are oxygenated. Since the ecstasy mixed with the oxygenated blood is primarily nonpolar, it is able to pass through the barrier between brain’s blood vessels and the brain matter. Once the ecstasy has entered the brain, it triggers a specific neurotransmitter, serotonin, to release in abnormally large amounts. Since there is an abundance of serotonin molecules, it creates a higher chance of more serotonin to bind to the receptors. The specific shape of the serotonin created allows it to fit into a serotonin receptor the same way a key fits in a keyhole.
If a serotonin molecule tried to bind to a dopamine receptor, it would not be able to fit. Ecstasy has impacted especially the young audience greatly in our world. Since it is typically used during social situations such as parties and music festivals, teens typically use the drug to enhance their experience.
Effects may cause elevated moods, increased energy and focus, higher levels of sexuality and sexual arousal, and a disorientated sense of time. While there are multiple positive short-term effects, the side effects outweigh them. It is possible for the drug user to experience symptoms such as nausea, muscle cramps, sweating, tension around the face, increased blood pressure, and even hallucinations. If the user takes an excessive and dangerous dose for a desired longer effect of ecstasy, they may undergo panic attacks, seizures, unconsciousness, extreme increase in body temperature, organ damage, and possibly even death. In 2013, there were 120 deaths relating to ecstasy in the United Kingdom.
The next year, the number of deaths had increased to 151. This is the highest mortality rate that has ever been recorded. With so many deaths, this could have easily ended tons of relationships with family and friends. Addiction could also lead to a harsh ending of relationships between loved ones. This is not the only problem addiction could create.
With a constant desire or dependence to ecstasy, financial problems could arise since all the user’s money was used on drugs. If the user was possibly in debt, they would have to resort to crime and violence in order to get what they would want or even need. However, there is some hope for the future of ecstasy. This past year, MDMA went through trials, for the first time ever, to treat alcohol addiction.
The psychoactive drug has shown promise treating post-traumatic stress disorder after showing 67 percent of participants got rid of their condition after two or three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy. Now doctors such as Rick Doblin plan to get the drug approved by the FDA. For once, ecstasy may not be used for recreational purposes but to improve the lives of certain people.