Ecstasy or Molly while in the street are names used to refer to 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine which is categorized as “club drugs” owing to their popularity in clubbing settings. Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that shares many psychological effects with drugs such as cocaine following its hallucinogenic and stimulant properties.
Tracing Ecstasy in its purest forms has become increasingly difficult, and a single dose has been proven to be potentially fatal. This reason makes it vital to create awareness on the adverse effects of using or overdosing on Ecstasy.
Common Signs of Ecstasy or MDMA Use
Ecstasy is more often encountered as a pill, while Molly (believed to the drug’s purest form) is usually traced in powder or crystal forms. The pill options are usually encrypted with images such as a smiley face, four-leaved clover and a peace sign as codes. Some users believe that crushing the pills and sniffing on the drug yields quicker and more intense results.
Due to Ecstasy’s hallucinogenic and stimulant properties, it has proven popular to provide users with ecstatic emotions, increased self-esteem and elated feelings of compassion for others. These are resultant impacts of saturated drug levels that raise the amount of serotonin in the brain, a chemical messenger that regulates appetite, body movements, and moods. As soon as the dose fades away, the brain remains depleted of serotonin, leaving the user confused, agitated and depressed.
Some signs depicted by Ecstasy users include:
- Irregular attitudes.
- Reactions to every situation however small.
- Abnormal friendliness that is beyond one’s normal personality.
- Irregular sleeping patterns or insomnia and sleeping interruptions.
- Reduced sense of pain.
- Irregular appetite.
- A heightened sense of touch especially sexually related.
- Dependency on clubbing life coupled with other signs of Ecstasy use.
- Side effects of the drug that are majorly physical
- Teeth grinding.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Constricted pupils.
- Jaw clenching
- Extreme thirst.
- Low anxiety.
- Irregular heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperatures; mostly high.
Typical overdose symptoms to look for
An Ecstasy overdosed user might show:
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Panic attacks.
- High blood pressure.
Coupling alcohol and other street drugs with Ecstasy increases the chances of a user overdosing. Unscrupulous drug dealers flood the street market with impure forms of MDMA in which samples seized by police officers have been found to contain a variety of additives namely:
- Dextromethorphan (DXM).
- Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)
- Synthetic cathinones commonly known as bath salts.
- Unprescribed pain relievers and cough medications.
Mistakenly believed to be benign, an Ecstasy overdose can turn fatal resulting from health complications such as dehydration and extreme body temperatures. An overdose could also result in hyperthermia which is an increase in body temperature possibly emanating from energy effects of the drug or the general feel of the surroundings such as infinite energy on the dance floor without resting for water breaks. With extreme heating of the body, comes heightened dehydration which in turn fatigues the body leading to weakened muscles (rhabdomyolysis), high blood pressure and vital organ failures such as the kidney and heart.
Maintaining a well-hydrated body as well as avoiding the mixture of MDMA, alcohol and other street drugs, reduces the risk of a user falling into Ecstasy overdose.
Treating an Ecstasy overdose entails on first reverting the effects such as rehydrating and reducing the body temperature. The doctor will induce the user with intravenous fluids as well as cold baths, or cold towel compresses to contain hyperthermia.
Alternative MDMA overdose treatments entail on:
- Stomach pumping or gastric lavage procedures to empty the stomach along with any drug residue left unabsorbed.
- Activated charcoal to prevent any ongoing absorption of Ecstasy form the digestive system.
- Inducing anti-reaction drugs to curb other related symptoms such as anxiety and nausea.
- Inducing of muscle relaxants such as Dantrolene that may help counter muscle stiffness and help reduce the temperature in the case where underlying hyperthermia is detected.