Desired Effects:Euphoria, empathy, exhilaration, energy.
Side Effects:Sweating, nausea, vomiting, rapid eye movement (nystagmus), dehydration, confusion, anxiety.
- You never know what is in the tablet or powder you get so be careful - use a small amount first to see what the effects are and wait a while before taking any more.
- If using ecstasy and dancing take a break to cool down, ecstasy can cause overheating and dehydration.
- Get your water balance right - if you are dancing and sweating you should drink up to a pint of non-alcoholic drink every hour to help replace fluid lost through sweating. If you are not dancing & sweating then drink a little less water - you need to remember that drinking too much water in one go can be dangerous.
- Mixing ecstasy with alcohol will increase the risk of dehydration and can make you take more risks; and mixing ecstasy with any other drugs increases the risks even further and can be very dangerous.
- If you suffer from any kind of heart condition you should avoid stimulant drugs like ecstasy.
- If you choose to use ecstasy it is safer to use small amounts on an occasional basis, giving your body time to recover.
- If someone is suffering bad effects like vomiting, convulsions, unconsciousness - put them in the recovery position and call for medical assistance immediately.
Long term risks:As yet unclear, but may include psychological disturbance, depression, liver and kidney damage. There is growing evidence of damage to nerve endings in the brain but the effects of this on behaviour and the long term consequences for users is still unknown.
Short term risks:Unknown content of tablets (many fake tablets are sold as ecstasy, which can contain other, more toxic, substances), heatstroke, collapse, coma.
These can include other compounds of the phenethylamine family, such as methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) or methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA). There can also be mixtures of other drugs, such as amphetamines and LSD, caffeine, Ketamine and ephedrine.
There are also look-alike pills or tablets which contain no drugs at all. There is no reliable way of finding out what is in a tablet coming from this illicit drug market without having it analysed.
Parents & other relatives
Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of young people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.