Also Known As: X, Jabs, E, Rolexs, MDMA, Mandy, Pills, XTC, Sweeties, Eckies

Category: Hallucinogen, Stimulant

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
MDMA (Ecstasy)

MDMA

Tablets of different shapes, sizes and colours that can have a design or logo stamped on to them - sometimes they are given nicknames after the design on the tablet. Can also come in crystal/powder form, called by its chemical name, MDMA.

HOW IT'S TAKEN

Ecstasy tablets are usually swallowed - although some people do crush them up and smoke or snort them. Crystal/powder form can be 'dabbed' onto the gums or snorted.

EFFECTS

The effects usually come on within 20 minutes to one hour and tend to last 3 - 6 hours, followed by a gradual comedown. The main effects include increased energy and sense of well-being. Sounds, colours and emotions can feel more intense.

Physical side effects can include dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, tightening of the jaw muscles, raised body temperature and the heart beating faster.

RISKS

Short term: Can include feeling anxious or getting panic attacks, and developing confused episodes, paranoia or even psychosis. Use can also lead to overheating and dehydration, the risk is greater if users are dancing in a hot environment, like a club, without taking breaks or don't drink enough non-alcoholic fluids. This can be fatal. Drinking up to a pint of water or non-alcoholic liquid every hour and eating a salty snack from time to time are advised. Users can feel tired and low for a few days after use.

Anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction to the drug.

Long term: Evidence suggests long-term users can suffer memory problems and may develop depression and anxiety. Ecstasy use has been linked to mental health problems, and liver, kidney and brain damage.

Regardless of what it looks like or what it is called, you can't be sure what's in a pill or a powder and you can't predict how you will react. Drug trends intelligence indicates that it is common for tablets with a similar name, shape, size and colour, to contain different controlled drugs (such as MDMA, PMA, PMMA) in varying levels.

As you don't know what you are taking, there are no guarantees or quality control when taking drugs. There are no safe amounts or levels. You won't know whether it is MDMA, PMA, PMMA, or some other substance, but you should know that they can contain harmful and potentially toxic substances.

The dangers and risks to health, or indeed life, associated with the consumption of all controlled drugs are significant in themselves, however this is increased further when you mix different types of drugs together, or when mixed with alcohol.

LEGAL STATUS

Ecstasy is a Class A drug. This means that it's illegal to possess, give away or sell. Possessing it can lead to a prison sentence of up to 7 years or an unlimited fine or both. Supplying (which includes giving it to a friend) could lead to a life sentence or an unlimited fine or both.

Remember: Having a criminal record can make it difficult for you to get a job or visa if you want to travel abroad.

What's the difference between possession & supply (dealing)? What happens if you're under 16? Learn more about drugs and the law.