What is Ecstasy/MDMA?

MDMA (3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or "Ecstasy" is a synthetic psychoactive drug — chemically similar to both methamphetamines and the hallucinogen mescaline.

How Does Ecstasy Affect the User?

Ecstasy is a stimulant with mildly hallucinogenic effects. Short-term effects include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, and increased physical energy.

Adverse effects include nausea, chills, sweating, teeth clenching, muscle cramping, increased heart rate and blood pressure and blurred vision.

What are the Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse?

Ecstasy users face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure (a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease) and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.


An adverse reaction to or overdose of Ecstasy can result in:

  • Extremely high body temperatures
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing problems
  • Death

In high doses, Ecstasy can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure. Ecstasy abuse can lead to coma or death when the user drinks too much water at one time (hyponatremia). Hyponatremia is a condition where drinking too much fluid swells the brain and causes coma.

Because Ecstasy can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown in the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short intervals.

Get Help

If you are concerned you or a friend may have a problem with alcohol or other drugs , get help from a counselor, doctor, or other professional. Contact a counselor or campus security at 488-2663 or 471-6911.

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