If you have followed the news at all over the past several years, you have undoubtedly heard of the use of drugs by young people at nightclubs, or while attending concerts or "raves". One of the most common drugs used in this type of environment is ecstasy. Known by many other names on the street, from "X" to "XTC" to "Adam", ecstasy is popular among young people in clubs. Ecstasy effects include decreased inhibitions and energy that allows partiers to go all night without feeling fatigue.Taking a theme from the hippie generation of the 1960's, "If it feels good, do it", ecstasy users consider it the perfect party drug. One reason for its popularity is that ecstasy effects can be similar to the effects of alcohol, without the concern of suffering a hangover the next day. The user feels relaxed, with a sense of euphoria and happiness and a lessening of any anxieties, while at the same time feeling energetic enough to dance and party all night.What is important to understand is that ecstasy is not a harmless drug. Its scientific name is methylene- dioxy-methamphetamine; MDMA for short. MDMA is chemically related to amphetamine, and has some of the same stimulant properties. Ecstasy effects include the same euphoria and hallucinations that amphetamines can cause since it works on the same neurotransmitters in the brain.Ecstasy is primarily a young person's drug. It is estimated that more than ten million Americans age 12 and older have tried ecstasy in their lifetimes. And yet, after the age of 25, the number of users appears to decline. Because it works on the brain's neurotransmitters, this can mean potential permanent damage when used by such a young population.While the risk of addiction to ecstasy is lower than for some other drugs, this does not mean that it is safe to use. While users don't necessarily die from an overdose of ecstasy, what does happen is they are killed in an auto accident while driving under the influence of ecstasy. Or, because their inhibitions are reduced, they might engage in risky behavior that is out of character, leading to accidental injury or death. The ecstasy effects that are often seen include lower inhibitions and the inability to make sound decisions. These factors can make the user drink too much or take other drugs in combination with the ecstasy, leading to tragic consequences.
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