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• MDMA, the primary substance in Ecstasy, was patented in 1912. Widespread in the Party Culture Ecstasy is an umbrella term for substances with similar effects.

• Ecstasy facilitates trance-like dancing and enhances a sense of community. To some extent visual perception and also sense of time are also altered.

• Often it contributes the development of a superficial illusory world. With the feeling that ‘It’s all good’ existing contradictions aren’t recognized anymore.

• In the brain Ecstasy leads, among other things, to the release of serotonin which causes an intensive feeling of happiness. The environment is experienced more positively and sensitively, other people are approached openly, and problems seem unimportant.

• Yet after 2 or 3 pills taken over one weekend the serotonin store is actually exhausted to a large extent. In some cases it takes weeks until it is refilled. Therefore taking more doesn’t make one happier but more speedy and exhausted.

• Problems are relieved by Ecstasy at best temporarily; actually followed by tension and unease.

• Often a feeling of emptiness occurs on the ‘day after’ when the endogenous serotonin store is exhausted to a large extent.

• Ecstasy seems to release energies. Yet, the resulting exhaustion and thirst can lead to circulatory problems and overheating.

• Therefore it is extremely important to have breaks from dancing and to drink water or juices even if one does not feel thirsty.

• Possible adverse effects are nausea, diarrhoea, and an increase of blood pressure. Overdosing and heavy consumption can lead to severe damages of the kidneys and the brain and, in extreme cases, even to death.

• Combining Ecstasy with other substances should be avoided. By combining Ecstasy with Speed the harmfulness to the brain is highly increased.

• Only few pills constitute pure MDMA. The concentration of the active ingredients varies significantly so the effects and risks can hardly be estimated.

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