Patterns of use for another type of ATS, ecstasy, appear to be converging in several parts of the world…
Over the past decade, use rates have increased more for ecstasy and other ATS than for any other drug worldwide;
15-year-olds who have used ecstasy** (1999)
- according to the UNODC 2004 World Drug Report, early rates of relatively high prevalence of ecstasy use in several Western European countries in the mid-'90s have stabilised, whereas rates in Eastern Europe, the US and Canada have recently increased and, in some cases, surpassed Western European rates. Prevalence rates of ecstasy use in other parts of the world are low, however, the number of times it is mentioned in country and media reports is increasing;
- synthetic drugs have become the recreational drugs of choice among young people, often in combination with cannabis. MDMA (Ecstasy) is popular in the industrialised world, especially in Europe;
- between 1997 and 1999, in the United States there was a 69% increase of ecstasy use (from 2.8 to 4.7%) among university students. However, a more recent national survey among youth (aged 12-17) registered a decline from 2.2% in 2002 to 1.3% in 2003.*
|Europe - (highest country)||6|
|Europe - low(lowest country)||0|
What are the effects?
- Ecstasy is all things to all people. According to users the effects of ecstasy are rarely the same twice and are rarely the same for two different people. Loss of anger, empathy with others and enhanced euphoria are common. On the down side the pupils can become dilated, the jaw tightens and the mouth and throat will become dry as the user starts to sweat more (as a result of prolonged dancing or toher activity). The blood pressure and heart rate increase and a loss of appetite are common.
- Adverse effects include feeling anxious and panicky, confused and disorientated. These feelings can last for days and in some cases weeks. Some people may even experience hallucinations and suffer from depression.
- Physically ecstasy can cause muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, dehydration, heart attack, kidney failure and an increase in body temperature.
* Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2004). Results from the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H–25, DHHS Publication No. SMA 04–3964). Rockville, MD.