ecstasy; MDMA; drug; drugs; stimulant; dance; fantasy;
Ecstasy was first made in 1914 as a drug to reduce appetite. In the 1980's it was trialled as a drug to assist psychotherapy, and then it became popular in the dance club scene around the world. Ecstasy was made an illegal drug in Australia in 1986 because of its harmful effects.
In a crisis: get help urgently - call an ambulance
It is really important to be honest when you get medical attention. Give the ambulance workers and doctors honest information about what drugs have been taken. In South Australia police may not be called unless there is a risk of ongoing safety problems, or the person dies.
The Australian Red Cross has a website 'Save a mate - ClubSAM - have fun, party safe and look after your mates this summer'.
What it is
Ecstasy is MDMA (MDMA stands for methylene-dioxy-meth-amphetamine). It is a stimulant drug with some effects similar to hallucinogens (ha-lu-cin-o-gens).
- Stimulants speed up the activity in the brain.
- A hallucination is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or touching things that do not exist.
Ecstasy usually comes in small white or yellow tablets. The drug that is sold by dealers on the street or in venues is often made in "backyard labs", where there is no quality control and 'dealers' are out to make money, not to ensure your health and safety! It is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in the tablets. The risk of getting sick or overdosing is high, because the strength of the drug differs from one tablet to the next.
Ecstasy is illegal for everyone under Australian and South Australian laws. It is illegal to use, possess, sell or make ecstasy, or bring it into the country. The penalty received for an offence differs with the type of offence, prior convictions you may have and the amount of drug, but fines can be heavy and being sent to prison is a possibility.
Effects of ecstasy
Ecstasy can affect people in different ways. It depends on how much the person takes, what strength it is, how the body reacts to it, whether people are used to taking it, what mood they are in beforehand, where they are, and whether it is taken with other drugs (such as alcohol). Overdose can occur and some people have died from the effects of ecstasy.
Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA)
Drug Information Clearinghouse (Australian Drug Foundation)
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (based in New South Wales)
about someone who is using drugs?
You might have found out someone you know is using ecstasy, or you are worried about the amount someone is taking. What can you do?
If your friend uses ecstasy a lot, you could try talking with him or her. This may not be easy - they might get angry or deny the problem.
- Stay calm and reasonable, stick to the point and don't get drawn into other arguments.
- Let your friend know you care for him or her, but are concerned about his or her behaviour and health.
- Don't try talking to your friend when he or she is affected by the ecstasy, and don't get angry with them.
You can't make them change - you can only try to help them see how ecstasy is affecting their life and health.
Everyone has the right to make their own choices. Making good choices is not always easy.
in South Australia
- Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (education, clinics) offers a range of prevention, treatment, information, education and community-based services for all South Australians.
- Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS). 24 hour 7 day telephone service that provides information, counselling and referrals for people with drug problems and concerned friends and family. South Australian callers only.
1300 13 13 40
- The Second Story Youth Health Service (TSS) South Australia
- Central: 57 Hyde St, Adelaide
- South: 50a Beach Rd, Christies Beach
- North: 6 Gillingham Rd, Elizabeth
- Youth Healthline 1300 13 17 19 (South Australian callers only)
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm http://www.cyh.com/SubContent.aspx?p=187
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Youth Healthline on 1300 13 17 19 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).