How does MDMA work and can it be used productively?


| 4 Comments

SHM-MSG.jpgThere was a incident recently during New York's Electric Zoo EDM festival where four ravers died of exhaustion and excessive blood thinning, The organizers put out a statement saying "The incident was a result of excessive overdose of Ecstasy or Molly", which are different forms of the drug MDMA.

 

I personally am a big fan of EDM and am a frequent goer to such concerts and I know from first hand experience that the use of MDMA and its different forms is very prevalent in these circles.  MDMA gives a sense of freedom and superiority, its makes a person more social able and people lose their self-inhibitions. Its gives a false sense of high and in the club environment surrounded with a lot of people on the drug, it becomes a ravers paradise. The after effects of the drug include mild depression and anxiety and tiredness. Some users even claim to experience loss of memory after mixing alcohol with the drug.

 

So how exactly does MDMA work? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse 'MDMA affects the brain by increasing the activity of at least three neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Like amphetamines, MDMA causes these neurotransmitters to be released from their storage sites in neurons resulting in increased neurotransmitter activity.' In simple words it stimulates the brain and makes it work extra hard to produce these neurotransmitters which stimulate the brain. Unfortunately the supply of neurotransmitters to the brain is limited and therefore the user experiences after effects like anxiety and depression. In an ideal universe controlled supply of neurotransmitters would be of great use to humans. It would deal with psychological issues like lack of confidence, etc. But the current level of science has not been able to completely understand the different functions of the brain. Hopefully in the future we will have drugs that can get rid of fear and anxiety from people and make it really easy to make friends of the opposite sex at the bar. Till then the men need to do it the hard way and the women. Well just be yourself!!

 

 


4 Comments

Yash,

I too am a strong fan of EDM and I have payed attention to the various reports of people dying because of MDMA. It is interesting that you said that an ideal supply of neurotransmitters would eliminate effects like anxiety and depression. I never thought of the drug in a positive light, something that the news is not doing right now. This led me to do some research and I found an interesting article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/20/ecstacy-doesnt-damage-the_n_825704.html >. The article states that the long myth that MDMA causes brain damage is in fact not entirely true and states that the drug can be taken to help people overcome post traumatic stress disorders. There's no doubt that the drug can be deadly if taken irresponsibly, but if the drug were to be used for better purposes than what we realize, maybe we can alleviate the bad stigma surrounding the drug.

Drugs really have the potential to be amazing or awful, and it all comes down to the user's understanding of his/her limitations and the substance itself (I am in no way speaking from experience). Like Jason elaborated on, certain preconceived notions and things that we 'thought' we knew about drugs like, in this case, ecstasy, are wrong or colored by personal bias. Misinformation has a habit of being perpetuated more than truth when it comes to these things. Marijuana, for example, holds something called "cannabinoids," which may assist in preserving the brain and slowing its degeneration. More on this can be found in the following link:
http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/29/how-cannabinoids-may-slow-brain-aging/

I like that you saw the possibility that the drug may one day have the capability to help people suffering from lack of confidence. Although drugs are too often abused, the controlled amount and different ingredients may one day be safe and legal to use for certain problems. Abuse of drugs in way too strong of doses are reasons (and good ones) to give drugs a bad rep, but this does not mean that these problems cannot be overcome to create a substance that helps, not hurts, its consumers.

I actually is amazing how every drug which is not profitable is regarded as harmful to society and therefore illegal. In India marijuana plants grow naturally and they have amazing healing abilities. Being a mountaineer I know this and these plants can be very helpful in remote areas with no human habitat around. While in climbing school, our instructors, who were ex-army trainers asked us to use marijuana on rashes and burns as it cools down the ruffed by skin and provides relaxation. Anyone who has used marijuana can attest for it relaxation abilities. Same goes for many other drugs which the government bans for no rightly justifiable reason. here an article sorts out the myths and the realities of the use of Marijuana. http://www.askmen.com/sports/health/20_mens_health.html

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