Health be detrimental to consumers’ health in

 

Health 104

January 20,2018

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MDMA
Abuse

 

Abuse, National Institute on Drug. “What
Are MDMA’s Effects on the Brain?” NIDA, Sept. 2017,
www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/what-are-mdmas-effects-on-brain.

 

·     
“What Are MDMA’s Effects on the Brain?” is an
article created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that informs readers
about the health hazards that stem from the consumption of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also commonly
known as ecstasy or molly. MDMA can produce life-long risk factors that can be
detrimental to consumers’ health in later years. The National Institute on Drug
Abuse created this article to bring awareness to those who have taken the drug,
are contemplating due to peer pressure, or want to know more about the negative
effects it has on the body. The article states that MDMA is an illegal
substance that is commonly used by teens, young adults, club-goers, and those
within the rave scene. Ecstasy is MDMA in a tablet or capsule form and when
taken orally the effects can be felt at around 40 minutes to an hour and the
high can last up to 3 to 6 hours. MDMA is used by millions of Americans
especially younger adults; its popularity is due to the fact that consuming the
psychoactive drug produces feel good sensations and makes the consumer feel
euphoric and care-free. The article states that MDMA can be life threatening
when taken at high doses. Some fatal symptoms are hypertension, panic attacks,
loss of consciousness, and even seizures. Hot environment at events and clubs
as well as and dancing can cause hyperthermia for party-goers and ravers
because MDMA impedes regulation of body temperature. This synthetic drug was
banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 1985 and was classified as
a Schedule 1 drug because of its high abuse potential. Although MDMA on its own
is dangerous, because it is a synthetic drug many pills and capsules contain
other harmful substances such as heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP). MDMA and
the combination of these substances can be highly addictive. Patients who are
addicted to MDMA are treated with cognitive behavioral interventions in order
to modify the patient’s behaviors and dealing with life’s stressors in a healthy
manner. Overall, this article is created to bring knowledge and awareness to the
harmful effects of MDMA and inform readers that MDMA can be dangerous and
addictive.

 

 

Skomorowsky,
Anne. “How Molly Works in the Brain.” Scientific American, 10 Mar.
2015, www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-molly-works-in-the-brain/.

 

·     
Anne
Skomorowsky, writer of “How Molly Works in the Brain” describes how researchers
discovered the effects MDMA has on the brain by shifting the consumer’s focus
towards positive feelings and emotions while minimizing negative experiences.
Skomorowsky is a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center and is a
clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health System. She created this article to
bring awareness on how the brain reacts under the use of MDMA and the long-term
side effects it poses on out mental health. Skomorowsky states the neurotransmitter
serotonin is a major player in this hallucinogenic drug as well as
norepinephrine and dopamine which are released creating the euphoric sensations.
People under the influence of MDMA tend to be more social and bond with others
easier due to its high concentration of oxytocin in the brain. She further
notes that oxytocin is important for human mating and forming bonds and it is
released when mothers breast feed their children, it strengthens the bond
between the mother and infant. A study by Matthew Kirkpatrick demonstrated that
participants who ingested higher doses of MDMA had increased blood oxytocin
levels and felt more prosocial than those with lower doses. She further notes
that during the 1970s psychiatrists used MDMA as a therapy drug due to its
oxytocin benefits for autistic disorders and those suffering with depression,
however, in 1985 it was banned by the DEA making it difficult to use for
psychiatric research. Furthermore, Skomorowsky states MDMA can also make
negative memories less vivid while enhancing trust and openness. A study
created by London-based neurologists involved those suffering with
post-traumatic stress disorder. The neurologists told the patients to focus on
6 bad memories as well as 6 positive memories and were told to recall them
during the fMRI procedure. After taking MDMA the patients’ stated that they remembered
the positive memories more vividly while the bad memories did not see as
negative to them and the fMRI results supported the patients’ claims. There was
more activation in the areas of the brain associated with the positive
memories. Knowing the therapeutic effects MDMA can produce Skomorowsky ends her
article stating that although there are benefits many people receive pills with
very high doses and with lethal additive substances. She states that a batch of
Molly can contain other substances in combination that can be extremely toxic
to users.

 

 

 

 

Wardle, Margaret C., and Harriet de Wit. “MDMA
Alters Emotional Processing and Facilitates Positive Social Interaction.” Psychopharmacology,
vol. 231, no. 21, 2014, pp. 4219-29, ProQuest Central, http://libwin2k.glendale.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libwin2k.glendale.edu/docview/1610008525?accountid=27372,
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3570-x.

 

·     
The research
article “MDMA Alters Emotional Processing and Facilitates Positive Social
Interaction” by Margaret C. Wardle and Harriet de Wit explains the results of
healthy participants’ individual differences in their response to MDMA.
Margaret Wardle conducts research on drug abuse and treatment and how the
stimulants in the drugs affect emotional functioning. Harriet de Wit is a
Psychiatry professor at The University of Chicago. She conducts research on
substance abuse and drug-associated conditioning and learning. The article
gives information about MDMA classifying it as a recreational drug that produces
prosocial effects and promotes positive feelings and sensations. The participants
consisted of 18 men and 18 women who had to avoid cannabis use for seven days
and refrain from alcohol for 24 hours. The investigation was conducted in a
living room styled laboratory where they tested mood, Cardiovascular measures,
emotions, and responses were measured from their intake of MDMA or placebo
pills. The research also tested the desirability to use MDMA again and social
interactions. The results of Wardle and Wit’s research was that women felt the
effects of MDMA slightly stronger than the men. The researchers also noticed
that 5 of the participants who took the active drug continuously clenched their
jaws because MDMA inhibits the jaw opening reflexes and grinding of teeth could
also occur. The MDMA appeared to reduce amygdala response to angry expressions
during the behavior and perceptions measurement tests, however the drug did not
reduce the perception of fear. As commonly known the MDMA enhanced happiness
and increased the use of positive language especially for women in the study. The
research demonstrated that the drug made the users feel understood and “felt
for”. The participants stated they would desire to take the drug again due to
the social effect and the overall positive mood it creates. The researchers
also noted the limitations to their study such as the relatively small group of
people. The participants were fine after the study and did not feel they needed
MDMA to be social and have positive feelings however the researchers note that
users with depression did receive stronger effects and could possible rely on
the drug and thus abuse it. At the end of the article the researchers note that
the euphoric sensations could make users want to continuously use and rely on
the drug especially people with psychological disorders. The goal of this study
was to try to understand and observe the effects of MDMA. Overall, the effect
made the participants social, made them bond with one another, and eliminated
negative thoughts, and reduced the perception of anger.

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