The NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE defines the drug Ecstasy (MDMA) as a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. The drugs clinical name is MDMA (3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Psychoactive drugs are considered mind-altering drugs and ecstasy’s chemical structure is similar to other synthetic drugs that are known to cause brain damage. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2009) Although Ecstasy was not made illegal until 1985, most research indicates its original intended use was that of an appetite suppressant, which was developed in 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck. However, further research refutes that statement and there is substantial documentation alleging that Merck never intended to use ecstasy (MDMA) as an appetite suppressant, but rather as a means of evading present patents for haemostatic substances; substances used to stop the flow of blood and promote clotting. (The Author’s Journal, 2006) Ecstasy (MDMA) is created in laboratories in the form of a pill, which varies in color, shape, and size; most are branded with various symbols to represent and promote a specific seller or type of pill.
Ecstasy (MDMA) became more readily available on the street in the 70’s and 80’s. The most common use of the drug is in pill form taken orally. However, users have also been known to snort the powder resulting from crushing the pills, and also a more extreme process known as “shafting” or “plugging”; inserting the pill into the anus to be absorbed. (American Council for Drug Education’s, 2001) Ecstasy is considered to be a dangerous street drug because the ingredients are not easily accessible and it has become a common pra...
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