MDMA (Ecstasy)

Essay by iostream.hCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2005

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MDMA, "Ecstasy", is often described as "a stimulant with psychedelic qualities." (Sillum 1). Similar to both amphetamine and mescaline, the user will feel an energy boost and possibly experience vivid sensual hallucinations, without the perceptual effects of other hallucinogens such as LSD. Ecstasy has become a staple and a symbol of raves. It is known for increasing libido among it's users, as well as being an escape from fear and depression. MDMA was first synthesized in the early 1900's by the drug company Merck, but did gain a following until the 1970's. The drug gave users a "window". It allowed these people to "find" themselves, "...without distortions or reservations". The early users of ecstasy found it to help some overcome tremendous personal issues, such as those with "severe stutter and oppressive guilt" (Sillum 1). The drug was then introduced to a psychologist who had used other hallucinogens for therapy.

He then shared it's use with other psychiatrists and psychologists. It was found to "dissolve fear for a few hours" (Sillum 1), very useful for those needing trauma therapy. It was called "penicillin for the soul, and you don't give up penicillin, once you've seen what it can do" (Sillum 1).

Ecstasy's reputation as a club drug became apparent as it's use outside of psychotherapists office grew wild. Even those who had used it previously for psychotherapeutic use called it a "low-calorie martini". It was known among users as a way to loosen up and "relate more easily to others at social gatherings". Its recreational use exploded as nightclubbers in Texas started using it as the drug "Ecstasy". The open use of the drug invoked the DEA, who put the substance in the same category as heroin. Ecstasy's use as a recreational drug occurred in the same way as LSD,