Ecstasy: A Drug That Can Kill

Ecstasy: A Drug That Can Kill

Length: 1693 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Ecstasy: A Drug That Can Kill
missing works cited

Three years ago, Mark*, now a college junior, went to a Dave Mathews concert in Boston with a few friends. He was 18 at the time, and about a half-hour before the concert started, they all decided to take a pill of the drug Ecstasy. This was Mark’s first time taking the drug, so he didn’t fully know what to expect. They chose what is called the “speedy” type, commonly used at raves and parties rather than the “dopey” type, which is known to give more of a slow, relaxing feeling.

“Seriously, you get this warm fuzzy feeling that runs up your back, and a feeling that everything in life is right. Your jaw begins to clench and you love chewing on stuff…gum, straws, candy,” he said.

The feelings that Mark experienced are typical effects of the drug. His most intense feelings lasted about three hours, and the overall feeling of the drug remained for about six to seven hours. Yet the feelings of contentment abruptly ended when he awoke the next day.

“The next day was the most horrible day of my life,” he said. “All the happiness that was triggered in your brain is drained and you’re left with nothing.”

Over eight million people aged 12 and older reported using the “club” drug ecstasy at least once in their lifetime, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), an information source on the consequences, patterns, and prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse in the general U.S. population, age 12 and older.

Methylenedioxymethamephetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic psychoactive drug used for its elated and hallucinogenic causes. Formally used to assist psychotherapy in the 1970s, it is now banned in the United States. Although illegal, it is rapidly rising in popularity in the United States, particularly among teenagers and young adults. Taken orally in a tablet or capsule, snorted, or injected, it generally takes 30 to 40 minutes to take effect and lasts about three to six hours, although some side effects can occur weeks after taking the drug.

Ecstasy’s psychological side effects include confusion, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and paranoia. Like Prozac, it causes an elevation in serotonin, a chemical in the brain which triggers happy feelings in people. Some physical side effects are muscle tension, teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, chills, or sweating.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Ecstasy: A Drug That Can Kill." 24 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ecstasy Abuse Essay

- Ecstasy Abuse For many people the drug of choice would be marijuana, but in recent years that trend has been changing. The drug of choice for today’s young adults is MDMA or ecstasy. Unlike marijuana which has long term affects, ecstasy can kill a person with one hit. It is a very dangerous drug, and is spreading like wildfire in the United States. Most teenagers take the drug without knowing the side affects such as depression and brain damage ( With more people trying the drug everyday, it is becoming harder for law enforcement to keep up with them....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
809 words (2.3 pages)

Ecstasy, the Brain, and the Media Essay example

- Ecstasy, the Brain, and the Media Ecstasy has been glorified by countless Brit-pop drug anthems, condemned by staunch anti-drug foundations and even caused a controversial media debate when the post-mortem picture of eighteen year old Lorna Spinks was splashed across every newspaper in the United Kingdom, her Ecstasy-related death rendered in full gruesome color. The long-term effects and temporary consequences of Ecstasy have been a subject of heated debate in the past ten years as the pill has seen a surge in popularity....   [tags: Drugs Drug Chemistry Essays]

Free Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Effects of Ecstasy

- The Effects of Ecstasy Some believe that it is therapeutic; others take it to capture the feeling of love all around. Ignorance calls it "the love drug." What is this drug that has taken control of the lives of so many adults as well as children. It is Ecstasy, or in Medical terms, MDMA. This drug has long-term effects that will leave users more ignorant than they started out when they chose to abuse it. As much as users believe that it does no harm, this drug is very dangerous and the use of it must be put to and end by all means....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
547 words (1.6 pages)

Ecstasy Essay

- Ecstasy, or 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, was first synthesized and patented in 1914, by the German drug company Merck. The original purpose of the drug was to be an appetite suppressant, however in 1970 it was given to clinical depressed patients to open them up and talk about their feelings. Then in 1986, Ecstasy was determined to cause brain damage ( Ecstasy is used at the party and rave scene for its effects on the emotional state of the user....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Should Ecstasy be legal? Essay

- “Ecstasy”, a drug with many different opinions and views, is often viewed as a killer, which is a stretch of the truth. The drug is sometimes thought of as one of the worst things in the world, but also as the best. Health issues are a problem and there have been some deaths .The deaths though are no way near the number of alcohol or cigarette deaths. How could such a beautiful word be considered such a horrible thing . Ecstasy can kill, but you can die tomorrow by being hit by a car or getting shot, why not live your life to the fullest....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1263 words (3.6 pages)

Ecstasy Abuse Essay

- Article 1 C) Source of Article: Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Title of Article: Navy Medicine Steps Up to Help Prevent Ecstasy Abuse A) Talks about how the military is not protected by ecstasy abuse. They may have a zero tolerance mentality about it but that still does not stop people from accessing it. The Navy found a medicine that makes hiding of having the trace of ecstasy on a person harder to hide. They found a better way to detect ecstasy with a certain drug exam that is ahead of technology....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
2324 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on The Drug Ecstacy

- Ecstasy is a slang or short word for Methylenedioxymethamphetamines (MDMA). It is a very serious mind-altering, psychoactive drug that can kill you. This drug can cause confusion, paranoia, sleep problems, anxiety and depression even after weeks of not taking it. Ecstasy was first developed in 1914 as a diet pill or appetite suppressant and it was a legal substance until 1985. In the mid-1980s, ecstasy burst out in the streets becoming the most popular drug used in Raves (wild all night parties) because it helps you keep dancing and mood enhancement....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
421 words (1.2 pages)

A Fresh Kill Essay

- Tarquinius O'Donoghue. That name is a plume of acrid, nicotine-infested smoke, contaminating your lungs, your blood, right down to your cells at its presence. It's a lethal jab of ecstasy drug, raising your anger levels like a bulging helium balloon. It's become a conditioned reflex at school that on hearing that dreadful name, you recoil in repulse as though it were a stinking bonfire of decaying matter. Nobody likes Tarquinius. Tarquinius the bully. Cruel, callous, condescending Tarquinius. He thinks he's so intelligent, and that "higher than thou" voice that propagates out of his mouth......   [tags: personal narrative]

Research Papers
517 words (1.5 pages)

Clandestine Drug Laboratories and the Fire Service Essay

- Clandestine labs pose a great risk, to the individuals producing these toxic concoctions they don’t realize how dangerous and volatile these chemical are. These chemicals cause three main types of harm. (1) physical injury from explosions, fires, chemical burns, and toxic fumes. (2) environmental hazards and (3) endangerment of the surrounding area/child endangerment. () The most popular drug produced by clandestine laboratories is methamphetamines. Methampheramines are made from cold medicines, herbal pills and nutritional supplements....   [tags: Drugs ]

Research Papers
1098 words (3.1 pages)

The Drug of Ecstasy Essay

- The Drug of Ecstasy I'm here today to tell you something that you will probably all know and have an opinion on already. Do any of you, like me, congregate around Ivybridge Leisure Centre on a Friday night, or even enjoy clubbing in Plymouth at the weekend. If you do, then it is hard to ignore the fact that ecstasy is becoming the new alcohol. Alcohol is commonly known for making people more relaxed and confident, and although it is accepted in society, I'm sure we are all aware of the side affects, which include sickness and alcohol poisoning from over-consumption and misjudgement of situations....   [tags: Free Essays]

Free Essays
391 words (1.1 pages)

Related Searches

Brain imaging research shows that the drug causes injury with neurons in the brain, which use serotonin, a key brain chemical believed to play a significant role in mood, emotion, sleep, behavioral and physiological functions, according to Narconon. Because the neurons are injured, brain damage may be caused. The drug may also cause dehydration, hypertension, and heart and kidney failure.

Shayna, 19, a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston, first tried ecstasy when she was 15 years old and with a group of friends and her boyfriend in her home state of New Jersey. She described her experience as fun, experiencing sexual feelings and a “tingling” feeling on her skin every time someone touched her. Her boyfriend, who had epilepsy, used the drug because he felt that it calmed his seizures.

“I remember that our words were slurred, and the next morning I had to sit down and really try to remember what I did the night before. I was also dehydrated,” she said.

She took the drug two other times after her initial experience, and described all of them as appearing to be better than the first. She also experienced different atmospheres while on the drug, such as her with her close friends, at a club where she danced continually all night due to the effects of the drug, and in a quiet atmosphere with just her and her boyfriend. She reported taking a pill with a picture of a star, another with a playboy bunny, and another blank one.

In 2001, a study conducted by the NHSDA showed that the majority of users were between the ages of 18 and 25. Not only does this age group have the largest amount of users, but the study showed that current users are more likely to use other illicit drugs than the non-users. Ecstasy is increasingly taken by marijuana users, according to the drug rehab center Narconon, based out of southern California.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in 1994, one person admitted to the emergency room died from association of the drug. By 2001, 76 people died from ecstasy. The cause of death is usually heatstroke and hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication. To give a perspective, deaths caused directly from the chemical MDMA in 2001 were estimated to be only 2 in 100,000 users as opposed to cigarettes, which estimate 400 deaths per 100,000 users. A study in the Netherlands showed that 89 percent of patients admitted to the emergency room with MDMA present in their bodies did not require any treatment after talking to the doctor. This can be explained because most people on psychoactive drugs think there is something wrong and get nervous, when there may not actually be anything wrong, according to the DEA’s website.

In April 2002, ABC News reported that 16-year-old Brandy French from Sewickley, PA died after taking one pill of ecstasy at a concert with her friends. According to her friends, Brandy started getting very sick after taking the drug, and eventually they brought her to 19-year-old Lewis Hopkins’ house to sleep it off, telling his mother that she was drunk. According to French’s friend Michelle Maranuk, they wanted to call 911 but Hopkin’s mother wouldn’t let them, not knowing that she was on drugs or how sick she was. Brandy was finally taken unconscious to the hospital nearly seven hours after taking the pill, where she died. French’s story demonstrates that although some statistics show that deaths resulting in ecstasy use are slim, the drug still has the capability to be deadly.

The drug was first manufactured between 1912 and 1913 by Merck, a German pharmaceutical company, and intended to be used as an appetite suppressant, but the company never marketed the drug, according to Narconon. In 1985, MDMA underwent immense media attention because psychiatrists, therapists, scientists, and doctors challenged the DEA with the motive to prevent them from banning the drug. It didn’t work, and Congress passed the law in 1988 banning the drug, because it was considered dangerous to the public and put on schedule one, the most restrictive class of drugs. By the late 1980s and early 1990s illicit use of the drug was popular, and it was commonly combined with other drugs.

“No one really knows how Ecstasy works,” said James Stellar, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University and cocaine expert. Stellar believes that people take ecstasy for two main reasons. One is for pleasure and the second is for changes in behavior in a way that people like. Personalities on Ecstasy seem to be more outgoing and open; self-consciousness disappears.

According to Narconon, Ecstasy is manufactured primarily in Western Europe, Israel, and Russia, although there are some MDMA labs in the United States. It is shipped in bulk quantities of approximately 10,000 pills via commercial airline flights, express mail services, or other air freight shipments. Once in the United States, the drug can be sold from anywhere between $8 and $30 per pill. For example, in 2000, U.S. Customs Services at Los Angeles International Airport found 16 packages of ecstasy containing 2.1 million ecstasy tablets. The estimated street value of this shipment was $41 million.

Ecstasy tablets come in many different colors with different images on the front, such as a smiley face, butterflies, flowers, diamonds, and other creative pictures. The MDMA traffickers use brand logos as marketing tools, as well as to distinguish the different pills.

According to, a website where free data is provided by ecstasy users and testers, the use of a home testing kit gives people results of an ecstasy-like substance in each pill. By scraping off part of the pill and pouring on the chemical solution called Marquis Reagent, which is made up of formaldehyde, sulphuric acid, and methanol, the color changes indicating which main active ingredient is in the drug. This test is useful for users to see what principle active ingredient is present in each pill as well as to see what pills are “bad” or inactive, as well as harm reduction agencies and organizations that post information about drugs on the internet. Although illegal to possess ecstasy, it is legal in the United States to possess the testing kit, according to Testing kits are available to buy online. contains results of test kits, as well as the experience of the user posted on the site. Each post contains the type of pill tested, what the results looked like, the effects and reports of the user. The majority of the emotional effects reported on the website were described as “spaced out” with physical effects of jaw clenching and stiffness.

Christopher Clancy, a drug counselor at Narconon, described receiving phone calls from people asking questions such as how many ecstasy pills are considered an overdose and how many pills are needed to commit suicide. He said he tries to find out what’s going on with these people and help them as much as he can.
“Some pills are stronger than others so it’s hard to tell what an overdose would be, but it’s foolish to take any more than one pill at a time,” he said.

He also described the website, as a sight where people go to get information on drugs. This website contains information about psychoactive plants and chemicals as well as other related topics.

“I think a lot of kids honestly go to this website to find out which drugs are ok to mix and things like that,” said Clancy. “It shouldn’t even be allowed on the Internet.”

When asked to send one message to readers about drugs, Clancy responded, “It’ll strip them of their soul.”

*Some names have been changed to respect people’s privacy*
Return to