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What MDMA Does to Your Health

What MDMA Does to Your Health

Author: Justin Mckibben

MDMA is a schedule 1 controlled substance described as a psychoactive drug of the substituted methylenedioxyphenethylamine and substituted amphetamine classes of drugs. MDMA is consumed primarily for its euphoric and empathogenic effects, but can be extremely dangerous.

Also known as Molly or ecstasy, MDMA is part stimulant and part psychedelic, and people on MDMA experience an enhanced enjoyment of tactile and other sensory experiences, such as smells and sounds. Users often report various heightened sensations, such as:

  • Mental stimulation
  • Emotional warmth
  • Increased empathy
  • General sense of well-being
  • Decreased anxiety

People using MDMA are typically taking an added risk (knowingly or not) because MDMA can be and often is adulterated (“cut”) with other illicit substances or powerful chemicals in sometimes volatile combinations.

Because of the nature of these risks, someone using MDMA puts themselves at an increased risk of serious side-effects, including overdose or death.

MDMA: Withdrawal Symptoms

MDMA users have reported a list of withdrawal symptoms, some of which may vary depending on time period they are exposed to the drug and what other substances it may have been adulterated with. Individuals have even experienced symptoms so severe they have been compared to true signs of clinical depression. Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Impulsivity
  • Aggression
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Lack of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Reduced libido and pleasure from sex
  • Significant reductions in mental abilities

MDMA: Adverse Health Effects

  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Dehydration
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Arrhythmia – irregular heartbeat

MDMA: Signs of Overdose

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Feeling faint, lightheaded, dizzy
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Hyperthermia – increased body temperature
  • Death

The use of MDMA along with vigorous physical activity for extended periods can lead to hyperthermia, which is why it is so dangerous that drugs like Molly or Ecstasy are so popular in the rave scene. Hyperthermia is one of the most significant and acute adverse health effects, and it is especially dangerous because it can rapidly lead to other serious problems including:

  • Muscle breakdown
  • Kidney failure
  • Dehydration
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure

Anyone experiencing hyperthermia needs swift and immediate medical attention.

MDMA can also reduce the pumping efficiency of the heart, which is part of what makes an MDMA overdose a specific concern during periods of increased physical activity, further complicating these problems.

MDMA: Water Intoxication

Now we talk something a lot of people know nothing about. I personally had no knowledge of it before writing this article. It is actually possible to die from drinking too much water!

Water intoxication (also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia) is the technical term, and it is a potentially fatal disruption in brain functions resulting from an imbalance of electrolytes in the body.

Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge that affect:

  • Amount of water in your body
  • Acidity of your blood (pH)
  • Muscle function
  • Other important processes

The body loses electrolytes through sweating and that’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated while working out. But you have to drink fluids that contain electrolytes; water alone will not replenish them because it doesn’t contain any electrolytes. In water intoxication these electrolytes in the body are actually washed away by over-hydration, and with MDMA users being overheated so often, they may feel compelled to over-hydrate. Water intoxication has led to fatal incidents among MDMA users, so along with other symptoms of MDMA overdose, the risk of side-effects creating other issues is always there.

Any time you take a drug, you are taking a risk with your health. This goes for prescribed drugs, as well. The best thing you can do is inform yourself so that you can make better decisions about your health and what you put into your body.

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