Addicts & Users
Ecstasy is an illegal synthetic drug that acts as a hallucinogen
and a stimulant, producing extreme time distortions, increased
tactile experiences, and an overall boost of energy. Ecstasy is
also known as MDMA, which is an acronym for its chemical name,
and if often taken in pill form, with reported effects lasting
between three and six hours.
Anna Nicole Smith
Ecstasy alters the brain's neurotransmitters in relation to the
chemical serotonin, which is responsible for mood regulation,
aggression, sleep, and pain sensitivity. In high doses, the drug
can interfere with the body's ability to regulate its internal
temperature, and also releases large amounts of norepinephrine,
leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Ecstasy is considered a designer drug, and therefore is popular
among many famous Hollywood types. Many say they use it to "loosen
up" before a performance, as Eminem, the rapper, claims.
He admits to taking half a pill before hitting the stage. Musician
Sting has also admitted to using ecstasy, claiming that the drug
enhances his post-age 40 lifestyle.
Britney Spear's first husband, Jason Alexander, claims that the
songstress used capsules filled with pure MDMA to party at night.
This constant partying, he claims, required additional stimulants
and downers like cocaine and Valium to counteract the MDMA.
More recently, singer/songwriter Miley Cyrus has admitted to
enjoying the adverse effects of ecstasy, which she also calls
"Molly", another street name for the drug. Often a hot
topic of many of her songs, she has been linked to the drug during
several concerts, including her 2013 VMA performance.
Actors like Jack Black and Angelina Jolie have also been reported
to have experience with the drug, as well as director Quentin
Tarnatino, who is reputed to have taken the drug during the filming
of Kill Bill.
Actress and spokes model Anna Nicole Smith was reported to be
on ecstasy when she gave her now infamous 2004 American Music
Award speech, where she slurred her words and acted erratically.
In the 1970's some psychiatrists in the United States began using
MDMA for medicinal therapy in patients, as they reported enhanced
communication and the heightened awareness about one's own issues
when using the drug. However, in 1985, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency banned the drug, saying it had no therapeutic value.
Ecstasy has been proven to be of an addictive nature, and is
often linked to chronic drug abuse. In approximately 60% of reported
cases of Ecstasy abuse, users experience withdrawal symptoms such
as fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, and concentration issues.
Ecstasy use has been linked to decreased cognitive abilities,
including memory loss.
Ecstasy also has a hidden risk in that much of the drug found
on the street is not pure. It is often laced with other substances,
such as ephedrine, dextromethorphan, cocaine, or ketamine. These
combinations can lead to other potential harmful effects, including