Ahh. My dear old friend MDMA. Even uttering its name gives me a little feeling down my back. How long has it been since we last “co-mingled”? 10? 11 years? Maybe we’ll meet again one day. Just for a night.

MDMA, or as most people know it, Ecstasy, E, XTC, Molly, Mandy, and probably more I’ve never heard, stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Definitely a mouth full. But don’t let the latter part of the name fool you. There’s very little resemblance of it to meth. It has a rather interesting history. Not quite the history of LSD, but it’s had a very different history from the boring Heroin.

It was developed by Merck in 1912. At the time they were searching for a better medication for abnormal bleeding. Obviously they found something very different. It was disregarded, looked at by other pharmacologists over the decades, and again just forgotten about. In the 1970s, it was revisited, but this time it got the attention of psychiatrists. And what they saw was potentially revolutionary for psychotherapy  (this is when psychiatrists still did that). The effects of it were considered to be a breakthrough for therapeutic purposes. Anyone who’s ever used it knows exactly why.

Its psychopharmacological effect is to trigger the release, and inhibit the re-uptake of Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and norepinephrine. The brain neurotransmitter cocktail of paradise. Its effects are nothing short of astonishing. I’ve heard that psychiatrists in the early 1980s used it for marriage counseling. I can understand why. It is normally taken orally, and occasionally, snorted. Taken orally it usually begins its effects 45 minutes to an hour later. Then peaks at around 75 to 120 minutes. Then it will plateau for up to 8 hours (depending on dose). The user will experience a range of effects. Extreme sense of well-being. A very heightened sensory perception. Intense empathy (you’ll likely feel strongly about the damn chair you’re sitting on, and you’ll practically love everyone you see). Time distortion (that 6 to 8 hours will feel to you like a day). Kinetic pleasure (moving your body in any way).  And probably others that people have experienced.

It’s known as a “dance” drug because that is definitely one of the best ways to capitalize on the kinetic pleasure effect. It’s most commonly used in night clubs, raves (which are primarily for the use of MDMA), and house parties. Music is a vital part of the enhancement of it. I’m not sure why, but electronic music (“house” music, techno, etc) are the favorite of everyone who uses it. In fact I hated that kind of music, until I first used it. Ever since, just hearing the right kind will actually “bring back” a hint of the effects. In my opinion, it is, by far, the most incredible drug I’ve ever taken. Or would want to take.

Physical addiction potential: none. Psychological addiction potential: moderate  (prolonged day to day use is ill-advised). Effects on the brain: from occasional use: very little. From prolonged use: a wide variety. Including memory impairment, cognitive impairment, and a laundry list of others that you do not want. It is not recommended that you exceed 100 doses in your life. It is most definitely a once every few months kind of drug. For a few years.

A little more on its history. In the late 1970s a company called The Texas Group mass produced it for recreational use. It had no federal classification until 1985. After a number of deaths attributed to it, under Nancy Fucking Reagan’s “Just Say No” (to anything she didn’t approve of, like admitting the “gay plague” desperately needed attention), the DEA put it under Schedule 1. Then something unusual happened. Several psychiatrists banded together and sued the DEA arguing that the drug should be left for them to decide when and how it should be used. This was in 1983. It dragged on for two years in the federal court system, until finally a federal judge (an attorney) ruled in favor of the DEA. I’ll let you try to make sense of that.

Usage precautions. Let me preface this by saying that I couldn’t be a responsible person if I didn’t dissuade anyone from using this drug. It is potentially lethal, if not used wisely. But, I don’t rule others’ lives and I don’t think the government has the right to dictate what you can or cannot put into your body. Call me libertarian on that. First, you must trust that what you’re taking IS MDMA. Get it from someone you know. Also most Ecstasy isn’t pure. It’s usually cut with ephedrine or ketamine. This is normal. Finding pure MDMA is definitely best, but it’s extremely difficult to find. Second, and this is particularly important, you must stay well hydrated for the duration. Your body temperature will rise an average of 2 degrees. Yes, technically you’ll have a fever. As a result, dancing not only boosts it higher, it dehydrates you. Drinking lots of water, and orange juice to keep your electrolytes in good shape is best. Third, alcohol is the enemy of this drug. It literally shuts it down. So drinking alcohol basically means you’ve just wasted money. However when the effects begin to wear off, or you’re ready for it to end, a couple beers will do the trick. Fourth, if when the drug peaks (remember, this isn’t the best portion of the experience, just happens shortly after you take it) you’re feeling like you need to vomit, you’ve taken a bit too much. But don’t panic. Throw up if you need to, and give it time. Stay seated for a while. Keep cool (I mean your body), and keep drinking water and orange juice. When that intensity passes you’ve got hours of the plateau of bliss ahead of you. Fifth, if you feel like you may lose consciousness  (this has never happened to me, but I’ve known how to use it), don’t hesitate to get immediate medical help. IF YOU ARE ON ANY KIND OF ANTIDEPRESSANT, DO NOT TAKE THIS. IT CAN SERIOUSLY HARM YOU.

Failure to follow the guidelines I laid out above can have fatal consequences. Hell I’m not a physician. All I can do is tell you what I know about the drug from my own research, and personal experience. Take at your own risk. And if you have, wasn’t that fun? If you haven’t but will, happy rolling!

UPDATE: I feel I’ve made this sound more dangerous than it actually is. Just don’t take too much and keep hydrated. You’ll have a blast. But again, if you’re on an antidepressant, you cannot take it. They interact. They amplify each other in dangerous ways. In any case, use care. This one can be the greatest artificial experience of your life, or if you’re really stupid, deadly.


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