MDMA drug: effects, duration, descent

MDMA drug effects duration descent

MDMA is a stimulant amphetamine consumed in a party setting. This drug is sold in tablets, powder and crystals.

MDMA is a drug that spread in France via techno party movements. MDMA consumed in France comes mainly from the Netherlandsthe leading production area in Western Europe.

What is the drug MDMA?

There MDMA or “3,4-MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine” is a drug of synthesis which belongs to the family of amphetamines. It was synthesized in 1912, but was never released to the market as a medicine. It is mainly consumed orally, in a festive context, in the form of tablets (ecstasy), powder, crystals MDMA or capsule. She is most often swallowedbut it can also be snorted, smoked or injected. There Ecstasy use appeared in France in the mid-1980s and experienced a phase of significant progress until 2002 approximately. “Since then, we have noted an alteration of the image of the tablet in favor of other forms such as powder or crystal, then called MDMAso much so that the younger generation of users consider MDMA as a new drug” note theFrench Drug Observatory.

MDMA crystals © 123RF

What is MDMA made of?

MDMA consists of MethyleneDioxy-MethylAmphetaminea stimulant amphetamine of the serotonergic system. However, its synthesis process greatly modifies the original amphetamine molecule, to the point of losing some of its stimulating power and gaining hallucinogenic properties.

What are the effects of MDMA?

Immediately after taking, MDMA produces stimulating effects, but less intense than amphetamines. The consumer feels emotions more intensely with state of euphoria and disinhibition facilitating exchanges and communication. Often described as the “love drug”MDMA promotes verbal and non-verbal communicationthrough the senses, in particular touch (entactogenic effect). She also gives the impression of being able to put oneself in other people’s shoes and to get closer to it physically and psychologically (empathogenic effect). At higher doses, it can modify general sensory perception.

effects of mdma
Effects of MDMA © blueringmedia – / JournalDesFemmes

What are the long term effects of MDMA?

When taken regularly, MDMA can create irreversible neurotoxic damage to neurons, causing chronic depression, sleep disorders, and irritability. It is also the cause of memory and concentration problems, premature aging of the brain, and chronic sleep disorders.

What are the effects on the brain?

MDMA acts on the brain as an important releaser of serotonin, thus causing its effects when taken and then the unpleasant phenomenon of “descent”.

What are the effects on the body?

MDMA increases body temperature and changes heart rate and blood pressure, which can cause life-threatening kidney failure and cardiac arrest. In certain consumers, it can cause acute hepatitis requiring emergency treatment.

What are the effects on libido?

MDMA has a stimulating effect on the user’s libido. Due to its empathogenic and entactogenic effects, it also has the reputation of a “love drug” and can be consumed for this purpose.

How long do the effects of MDMA last?

The effects appear quickly, about half an hour after taking and last between 2 and 4 hours.

What are the risks of MDMA?

MDMA increases the risk of kidney failure because of the significant dehydration it causes. It also disrupts the heart rhythm and increases the risk of ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest. A few days after consumption, it can trigger panic attacks, paranoia, or intense depression which can lead to suicide. All these effects depend on the state of health of the consumer, but also on their level of fatigue and activity. They require emergency medical attention.

How long does a comedown last after MDMA?

THE effects of MDMA do not last and leave room for a particularly difficult “descent” phenomenon for 1 to 2 hours with adverse effects which may be present for up to 48 hours. The consumer then feels:

  • an increase in heart rate (tachycardia),
  • an increase in blood pressure with palpitations,
  • hot flashes
  • heavy sweating
  • a feeling of anxiety
  • inability to communicate,
  • great fatigue,
  • headache
  • nausea

The main risk is dehydration, which is why it is important to hydrate well by drinking water regularly. Some users use other substances like alcohol, heroin, or benzodiazepines to help them overcome these effects, increasing health risks. In case of nausea and vomiting associated with dizziness and headache, a emergency medical care is necessary because these may be signs of overdose which could lead to heart problems, coma or even death.

MDMA being consumed mainly in festive environments, on an occasional basisdependence remains rare. However, it is often necessary for some users to increase doses to achieve the same effects when consumption becomes frequent. There does not exist no pharmacological treatment of symptoms associated with MDMA consumption. When addiction sets in, a taken care of by an addictologist is recommended, whether privately, in hospital or in a CSAPA (Centers for Care, Support and Prevention in Addictology). A anxiolytic treatment can be offered to help manage the phenomenon of descent and the anxiety that has set in. Some therapies like CBT (Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy) have proven themselves in this type of addition.

Can you overdose on MDMA?

MDMA overdose, i.e. consuming a high dose, is extremely rare among these consumers. She is also the more often in connection with cutting products which can be potentially dangerous to health and contain opioids for example. The fatal risk of MDMA is rather linked to the severe dehydration and cardiovascular and hepatic risks. According to the OFDT, this risk remains stable and concerns around 5% of consumers.