Ecstasy is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system, but it also has mild hallucinogenic effects. Its use increases the heart rate and the blood pressure. As with many other drugs, its effects depend on the dose, the content of the pills and the physiological and psychological condition of the user. The setting where the drug is used may also influence the way the user feels.
Generally, the effects are:
- Increase in endurance; decrease in the feelings of hunger and tiredness; insomnia.
- Increase in body temperature; increase in sweating; risk of dehydration and overheating.
- Dilated pupils; dry mouth and throat; rapid breathing.
- Muscle tension and uncontrollable movements – shivering, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, tongue and cheek chewing; nystagmus (rapid involuntary movements of the eyes); impaired coordination.
- Increase in energy; mood lift; increased willingness to communicate; feelings of love and empathy; decreased fear, anxiety and insecurity; euphoria.
- Feelings of closeness and acceptance, desire to hug and kiss the others.
- Increased sensitiveness (taste, smell, hearing, vision, touch).
- Mild visual hallucinations; blurred vision.
- Headaches; dizziness; vertigo; nausea and vomiting.
- Agitation; anxiety and paranoia; panic attacks and even psychosis.
- Increased sexual arousal (when the use is rare). Frequent use and high doses can result in impotence (inability to have an erection in men) and difficulty reaching orgasm.
MDMA generally takes 20-90 minutes to take effect. The duration of the effects is approximately 3-5 hours when taken orally.
When the effects begin wearing off, the users very often feel sadness and have the feeling of a loss. The day after they usually feel very tired and need a long sleep in order to recover. This period resembles a hangover, although it has nothing to do with the alcohol use.
The more frequent the use, the more unpleasant the symptoms of the hangover can be. For several days or even weeks after the last use, people may feel exhausted, lack energy, have difficulty sleeping and feeding, feel anxious and suffer from moderate to severe depression.