The agony and the ecstasy

While the drug ICE is getting plenty of attention in the media, other drugs, such as ecstasy, are still popular amongst users.

In fact, research shows that 10.9% of Australians aged 14 years and over have tried ecstasy and 2.5% have used the drug in the past 12 months. According to the Australian Drug Foundation, that’s higher than the figures for ICE and other amphetamines and methamphetamines.

What is ecstasy?

Ecstasy’s primary ingredient is methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA for short. However, if you pop an ecstasy tablet you really don’t know what you’re putting into your system. That’s because as the ingredients to make synthetic drugs become more difficult to get, black market producers are adding methamphetamine (speed), synthetic hallucinogens and other chemicals into the mix.

What does ecstasy do?

Users report a euphoric rush that can last up to eight hours and even longer. Increased feelings of alertness, energy and even affection are what make ecstasy popular for ravers, partygoers and workers.

The comedown is not as positive, however. Users can feel exhausted, angry, paranoid, anxious or depressed.

Long-term use can lead to issues such as high blood pressure, depression, increased emotional issues, decrease in memory and attention, and cracked teeth because users often clench and grind their teeth.

Even occasional users are not immune from side effects. Short-term issues include overheating, increased blood pressure and heart rate, tremors and nausea. In extreme cases, users have died from taking a single ecstasy pill.

Posted in Drug and alcohol education, Drug and alcohol management, Drug and alcohol testing, Drug testing

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