Over long periods of time, studies show that chronic use of MDMA has led to reduced ability on cognitive or memory tasks. Nevertheless, the drug is viewed positively by many casual drug users who feel it is the perfect high. The drug offers a peaceful, loving feeling to those who take it, being known as the "hug drugs" among ravers (Hewitt and Harrington 2002, 55). The drug makes individuals feel euphoric in other ways, like the complete lack of stress or tension. As Nicholas Saunders (1993) maintains in his book, E Is For Ecstasy, "The drug's various effects can be reduced to two primary effects, one physical and one mental: the relief of muscular tension and the dissolution of fear" (1).
The following diagram illustrates the total effects of MDMA on the user:
Short-Term Effects Long-Term Effects
Elevated heart rate Increased sense of well-being
Dilated pupils Visual hallucinations
In the long-term, the drug is known to permanently impact memory, impair vision and verbal ability, neuron damage, and increases the risk of birth defects in women who prenatally expose their fetuses to the drug. Among all of these effects, the drug also produces a number of significant toxicological effects on the body of both a physiological and psychological nature. The following chart demonstrates these affects on the MDMA user:
The drug is popular because of high demand. Imported from Belgium and the Netherlands, the drug offers a lucrative market to distributors. It manufacturers for about .50 cents and sells to wholesale distributors for around $6-$8 per pill, fetching anywhere from $20-$30 at street value for users (Romano 2002, 31). The drug is highly popular with ravers, for its initial rush of energy followed by three hours or more of a prolonged state of euphoria. In Prescription: Euphoria, Spartos (2002) quotes the director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies as saying in reference to the ...
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