Herbal Ecstasy

By: Joe Guzman and Jane Leighton

What is Herbal Ecstasy?

Ecstasy/MDMA is an imitating natural drug that changes your normal behavior awareness of your surroundings. It is a hallucinogen and, like a stimulant, it can cause feelings of exaggerated energy, happiness, emotional warmth, and distorted senses of time and awareness.This drug is mostly present during the night scene since it is commonly used at nightclubs and in all night raves. However, the drug can affect a range of people if they are exposed to it and is commonly referred to as Molly. Ecstasy was originally named 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine and was patented by Merck pharmaceuticals in 1914. The drug didn't become popular until the 1970s when psychotherapists began giving it to patients to get them to open up. It began to hit the nightclub scene in the 80s the early 90s where it became preferred the drug at raves. Herbal ecstasy, however, receives less attention and is marketed as a safe alternative to normal ecstasy. Herbal ecstasy is a plant based product that was created as a natural and legal alternative to ecstasy. Instead of the blend of synthetic ingredients found in ecstasy, the drug contains ephedra which is a natural stimulant that enhances energy, but still has dangerous effects.

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Herbal Ecstasy and Medicine

Herbal ecstasy is not used in medicine although its main ingredient, ephedra, is used in over the counter weight loss medications and energy supplements. However, the FDA released a warning in 2004 regarding the dangers that accompany the use of ephedra-containing products.

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How is Herbal Ecstasy Administered?

Herbal ecstasy can be found in many different forms such as tablets, capsules, powder, or in cigarettes. These forms are then administered into the body orally, or are snorted or smoked.

Effects of Herbal Ecstasy

The effects of Herbal ecstasy are:

  • Feeling giddy, agitated, hyperactive, restless or confused
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills
  • Muscle cramping

These short term effects typically last for three to six hours, however, additional doses are commonly taken once the effects begin to wear off. Continued use of the drug can result in more serious effects such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, heart attack, seizure, stroke, kidney, liver, or heart failure, and even death (Trusted Teen Treatment, 1).

Drugs: man posts heartbreaking video of effects of bad ecstasy pill on his body - TomoNews

Herbal Ecstasy and the Brain

Ecstasy and Herbal ecstasy both increase the activity of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for causing feelings of euphoria and increasing energy and activity; increasing heart rate and blood pressure; and controlling mood, appetite, and sleep, as well as controlling hormones that effect sexual activity and trust. Large amounts of ecstasy or herbal ecstasy cause larger amounts of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, to be released which results in emotional closeness, elevated mood, and empathy (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1).

What is the Tolerance/Withdrawal/Overdose of Herbal Ecstasy?

The standard dose of herbal ecstasy usually contains about 600mg or less. Safe doses vary depending on the individual and on the user's tolerance to the drug, making it easy to overdose. Overdoses result in increased heart rate, deeper breathing, muscle spasms and possible heart attack. Users who become addicted to herbal ecstasy suffer from psychological effects due to the addiction and also physical effects which consist of seizures, elevated heart rate, severe rashes, and high blood pressure (Act, 1).

Laws Regarding Herbal Ecstasy

Ecstasy/MDMA is classified as a hallucinogen and is illegal, however, herbal ecstasy which was created as a natural alternative to ecstasy is classified as a schedule 1 drug which is legal and its production is unregulated. Ephedra, the main component in herbal ecstasy, is sold legally over the counter in inhalers and decongestant medications. In 2004, the Federal Drug Association, FDA, released a safety warning regarding the effects of ephedra contained in various weight loss products and energy supplements.

Support System

There are many herbal ecstasy treatment and detox centers that aid in recovery from the physical and psychological addiction to herbal ecstasy. Since the use of herbal ecstasy commonly results in a psychological addiction where a person becomes emotionally attached to the drug rather than have a physical dependency, treatment centers provide a safe and effective treatment process that encourages emotional support (Project Know, 1).

Works Cited

Aleksander, Irina. “Molly: Pure, but Not So Simple.” http://www.nytimes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/fashion/molly-pure-but-not-so-simple.html?_r=0>.

“DrugFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).” https://www.drugabuse.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly>.

“Ecstasy.” Teen Health and Wellness: Real Life, Real Answers. Rosen Digital, June 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/article/147/ecstasy>.

“Herbal Ecstasy.” http://www.actoronto.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <http://www.actoronto.org/home.nsf/pages/herbalecstasy>.

“Herbal Ecstasy.” Partnership for Drug-free Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. <http://www.drugfree.org/drug-guide/herbal-ecstasy/>.

“Herbal Ecstasy.” Project Know. Project Know, n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2016. <http://www.projectknow.com/research/herbal-ecstasy/>.

“What is Herbal Ecstasy.” Trusted Teen Treatment. Muir Wood, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://www.muirwoodteen.com/over-the-counter-drug-abuse/herbal-ecstasy/>.