Essay on 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Ecstasy

Essay on 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Ecstasy

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One, two, buckle your shoe, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)... this is the chemical structure of the main component in the street drug, Ecstasy. Of all the drugs scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act, ecstasy is the only one in schedule I which has been used by licensed doctors therapeutically prior to its scheduling. As with all drugs prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act, there is a lot of misinformation, often created and spread by the government itself, that prevents the average person from truly understanding the risks and benefits of these drugs. We are going to do our best today to unravel the misinformation and learn about this unique drug.
MDMA was first synthesized and patented by the German drug company Merck in 1913 for use as a diet pill, but was never marketed, and eventually got shelved. MDMA was mostly unknown until it was synthesized by Alexander Shulgin in the 1970’s. Shulgin’s story is remarkable on its own, but he is the first recorded human to use MDMA, and recognized great therapeutic value in the compound. He introduced MDMA to Leo Zeff, a retiring psychologist that had used psychedelic drugs in his practice. After Zeff had taken MDMA, he decided not to retire, but to begin to use MDMA in his own practice. After a few months, Zeff was pontificating MDMA’s use, and earned the moniker the Johnny Appleseed of MDMA.. He dubbed the drug “Adam” believing that it stripped a lifetime of emotional baggage from its user, and allowed them to see themselves, as Adam, without sin. It is this powerful effect of allowing analysis of one’s actions without a feeling of guilt that caused another psychiatrist to dub MDMA “penicillin of the soul.”
Due to the patent held by Merck, no othe...


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Jerome Beck (8 March 1994). Pursuit of Ecstasy: The MDMA Experience. SUNY Press. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-7914-1818-5.

"Dopamine-Independent Locomotor Actions of Amphetamines in a Novel Acute Mouse Model of Parkinson Disease." PLOS Biology:. N.p., 14 Feb. 2001. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .

"Ecstasy 'Relieves Parkinson's Disease'." BBC News. BBC, 14 Feb. 2001. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .

Halem, Danna. "Alexander Shulgin on MDMA." Alexander Shulgin on MDMA. N.p., 1 Mar. 2002. Web. 1 May 2014. .

Shulgin, Alexander, and Ann Shulgin. "Erowid Online Books : "PIHKAL" - #109 MDMA."Erowid Online Books : "PIHKAL" - #109 MDMA. Erowid.org, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 May 2014. .

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