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MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is also known by the terms ecstasy, E, X, and molly, among others. It was first synthesized in 1912, and gained popularity among therapists and psychiatrists in the 1970s as a means of addressing several mental conditions. Its effects are due to increased activity levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
MDMA most commonly comes in tablets or pills. Concerns over its purity have persisted for years, as some batches seized by drug agencies had no actual MDMA in them. Now the opposite is often true, with some pills having super-strength potency. It is reported to have euphoric effects, including increased empathy and heightened sensations. Users have also reported a negative set of symptoms after a night of MDMA use, often attributed to depletion of serotonin.
MDMA is currently categorized as a Schedule I substance in the United States, making it illegal to buy or sell. However, it has also been given ‘breakthrough therapy’ status by the FDA for its use as a therapeutic in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.