Colorado Drug Rehab....MDMA, Ecstasy
MDMA, called "ecstasy," or "XTC" on the street, is a synthetic, mind-altering drug with hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. Its chemical structure is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which causes brain damage. Colorado Drug Rehab receives calls from high school and college age people that are usually having neurotic or psychotic feelings while coming down from a night of using ecstasy. These individuals report the myths that they were told regarding the benign nature of this drug, only to find that they are now wishing that they had never believed these marketing lies.
Most individuals that have such experiences can learn from their mistakes and will stabilize within 48 hours. However, Colorado Drug Rehab has found that the euphoria that they experienced with ecstasy many times causes them to forget the down side of their experience and they will challenge themselves to try the drug again. From the sample of those persons seeking addiction treatment or rehab for crystal meth, you will find a large percentage are also using ecstasy to enhance the "party" feeling of the meth.
When Ecstasy first appeared as a steet drug, there were no laws governing its possession or sale, but now there are very harsh consequences for the possession and/or sale of Ecstasy in Colorado:
Possession of Ecstasy, in Colorado, is a felony. Even if you possess as little as one pill of Ecstasy, it is still a felony. It is also a felony to sell or give away Ecstasy, or to possess the substance with the intent to distribute it. An adult felony criminal conviction for Possession of Ecstasy, in Colorado, carries with it a possible sentence of incarceration in prison for up to 12 years. If you possess Ecstasy with the intent to sell or distribute the drug, you can face up to 16 years in prison. In cases where there are exceptional circumstances, a court could sentence you to 32 years in prison. Fines for possessing Ecstasy for your use or for possessing Ecstasy with the intent to sell or distribute Ecstasy to others can range from $3,000.00 to $750,000.00.
MDMA is sold for $20 to $30 per tablet or $8 to $12 per tablet in 100-tablet lots. In addition, tablets sold as MDMA in Colorado, particularly in Denver and surrounding cities, increasingly contain other drugs such as methamphetamine, MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine), and MDEA (methylenedioxyethylamphetamine).
The increasing availability and abuse of MDMA, particularly among teenagers and young adults, pose a growing threat to Colorado. MDMA, also known as ecstasy, XTC, E, and X, is a stimulant and low-level hallucinogen. MDMA was patented in 1914 in Germany where it was sometimes given to psychiatric patients to assist in psychotherapy, a practice never approved by the American Psychological Association or the Food and Drug Administration. Abuse of the drug can cause psychological problems similar to those associated with methamphetamine and cocaine abuse, including confusion, depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, and paranoia. The physical effects can include severe dehydration, muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, blurred vision, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. MDMA can also cause a marked increase in body temperature leading to muscle breakdown, kidney failure, cardiovascular system failure, stroke, or seizure. MDMA abuse may result in long-term, permanent damage to parts of the brain that are critical to thought and memory.
MDMA is increasingly available and abused in Colorado. According to DAWN data, MDMA ED mentions in the Denver metropolitan area increased from 11 in 1997 to 42 in 2001. Many law enforcement agencies in Colorado reported dramatic increases in MDMA availability in 2000 and 2001. These increases in MDMA availability have been noted by Colorado law enforcement agencies throughout the state, as law enforcement pressure in larger cities such as Denver and Colorado Springs has compelled rave promoters to stage events in more rural areas. In early 2001 a Colorado promoter gave a 48-hour notice of a planned rave in Wray, a small farming community in northeastern Colorado. More than 2,500 young adults from eight states attended the event. In addition to raves, MDMA is distributed in many bars, nightclubs, and private parties in the Denver metropolitan area. Moreover, MDMA appears to have become a mainstream drug, according to law enforcement officials. MDMA increasingly is abused in traditional settings, including residences and businesses, and it often is abused in combination with other drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine.
Most MDMA available in Colorado is produced outside the United States, typically in laboratories in the Netherlands and Belgium, and is transported to Colorado via package delivery services and by couriers aboard commercial aircraft. Most MDMA available in the state transits distribution centers such as Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., en route to Colorado. MDMA also is transported to the state in private vehicles. Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers are the primary transporters of the drug to the state. MDMA generally is not produced in Colorado, although law enforcement authorities in Boulder County seized one MDMA laboratory in 2000. (NDIC)
In August of 2001 authorities seized approximately 85,000 Ecstasy tablets in Colorado with the breakup of a major manufacturing lab for ecstasy and other designer drugs. The college communities of Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Durango have continued to have a higher incidence and prevalence of Ecstasy use and sale than the other communities of Colorado.
Many problem users encounter with MDMA are similar to those found with the use of amphetamines and cocaine. They are:
Psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia during and sometimes weeks after taking MDMA (even psychotic episodes have been reported).
Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating.
Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease.
Beliefs about MDMA are reminiscent of similar claims made about LSD in the 1960s and 1970s, which proved to be untrue. According to its proponents, MDMA can make people trust each other and can break down barriers between therapists and patients, lovers, and family members.
Recent research findings also link MDMA use to long-term damage to those parts of the brain critical to thought and memory. It is thought that the drug causes damage to the neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. In monkeys, exposure to MDMA for four days caused brain damage that was evident six to seven years later. This study provides further evidence that people who take MDMA may be risking permanent brain damage.
Also, there is evidence that people who develop a rash that looks like acne after MDMA use may be risking severe side effects, including liver damage, if they continue using.
MDMA also is related in structure and effects to methamphetamine, which has been shown to cause degeneration of neurons containing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Damage to these neurons is the underlying cause of the motor disturbances seen in Parkinson's disease. Symptoms of this disease begin with lack of coordination and tremors, and can eventually result in a form of paralysis.
MDA, the parent drug of MDMA, is an amphetamine-like drug that has also been abused and is similar in chemical structure to MDMA. Research shows that MDA destroys serotonin-producing neurons, which play a direct role in regulating aggression, mood, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. It is probably this action on the serotonin system that gives MDA its purported properties of heightened sexual experience, tranquillity, and conviviality.