Ecstasy (MDMA)

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MDMA was first created in 1910by German scientists studying amphetamines., Merck, a German pharmaceutical company, took out a patent on the chemical in 1914 because they believed that MDMA could be useful for suppressing appetites. When MDMA proved useless for their purposes, it was forgotten and did not resurface until the 1950s during the Cold War. Scientists in the U.S. Army of Office of Strategic Services were looking for drugs to induce psychotic and violent behavior but MDMA did not produce these results and drifted into misuse. A few years later in the 1960s, Dr. Alexander T. Shulgin heard about MDMA from a student and created his own batch. After experimenting on himself and friends, he came to the conclusion that MDMA could have value as a drug for mental disorders to help people be more open about troubling events. Based off of Shulgin’s conclusion, psychotherapists in the medical community of California in the 1970s became excited about MDMA as a drug to help heighten feelings of closeness and connection with patients, enhancing therapy as a “penicillin for the soul.” As research on MDMA progressed, animal testing indicated that MDMA destroyed brain cells and doctors backed away, but it had already become popular among people as a recreational drug. Among college students, MDMA is generally used at clubs and raves, which originated in 1987 on the Spanish island of Ibiza when British vacationers staged all-night dance parties. Raves then spread back to the U.K. and U.S. and MDMA became the most commonly used drugs at raves. MDMA is popular at raves because it fits the rave scene well; giving people the energy to stay awake and dance all night. It also allows shy and cautious people to be confident, open, and friendly ... ... middle of paper ... ...after using MDMA. If MDMA use is regular, the neuron’s ability to release serotonin will be destroyed, which could be a permanent effect. Works Cited Bigelow, Barbara. “Ecstasy (MDMA).” UXL Encyclopedia of Drugs & Addictive Substances. Kathleen Edgar. Volume 3. New York: Thomas Gale, 2006. Print. “NIDA InfoFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy).” National Institute on Drug Abuse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dec. 2010. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. Lopez, Marsha F., Ph.D. "Ecstasy (MDMA)." Drugs and Controlled Substances: Information for Students. Ed. Stacey L. Blachford and Kristine Krapp. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 156-164. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. “Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade.” Office of National Drug Control Policy. n.p. 6 April 2005. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. Swarts, Katherine, ed. Club Drugs. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Print.

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