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MDMA

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MDMA
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Common names Ecstasy, XTC, E, X, Thizz, Rolls, Beans, Molly, Mandy
Route of administration Common: Oral

Occasional: Insufflated, Plugged Rare: IM, IV

Legality Schedule I (Convention on Psychotropic Substances)
Dosage and safety
Toxicity Possible neurotoxicity (See Dangers)
Addiction None physical, psychological dependency possible
Low dose 70-120mg (1 good pill)
Medium dose 120-180mg (1.5 - 2 good pills)
High dose 180-250mg+ (>2 good pills)
LD50 10-20mg/kg
Effects No data

MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy, molly, or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is a widely used recreational drug. It works by stimulating the release of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine as well as other neurotransmitters, providing a euphoric stimulant effect. During the late 80s and 90s, it became popular at raves. Many pills sold as "ecstasy" are really a mixture of MDMA, speed (or other drugs) and binders. When one acquires street ecstasy, they could be ingesting many different drugs. This is a problem, as certain drugs (such as PMA, which caused many deaths in the Netherlands as 'Pink Heart Ecstasy') can be dangerous if taken without knowing safety precautions and toxicity of said substance. This has lead to many websites (e.g. Blue Light) and even some headshops selling Ecstasy testing kits.

If you're going to take MDMA, here is a quick run-down

  • Take 1-2 pills (look them up on esctasydata and/or pillreports) or about 100-150mg of molly powder (if that's how you can get it). also check the dosage section.
  • Preload and postload with vitamins as it doesn't take too much work and it's best to be safe because hey, it's your body and you're going to have to live in it. Read the section on preloading for more information.
  • Drink a bottle of water every 2 hours as a good rule of thumb. Drink more if you're more active but don't go overboard with it. Drink liquids with electrolytes like Gatorade or juice preferably.
  • Only roll in a comfortable location with people you trust and feel comfortable with. Doing psychoactive drugs in uncomfortable or unfamiliar locations is never wise.
  • It's a pretty damn safe drug even if you don't preload as long as you take at least a month long break between rolls, with a 3 month break being optimum
  • You probably won't sleep very well afterward, but it's nothing unpleasant.
  • You probably won't feel like eating on it so just be sure to eat a small meal before you begin.
  • You're going to feel extreme euphoria (if you haven't taken a drug before that gives you euphoria, there's no way you can expect it).
  • You're going to feel extremely happy and at peace with everything. You're going to want to connect with people. You'll feel energetic and alive.
  • Your sense of touch will be sharply enhanced. Music will be amazing and godly. Colour will be much more vibrant and wonderful.

Remember, it's called the love drug not because of anything sexual but the empathy and feeling of love that you get from it.

Contents

Introduction

Introduction taken from Thedea

OK, so you've decided you might like to give MDMA a try. You've found some pills and tested them. But what will it feel like? How much should you take? Is this a recreational experiment, a quest for personal growth? Time to make some choices and preparations. ("Rolling" is slang in the US for being high on MDMA. The origins of the expression are not known, but the explanation I like best is that "rolling" describes the effortless energy and inner strength of the MDMA state...rolling along on sheer momentum.)

Is it really safe?

It's safer than being a drinker or smoker. It's not as safe as sitting on the couch watching another re-run of "Friends." Although a handful of people do die from MDMA use each year in the US, more often than not they did something unwise to cause it (massive overdoses, heatstroke from dancing for hours straight at a hot club, drinking gallons of water out of fear of overheating, trying to drive while high, drug mixing, etc.) If you exercise a few simple precautions, there is very little chance you will be harmed. (Visit the Risks section for statistics and more information on causes of MDMA related injuries and deaths.)

What does it feel like?

After 'is it safe', by far the most common question people have is what an MDMA experience feels like. Strangely, this is a hard question for most users to really answer, because the effects are subtle and often personal in nature. The famous Dr. Shulgin describes MDMA this way: "(with 100 mg) MDMA intrigued me because everyone I asked who had used it answered the question, 'What's it like?' in the same way: 'I don't know.' 'What happened?' 'Nothing.' And now I understand those answers. I too think nothing happened. But something seemed changed." –Alexander Shulgin, in "PIHKAL"

If you're a psychiatrist, it might be meaningful for me to say that MDMA produces a dissolution of neurotic fear, emotional openness, and euphoria with hyperactivity. But that doesn't really capture the feeling. Perhaps it would be more useful to start with what it doesn't do:

• MDMA doesn't (normally anyway) cause hallucinations. (At quite high doses convincing hallucinations have been reported.)

• MDMA doesn't 'make you stupid' the way a lot of alcohol does. (People who are trying MDMA for the first time are often amazed how perfectly normal and 'themselves' they feel.)

What it does do:

• MDMA produces relaxation, energy, and a sense of peace and joy. It's a wonderful drug to hang out with friends and family on (but sooner or later they'll notice you aren't sober, so use with people who won't mind.)

• MDMA has a strong stimulant effect. Most commonly, this manifests itself in rapid (but coherent) talking and a drive to be physically active. (Many people at raves have reported feeling compelled to dance when the drug took effect.)

• It is intoxicating–you will be somewhat less able to deal with unforeseen problems (you certainly don't want to drive while high.)

• MDMA enhances appreciation of music, vision, touch and taste. (Massages are popular with people on MDMA.) This is not an amplification of your senses per se; rather, your brain is enjoying sensations much more.

• MDMA suppresses emotional fear (fear of rejection, insecurity, etc.) and promotes socialization/talking.

• MDMA can relieve pain (serotonin is involved in pain control.) In some cases this effect is profound: Terminally ill people suffering terrible chronic pain have reported complete temporary relief during an MDMA experience.

• People on MDMA are almost incapable of aggression or hostility (although violence isn't impossible if the user feels it's necessary to protect themselves or others.)

• People on MDMA are "overly focused"...they're living fully in the moment, and as a result are easily distracted (which is the main reason you don't want to try to drive.)

OK, that's interesting...but what does it FEEL like?

At its best? It feels like joy. It feels the way you haven't felt since you were a small child, absolutely alive, absolutely in the moment, able to feel and experience and share with others without fear or hesitation. It is the most perfect moment of the most perfect day of your life, when trouble was nothing but a memory and the possibilities rolled on forever. It is the achievement of the inner peace the religions try to sell but rarely deliver. At its best, MDMA is one of the finest, purest, most profound experiences life has to offer.

Uh... Are you serious?

If that sounds a little intense, it is. But...that's not necessarily the typical MDMA experience. Producing such peak experiences depends on the dosage taken, the environment, and the person's mental and physical state going in. At lower doses, etc. the experience is much milder (but still often remarkable.) How far you want to take it is up to you. At lower doses, a person on MDMA can wander about public places, strike up conversations, etc. and not be thought of as 'odd' or particularly noticed. At low doses, you just feel unusually cheerful, sociable and energetic, as though you were extraordinarily well rested and relaxed. MDMA is fairly flexible in what it can do. If you seek an at-one-with-the-universe religious experience, that can be achieved...but it's also a perfectly nice and controllable recreational drug for going out on the town. Like alcohol, it's not a matter of simply being completely drunk vs. completely sober...there is a large range of possibilities in between. You pick your dose, you pick your environment, you pick what you want to try to get out of it.


Visit Erowid's MDMA Experience Vault for a huge collection (over 500) of individual descriptions of MDMA experiences.

So is it a party drug or not?

Although simple recreation is the most popular use, MDMA first became popular because of its use in therapy. Under the influence of MDMA, many people have been able to overcome fears, let go of past traumas, and examine and come to terms with aspects of their own lives. Currently, the US government has given approval for human experiments with MDMA in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD in soldiers as a result of combat trauma (being wounded, seeing friends die, etc.) Such cases used to be called "shell shock.") For more information or to contribute to this research, visit MAPS.

There's got to be a down side. What can go wrong?

For medical risks, visit the Risks Section. There are also a few psychological issues to be aware of.

The most unpleasant potential psychological event while on MDMA is a "bad trip." Such events are unusual, and appear to be caused by taking too much, being in a threatening environment, or trying to fight and suppress the drug's effects. I describe them as a "panic", not in the sense of running around screaming, but in the sense of an overwhelming fear that things are slipping beyond your control. An MDMA panic/anxiety attack usually consists of extreme emotional discomfort and a fear that something terrible is happening or about to happen. It's not medically dangerous, but feeling like you might be going to die is a miserable experience either way. If a panic occurs, you'll just have to ride it out. Try to relax, and remind yourself that you are physically fine and will soon be back to normal. Once it passes you can still enjoy the rest of time until the drug wears off.

Avoiding a 'panic' is fairly easy. First, use MDMA (or any drug, for that matter) in places and around people where you feel safe and comfortable. Second, don't go wild with how much you take...know your limits. And finally (and perhaps most importantly) be at peace with the idea of altering your state of mind. When the world starts to look a little different and you start to feel a little different, your response should be "cool, the drug is kicking in", not "oh my god what's happening to me?" Once you introduce a drug into your system, it will run its course, one way or the other. Address any major reservations you have before dosing. After you've swallowed a pill is not the time for second thoughts...at that point you're committed. These 'panic' states are most likely to occur during the onset or peak of drug effects, but may also occur later on if you are faced with a threatening situation (threat of violence, etc.)

Another issue with MDMA use is that, as with any intoxicating drug, you might do something that seemed like a good idea at the time but which you might regret the next day. Maybe you were a little more open with your feelings than you planned. Maybe you had sex with somebody that by the light of the day after wasn't necessarily a good match for you. It's one more reason to either use in a very public setting (such as a rave) where you can't really get yourself in trouble, or a private setting with people you really trust.

MDMA doesn't force people to tell the truth...you can easily lie while high if you think it's appropriate. However, you'll be much more open about things that you really wanted to talk about (but wouldn't normally feel comfortable bringing up.) You can just go dancing or be by yourself and never have the issue of 'saying too much' come up...but frankly, the sense of interpersonal trust and compassion is part of the charm of a MDMA experience. Because it temporarily alters your brain chemistry (like any psychoactive drug) MDMA may trigger or worsen psychiatric problems in vulnerable individuals. In particular, the risk of depression/anxiety during the hangover period may be particularly high for people who were already suffering from a psychiatric problem. This risk can be reduced with 5-HTP, a nutritional supplement that helps replace serotonin.

Chemistry

Terms

Neurotransmitter - a chemical signal used to send messages in your brain

Receptor site – the site where a neurotransmitter is accepted into to perform its function

Serotonin - a neurotransmitter used for the feeling of happiness, regulation of mood, sleep and hunger/satiety

Dopamine - a neurotransmitter used by your brain for reward, punishment and motivation

Norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter responsible for attention and the flight-or-fight response, its analogous to adrenaline

Oxytocin - a hormone that drastically reduces feelings of fear while greatly raising feelings of trust and bonding

Euphoria – an incredibly intense feeling of blissful happiness and inner peace

Axon - the long thin filament part of a neuron that branches off from the main body and carries the electrical signal

Metabolite - the intermediate and final products of metabolism

How It Works

MDMA causes your brain to release its supply of serotonin in large quantities, as well as quantities of dopamine and nor-epinephrine to lesser extents. This action on serotonin also allows for quantities of oxytocin to be released. Once at work MDMA will inhibit the serotonin/dopamine/nor-epinephrine receptor sites which increases the concentration of these neurotransmitters.his large amount of serotonin will be received by these receptor sites; this causes the effects of MDMA. This process continues until the MDMA wears off and/or your brains supply of serotonin is depleted. It is unlikely that serotonin will run out from a single use of MDMA, but repeated used of MDMA over more than one day will cause this. It is currently unknown what causes neurotoxicity from MDMA use, but multiple sources have been ruled out. It is known that oxidized dopamine, MDMA itself, and MDMA metabolites are not responsible for damage. MDMA neurotoxicity is also extremely correlated to prolonged and excessive overheating. It is almost a requirement for this overheating to be present to form damage, but excessive and prolonged dosing can cause problems as well. While MDMA can be neurotoxic under certain circumstances, but it only destroys the axon of the nerve cell and not the nerve cell itself. Since the nerve cells are still alive, they can regrow any destroyed axons. Your serotonin levels will rebuild over time without any outside help, it takes roughly a month to do this. Most people suggest between 3 to 4 weeks between doses. After that time your serotonin levels should be completely recovered and you should be ready to dose again.

Dangers

Method of Administration

(Body paragraph taken from http://thedea.org/letsroll.html with minor edits)

A few words on patterns of use:

It's best to only take a single dose of MDMA in an evening. Many people will take more when they start to 'come down' off the first dose. This practice may or may not be safe. It seems likely that multiple dosing like this will increase the risk of overheating as dopamine levels steadily rise and the dopamine suppressing effects of serotonin are reduced by decreasing serotonin levels. Although a lot of people are obviously doing this without obvious ill effects, in the absence of further research I'm not ready to endorse multiple dosing as safe.

A less common approach to extending an MDMA experience has been used and recommended by therapists: At about the one hour point, an additional small dose can be given to extend the experience by about another hour. Traditionally this has meant perhaps a 40 mg 'booster' dose given to a patient who is about an hour into the effects from a 120 mg dose. This is certainly safer than taking additional full doses, but will still make side effects slightly worse.

You can use a drug any way that will get it into your system. In my opinion, MDMA is by far best suited for oral use.

Variations on oral use: Users have come up with some creative ways to ingest MDMA besides just swallowing the pills. In one approach called parachuting the pill is crushed up and twisted into a piece of tissue paper and swallowed. The idea is simply that the crushed pill will dissolve more quickly than a whole pill, causing a more rapid, stronger onset. Another approach is to dissolve the pill (crushing it first will speed up the process) in liquid and drink it. MDMA has a strong bitter taste, but can be made reasonably palatable by using orange juice, soda, or other beverage as the liquid. Some truly hardy users will chew the pills or hold them under their tongue, again in an attempt to speed the dissolving of the pill and the onset of effects. It's not clear if any of these methods really make a large difference.

Snorting: Insufflation enjoys some popularity. Since MDMA is actually a salt (MDMA hydrochloride) it's going to burn your sinuses like a sonofabitch. If you don't mind the burn, the dripping sinuses, and the nasty taste in the back of your throat, snorting MDMA can make the onset of effects faster as well as increasing the strength of a given dose. Ideally, one would have pure MDMA powder for this use, but not everyone can find it. Snorting crushed up pills shouldn't be notably more harmful, although you'll get a good deal more crap up in your sinuses (pill binders, etc.) that way. The duration is found to be much shorter, but the come-up is very quick and the roll is much more intense

Injecting: There are very few reports on the use of MDMA through injection. One of these reports is a coroner's case study (the user having been killed in the process.) The few times I've heard from users who have tried injecting the effects were described as 'harsh, too speedy...overwhelming.' Injecting also carries inherent risks of infection and spreading disease. Crushed up pills should never be injected, regardless of the drug: Relatively insoluble binders in the pills may block small blood vessels, causing localized tissue death. People have lost arms to gangrene this way (injecting crushed up pills.) The decision is yours, but if you decide to pursue this route, be extremely careful and start with very low doses, since injecting a drug will deliver a much larger portion of it to your brain much more quickly. The vast Erowid Experience Vaults only has a small handful of experience reports that describe injecting MDMA, so this approach is clearly very rare.

Plugging: If you have the courage and the inclination, sticking a pill/capsule or suppository of MDMA up your rear end is an option. Users who have tried this route report a better 'quality' of onset with less stomach upset. Why would anybody do such a thing? Well, most people wouldn't. But if you have stomach problems, can't stand taking pills, or just have too much time on your hands it's a perfectly legitimate option. Some users report a faster onset and a higher bio availability. Read the taimapedia article for more information on plugging before you try it

Preloading

The basic idea of this is to prepare your body for the upcoming MDMA dose by supplementing it with nutrients and vitamins it will need. Since serotonin is the primary neurotransmitter used, it is important to supplement the precursor materials for it. Taking 5-HTP with vitamin B6 will allow your body to build a slightly higher amount of serotonin before you roll, and taking it afterward will allow your brain to rebuild its recently depleted supply faster. It is also important to take anti-oxidants to relieve the harm done by free radicals. This is called oxidative stress; there are many supplements that act as anti-oxidants to help remove the damaging substances. It is a good idea to take Tums or Rolaids to lower your stomach acid when you are eating or parachuting pills, as having strong stomach acid can destroy some of the MDMA. It is best to take the supplements at night before you go to bed because your body does most of its repair and maintenance while you’re asleep. The daily recommended dose of these supplements is written on the bottle and should suffice, but it is a good idea to look up a pre-loading schedule online and follow it or gain ideas from it.

Alt text
Oxidative Radical Levels

Basic List of Supplements

5-HTP – precursor to serotonin

Vitamin B6 – required to create serotonin & other neurotransmitters, also helps absorb magnesium

Magnesium – helps prevent jaw clenching, also minimizes muscle cramping

L-Tryptophan – precursor to 5-HTP, not as effective but still useful

L-Glutamine – used to produce neurotransmitters and for energy in the nervous system

L-Tyrosine – precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, and nor-epinephrine

L-Dopa – precursor to dopamine (better than L-Tyrosine)

GABA - Promotes Relaxation, Eases sleep. It Inhibits over-stimulation caused by excessive neurotransmitter release. Doesn't pass the blood-brain barrier so it's primarily a body effect.

Alpha Lipoic Acid – a water soluble and fat soluble antioxidant

Vitamin C – a water soluble antioxidant

Vitamin E - a fat soluble antioxidant

Green Tea Extract – another commonly available antioxidant

Melatonin - a hormone that regulates sleep cycles and promotes REM sleep. it is sold as a vitamin supplement at most stores and is helpful in easing back into sleep. Also acts as an antioxidant

Dosage

A single pill of Ecstasy may contain anywhere from 0 to 250mg of MDMA, which is all dependent on the type of pill. Currently the average good pill contains about 70mg of MDMA, though there is variation between pill types and batches of the same pill. Pokeball and Mint presses are famous for being consistently high quality pills with a good amount of MDMA and no adulterants; they are found in areas around the West Coast of the US and Chicago, respectively. MDMA in powder form is usually referred to as molly or mandy and it easier to measure out, though it is still possible to be adulterated.

MDMA generally comes in the form of small tablets, capsules, or white powder. When found in tablet form (often referred to as "ecstasy"), it is common for MDMA to be combined with any of the following substances : MDMA, Caffeine, MDA, Methamphetamine, DXM, MDE, Pseudo/Ephedrine, Ketamine, BZP, and TFMPP. Chemical analysis of ecstasy tablets has found from 0 - 120 mg of MDMA as well as a variety of the above substances. Trying to calculate dosages from tablets containing unknown quantities of MDMA can be difficult, but a high quality tablet of street ecstasy (those containing MDMA alone) generally contains an average of 60 to 80 mg of MDMA. The chart below shows what are considered recreational/therapeutic dosages for pure MDMA HCl (the most common crystalline form), measured in milligrams. Note that most Ecstasy and even crystalline MDMA is not 100% pure and may contain fillers or other drugs. See EcstasyData.org (from Erowid)

Oral MDMA Dosages:

Threshold: 30mg

Light: 40 - 75 mg

Common (small or sensitive people): 60 - 90 mg

Common (most people) 75 - 125 mg:

Common (large or less sensitive people): 110 - 150 mg

Strong: 150 - 200 mg

Heavy: 200+ mg

Maximum: ~300mg (the cut off point is usually 250mg for MDMA's effects, though it can potentially vary)

Onset: 20 - 70 minutes (depending on form and stomach contents)

Duration: 3 - 5 hours

Normal After Effects: up to 24 hours


Redosing

MDMA acts as a releasing agent of serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. It enters neurons via carriage by the monoamine transporters. Once inside, MDMA inhibits the vesicular monoamine transporter, which results in increased concentrations of serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine into the cytoplasm, and induces their release by reversing their respective transporters through a process known as phosphorylation

(from wikipedia)

So MDMA will at first release huge amounts of serotonin, then it will inhibit vesicular monoamine transporters. This makes the serotonin cycle back and forth in the neuron, but more serotonin isn't going to be able enter into the cycle at this point (http://thedea.org/MDMAatwork.html has a good animation explaining this cycling concept). Taking more MDMA after a certain point (usually 45 minutes to an hour in as far as user experience shows) won't do anything for the serotonin feeling, but you may get a rush of dopamine because dopamine is able to rebuild its supply much faster (and its not as inhibited as serotonin).


Tolerance

MDMA doesnt work like most drugs do with tolerance; it gets you high from the neurotransmitters that are already in your system. When you take MDMA your body uses up its serotonin cycling through its system (and to a lesser extent dopamine, norepinephrine and oxytocin). Most drug tolerance is a result of receptor down-regulation (cannabinoid receptors for marijuana, opiod receptors for opiates, GABA receptors for benzodiazepines, etc) while with MDMA use serotonin down regulation is much less important than serotonin availability. So unless your neurotransmitter supply is back up to normal, then the next time you roll isn't going to have the necessary fuel supply. The roll wont be as good and your risking damage without proper time for your body to recuperate. This is why preloading is so important/

Street Names

  • Beans
  • Bombs
  • E
  • Eccies (Australia, New Zealand)
  • Bix/Bicks (Australia, New Zealand)
  • Pingers
  • Ex
  • Mandy
  • Molly
  • Skittles
  • Thizz
  • Rolls
  • Vitamins
  • XTC
  • Grip (South Carolina, US)

Myths

  • Having sex on MDMA will ruin regular sex forever.

False. If you enjoy sex now, you will continue to like sex afterward. Many male users of MDMA find it difficult to gain or maintain an erection, and many find it much more difficult to orgasm while on ecstasy. If you enjoy things while stoned or drunk does that ruin them while sober? Of course not!

  • Ecstasy burns holes in your brain

False. MTV showed a brain scan of a woman who consumes large amounts of ecstasy. Scans actually showed dark spots or 'holes', which marked a lower blood flow in the region. Blood flow is completely relative to the person, any person’s brain will show the same pattern.

  • Ecstasy contains LSD, cocaine, heroin, mescaline

False. There is no profit in giving out more expensive drugs by mixing them in cheap pills. LSD, cocaine, heroin and mescaline are all much more expensive to produce. Cocaine, heroin, and mescaline are not active at such low quantities in the stomach; it would take a much greater volume of those drugs to produce an effect.

  • Ecstasy drains your spinal fluid.

False. One of the ways of measuring the effects of MDMA is to take measures of serotonin production. Serotonin is produced in your brain & in your spinal fluid, researchers have measured serotonin levels in spinal fluid, to determine whether MDMA usage was affecting them. It was the spinal taps that drained the fluid, not the MDMA. You contain 150mL of cerebrospinal fluid and you regain spinal fluid at a rate of, 500 ml/day. This means on an average day you replace your spinal fluid almost 4 times every single day.

  • Ecstasy makes the cells of your brain stem break off and they travel down your spine.

False. There is literally no evidence to support this what so ever.

  • Ecstasy makes your brain bleed.

False. No evidence to suggest this is true in the slightest. Brain hemorrhaging produces comas and death effectively every time; it does not produce the effects of MDMA at all.

  • Taking MDMA makes you depressed; the only way to feel normal is taking more of it

False. Depression is simply a temporary side effect of very low serotonin levels after dosing on MDMA. It rarely happens unless MDMA abuse is continued for days at a time.

  • Ecstasy and MDMA is addictive

False. MDMA is physically non-addicting by itself. Psychological addiction can occur when the user has an addictive personality already, and some users will enjoy the high so much that they will want to take more to feel the high again. There may be some other drugs added to the pill that may be addictive themselves, such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, PMA, piperazine or ketamine.

  • Different physical characteristics and the number of 'stacks' in pills indicates how much MDMA is in an ecstasy pill.

False. The thickness or number of stacks in a pill only tells you that the pill has more filler or is pressed multiple times. Always check your pill on pillreports.com or ecstasydata.org to see what people say about it. Those websites will have information on how much MDMA is suspected to be in the pills, if there are any adulterants present, and user reports from people who have taken them.

Side Effects

There are a broad range of side affects, from the amusing to the genuinely troublesome. These side effects are all dose-dependant (the more you took the more likely to occur/severe the side effect may be):

•Pupil dilation.

Always a favorite, be sure to look in the mirror during the onset/peak of effects to see how large your pupils have gotten. Typical user reaction: "COOOOL!" Pupils remain light-responsive (they will contract in the presence of bright light.) Still, if one planned to use MDMA while out in sunlight, a pair of sunglasses wouldn't be a bad idea.

•Nystagmus.

A big word for a small symptom: Your field of vision 'jumping' slightly from side to side due to twitches of the muscles that control eye movement (sometimes called 'eye wiggles'.) Sometimes this effect is obvious, but for many people to notice it you'll need to relax and just sort of stare off into space. It's not clear what causes it, but it may be the result of MDMA's effect on the sense of balance (you can also see nystagmus in people with inner ear problems.) When it does detectably occur, it's usually not troublesome: Users tend to describe it as 'cool' or 'weird'.

•Minor visual effects.

You may see faint halos around lights, tracers from lights, and subtle changes to textures. Much of this may be simply due to pupil dilation. I haven't heard anybody complain about these effects–they're often not even noticeable. Note: In rare individuals or at very high doses of MDMA well-formed visual effects have been reported (seeing literal faces in clouds, etc.) As in virtually all cases of drug-induced visuals, the user is unlikely to believe what they are seeing is anything but a curious side-effect of the drug. Personally, I've never seen such a thing. Most cases of "MDMA visuals" are probably actually due to MDA, which is very similar to MDMA and is sold as 'ecstasy' with some regularity.

Bruxism.

An unpleasant side effect, bruxism is clenching your teeth (and in some cases, grinding them) and is a very common side effect of stimulant drugs (including MDMA.) The result can be jaw/tooth pain, bitten cheeks, and in some extreme cases damage to teeth or dental work. Bruxism is mainly seen during the latter part of the 'high', and can be dealt with in a number of ways. A very effective method is to take magnesium supplements around the time of rolling (see the section under preloading for more info). One of the more colorful solutions has been baby pacifiers, which eventually became something of a fashion statement even among non-users at raves. A pacifier works because the contraction of the jaw muscles actually is under control...the problem is that you don't notice when you start to clench because your back teeth are built to take pressure and won't complain until they start to hurt. Putting something between your front teeth lets you know when your jaw starts to close, allowing you to stop the gesture.

•Digestive upset.

That's a nice way of saying you might feel queasy, throw up, or have to run to the bathroom quickly. Throwing up is unusual but more likely with high doses, stomach unfriendly foods (fatty/spicy) or drinking large amounts of water. This isn't a surprising effect since MDMA causes the release of serotonin, enhancing the contraction of smooth muscle. Trouble is, your digestive tract is lined with smooth muscle, and if it starts to contract a little too vigorously... Once the drug properly takes effect any nausea, etc. should go away; these are almost exclusively problems seen during the onset.

•Difficulty urinating.

One of the more amusing side effects if it's not happening to you. MDMA (and many related drugs) promote muscle contraction. In order to pee, you need to relax a muscle controlling urine flow. You can imagine the problem. This isn't a major issue for most people,and shouldn't require more radical measures than taking your time and letting yourself relax. One of the more clever suggestions I've heard is to do multiplication tables in your head (if that won't bore and distract you, nothing will.) I've tried a form of it, and sure enough it worked! (I just double numbers, i.e. 2 x 2 is 4, 4 x 2 is 8, 8 x 2is 16, etc.) Since MDMA also temporarily reduces the rate of urine production (it's an "anti-diuretic") this is more of an issue immediately following the 'high' than during it. Urinating is important because MDMA can, in rare cases, cause hyponatremia.

•Impotence.

This one is closely related to the last: In order to get an erection,you need to relax, and MDMA rather strongly interferes with that. The effect is only temporary, and will end when the drug is out of your system. Men may also experience difficulty in reaching orgasm. Women don't seem to suffer from this problem.

•Being 'off balance.'

At higher doses, MDMA can interfere with your sense of balance/coordination.. As you might guess from the popularity of dancing on MDMA this isn't a major issue...but something you may notice. The effect is strongest early on, then fades.

•Short attention span/memory.

Under the influence of MDMA, your mind can switch topics rather quickly and completely. You may decide to get something from another room, go there, and then not be able to remember what it was you were looking for because you starting thinking about something else. This isn't amnesia in the usual sense, just a complete loss of focus on what you were doing when something else comes up.

•Withdrawal Syndrome

Some, but not all users report withdrawal effects similar to SSRI Withdrawal SyndromeBluelight Forum "MDMA and Brain Zaps", particularly in the form of "brain zaps" (medically coded as parathesia). Other symptoms include sweating, nausea, insomnia, tremor, confusion, nightmares and vertigo. Aronson J (8 October 2005). "Bottled lightning".

Cardiovascular effects.

MDMA is a moderately strong stimulant, and will temporarily increase your blood pressure and heart rate. In human experiments, a moderate dose of MDMA (1.5 mg/kg) increased blood pressure by an average of 25 mm (systolic) and 7 mm (diastolic), so if your blood pressure is normally 120/70, on MDMA you might have a blood pressure of 145/77. In the same experiment, pulse increased by an average of 28 beats per minute.

•Other side effects....

Loss of appetite, dry mouth, tingling skin (during onset), muscle tension, feeling hot, feeling chilled (again, mainly during onset.)

General Effects Summary

Positive

  • extreme mood lift
  • increased willingness to communicate
  • increase in energy (stimulation)
  • ego softening
  • feelings of comfort, belonging, and closeness to others
  • feelings of love and empathy
  • forgiveness
  • increased awareness & appreciation of music
  • increased awareness of senses. (eating, drinking, smell)
  • profound life-changing spiritual experiences
  • neurotically based fear dissolution
  • sensations bright and intense
  • urge to hug, kiss, and cuddle with people

Neutral

  • appetite loss
  • visual distortion
  • rapid, involuntary eye jiggling (nystagmus)
  • mild visual hallucinations (uncommon)
  • moderately increased heart rate and blood pressure (increases with dose)
  • restlessness, nervousness, shivering
  • change in body temperature regulation
  • swellings of unexpected emotion, emotional availability
  • strong desire to do or want more when coming down

Negative

  • (negative side effects increase with higher doses and frequent use)
  • inappropriate and/or unintended emotional bonding
  • tendency to say things you might feel uncomfortable about later
  • mild to extreme jaw clenching (trisma), tongue and cheek chewing, and teeth grinding (bruxia)
  • difficulty concentrating & problems with activities requiring linear focus
  • short-term memory scramble or loss & confusion
  • muscle tension
  • erectile dysfunction and difficulty reaching orgasm
  • increase in body temperature, hyperthermia, dehydration. To avoid this, make sure to drink plenty of water. However, drinking too much water can result in hyponatremia ("water intoxication"), a rare, yet potentially deadly symptom. Some "MDMA casualties" were actually caused by hyponatremia. To prevent this, make sure to eat or drink something to replace electrolytes, as well. (Preferably, something salty.) An easy way to do this is to swallow a salt tablet, eat some snacks, or consume a sports drink.
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, and vertigo
  • sadness on coming down, sense of loss or immediate nostalgia
  • post-trip Crash - unpleasantly harsh comedown from the peak effect
  • hangover the next day, lasting days to weeks
  • mild depression and fatigue for up to a week
  • severe depression and/or fatigue (uncommon)
  • possible strong urge to repeat the experience, though not physically addictive
  • possible psychological crisis requiring hospitalization (psychotic episodes, severe panic attacks, etc) (rare)
  • possible liver toxicity (rare)
  • possible neurotoxicity (controversial)
  • small risk of death. Approximately 2 per 100,000 users have extreme negative reactions resulting in death. (rare)

Drug Interactions

Do your own research on any drugs you are taking before you take MDMA. This is a short description of common negative drug interactions that occur with MDMA

Alcohol – Drinking alcohol ordinarily will dehydrate your body. MDMA raises heart rate and body temperature. These effects combined can dehydrate your body faster than normal, just be careful and drink non-alcoholic liquids to keep yourself hydrated.

DXM – This is the drug in cough medications that people take recreationally. It is a dissociative drug, the effects of which range from a drunk/stoned feeling to low & high doses ketamine. Taking DXM with MDMA will dramatically increase your risk of Serotonin Syndrome, which is a potentially deadly disorder. Medicinal use of DXM shouldn't cause adverse effects when using the recommended dosage, it is the higher doses used for recreation that pose a problem. This combination is highly inadvisable and thought to be particularly dangerous.

MAOI – A certain type of antidepressant drug called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s) are notorious for their negative interactions with many types of drugs. Taking MDMA while on a MAOI is incredibly dangerous and potentially lethal. This can also apply when taking an MAOI as a potentiating for psychedelics. Be very careful with this type of drug.

SSRI – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are another type of antidepressant that causes problems when mixed with MDMA. It has moderate risk of leading to Serotonin Syndrome, and it will greatly diminish the effects of MDMA.

Tricyclic Antidepressants – TCA's generally have some of the same effects of SSRI's. This also can apply to SNRI, SDRI, and SNDRI's.

Amphetamines – Taking amphetamine (speed) or methamphetamine along with MDMA will dramatically increase your risk of amphetamine overdose. Be cautious when adding more stimulants to your dose, small amounts may amplify the effects of MDMA but higher doses may cause problems.

Cocaine - Cocaine acts as a short acting SNDRI, so it inhibits the ruptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. So while there is an effect from taking it, it will reduce some of the effects of MDMA. It also will produce more strain on your heart (as cocaine is primarily cardiotoxic rather than neurotoxic) and increase the danger of overheating.

Protips

  • Gentlemen, if you're planning on engaging in an act of sexual congress, take about 800mg of ibuprofen, it will promote blood flow and make it easier to get it up when you're rolling. *This is debated, as ibuprofen is also a vasoconstrictor. Viagra, while not OTC, is a vasodilator that will help.
  • Get some gum or a pacifier (the latter more acceptable for females than males, but whatever floats your skirt) or you will jaw fucking hard and your teeth will hurt the next day. Or you can walk around with your mouth open.
  • Some /benz/ or weed will make the comedown way easier.
  • 300mg tends to be the ceiling dose. Anything more and you're probably just frying your brain unnecessarily.

External Links and Resources

FAQ's and other general info

http://www.ecstasy.org/

arc's FAQ

http://www.scribd.com/doc/55241325/arc-FAQ

from Erowid

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_info12.shtml

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_faq.shtml

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_faq3.shtml

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_faq2.shtml

from Bluelight

http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?t=301696

http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?t=79027

A large collection of tips, tricks, activities and other synonyms i cant think of that are enjoyable to do while on MDMA

http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?t=230119&highlight=bible

Research on MDMA use for PTSD treatment

http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/

Neurotoxicity and Pharmacology

http://www.mdma.net/index.html#mdmatox

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_info7.shtml

http://thedea.org/neurotoxicity.html

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_article3.shtml

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_neurotoxicity3.shtml

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/references/mdma_research_summaries.shtml

Preloading

http://thedea.org/preloading.html

http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=407429

http://www.rollinballzcrew.com/preload.shtml

Checking Ecstasy Pills

http://www.ecstasydata.org/

http://www.pillreports.com/

http://ecstasy.org/testing/db/current.html

http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/drogy/database/ (Czech)

Testing kits

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma/mdma_faq_testing_kits.shtml

http://www.testclear.com/?AID=35602&PID=453119

http://www.eztest.com/shop/

http://www.enlighten.org.au/wordpress/kit-sales/

http://dancesafe.org/

See Also

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