Ecstasy is a "club" drug also known by its scientific acronym MDMA. This synthetic drug produces a keen sense of euphoria, energy, and pleasure, but using it is dangerous, as you're about to see from these ecstasy statistics and facts. Ecstasy is chemically similar to both hallucinogens like LSD and stimulants like cocaine. It's commonly found in the rave, dance, and electronica music scenes, but people of all ages and backgrounds report using ecstasy. Here are six interesting facts and ecstasy statistics that may be news to you.
The highest prevalence of ecstasy is among the 18- to 25-year-old set. More than 13 percent of all young adults in that demographic report having tried ecstasy. Perhaps most alarming of all ecstasy statistics is that almost two percent of 8th graders, nearly three percent of 10th graders, and close to five percent of 12th graders report having used this drug, according to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.
The cost of ecstasy varies around the world, but in the U.S., it typically costs $10 to $25 per pill. But in some places in America, a single 50- to 150-milligram tablet can cost $50. In most of Europe, tablets cost between $3 and $10.
Ecstasy is a Schedule I drug, which means that it has a high potential for abuse but no medical value. Getting caught with ecstasy is a felony possession charge, and that can land you in prison. If it's your first offense, and you have very little on you, you'll more likely pay a fine and spend some time on probation.
The most common ecstasy symptoms that land people in the ER are dehydration and hyperthermia, or a high body temperature. The risk of dehydration is generally higher at rave parties and nightclubs, where dancing can lead to low hydration and high temperatures.
In the days after using ecstasy, many people report memory impairment, anxiety, and depression. In regular users, these mood changes can lead to thoughts of suicide. In 2009, over a thousand individuals went to the emergency room after attempting suicide after using ecstasy.
A 2014 study found that MDMA affects the body's ability to regulate its temperature, and even moderate doses can be deadly in warm environments, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The study on rats found that a warm environment further decreased their ability to cool off, causing a high brain temperature and death.
Users wondering, "Is ecstasy addictive?" may be worried that they're using too much ecstasy. While the jury is still out about whether you can develop a physical dependence on ecstasy, you can definitely develop an addiction to it. Whether you do depends on a range of factors, including genetics and environment. Addiction is characterized by the inability to stop using a drug even though it's causing problems for your health, relationships, legal status, finances, or personal safety.
While most people who use ecstasy don't develop an addiction to it, those who do typically require professional help. Ecstasy statistics for treatment admissions are difficult to estimate, but the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2009 found that less than one percent of treatment admissions were for ecstasy.