Essay by nikki152High School, 10th gradeA+, June 2008

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Ecstasy (MDMA), is also known as e, x, xtc, or beans on the street. The pills range in colour, shape, and stamped logo. The pill is usually ingested, although it can be crushed and snorted, which is usually known as ‘railing’. Some drug experimentalists have tried smoking and injecting, but both have found to be unpleasant so aren't common ways of consuming.

Ecstasy’s chemical name is 3, 4 – methylenedioxymethamphetaminem. Pure Ecstasy has only MDMA in it. But in some tablets other drugs are added such as Speed (methamphetamine), Ketamine, PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine), Caffeine Bicarbonate of soda, and Glucose. This is why E is considered such a ‘dirty’ drug. One of the issues with ecstasy is that there is no ‘standard’ tablet, so each batch has different amounts of MDMA, also there is no guarantee that there is any MDMA at all. This why it is necessary to know where the drug is from, don’t just think that because the design and colour of the pill is the same its will have the same effect as the other batch.

Often batches are made to match previous batches that were considered ‘excellent’ pills. Each batch has different amounts of strength and ingredients. The effects of ecstasy will vary depending on the pill and person. Some people are more sensitive to MDMA than others. This is important that ‘first-time’ users should be extremely cautious.

The total duration time of ecstasy is about 3-5 hours. Duration time ranges depending on its dose and different substances. There is onset, coming up, plateau, coming down, and after effect. Onset is when you start to feel the effect, which is about 30 minutes. Coming up is when you start to feel the drug kicking in, this is about 5-20 minutes. Plateau is the drug at its strongest point, and lasts about 2-3hours. When people have this experience they will usually say they are X-ing, rolling, tripping, beaning, or wigging. Coming down is when the drug wears off, and you can no longer feel the effects of it, this time of this is roughly 1-2 hours. But, the coming down can change due to the difference of substances in the tablet. With ‘clean’ MDMA (meaning pure), you will have a mellow and easy come down. But pills that are laced with methamphetamine can lead to a horrible come down, with heavy anxiety, which is known as a ‘crash’.

There are three types of effects: positive, neutral, and negative. Positive is when the drug works well, this includes: extreme mood lift, feelings of love and empathy, profound life-changing spiritual experiences, and urges to hug and kiss people. A neutral effect is when the drug not too great, yet not too bad. Some effects are: appetite loss, restlessness, nervousness, shivering, and a strong desire to do or want more of the drug when coming down. Negative effects are side effects which are unpleasant and take away from the experience, negative effects increase with dose, and pills that are ‘dirty’. The more often a person uses E the more negative effects are obvious. Some of the effects on a negative experience usually are: mild to extreme jaw clenching, teeth grinding, short-term memory scramble or loss or confusion, nausea, and vomiting. There is also a chance of death, but this is very rare. About 2 per 100,000 users experience extreme negative reactions leading to death, this most of the time is caused by misuse leading to hyponatremia (drinking too much water), dehydration (not drinking enough water), or over heating (due to dancing and not drinking water).

The addiction rate cannot be easily classified because it takes about 2 years to form an addiction, but after a few times people usually say it’s not worth it, and space out every time they decide to consume again. Also, after about 10 experiences people usually claim that the pill isn’t as ‘fun’ as it was before, and which is referred as a ‘loss of magic’.

Ecstasy is illegal in Canada unless you have a license, which means you cannot manufacture, buy, sell, ingest, or possess. Some of the chemicals that are used to manufacture ecstasy are on watch lists, when you purchase them the government watches you to make sure you don’t make Ecstasy. That doesn’t stop people from buying and using it. The prices of E vary from where you purchase it and the quantity of it. At a rave one pill can cost up to $25, but usually the prices range from $5-10. If purchased in higher quantities, MDMA usually goes for $50-150 per gram (which is about $5-$15 per dose), and wholesale is as low as $10 per gram, due to MDMA being very inexpensive to make.