Electronic dance music and drugs have been a common topic in the music industry today. Majority of the artists as well as fans have been victims of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) Ecstasy/Molly. This is a psychoactive and synthetic drug which is similar to both hallucinogen and amphetamine mescaline. When ingested into the body, the drug generates feelings of augmented euphoria, energy, empathy towards others as well as emotional warmth. Sometimes MDMA ecstasy also causes distortions in time and sensory perceptions. Initially, the use of MDMA was widespread among young white adults and adolescents who frequented the nightclub scene and or long dance parties. However, presently the drug effects have become common even to people outside this age bracket, affecting a broader range of users in various ethnicities and states. MDMA is often taken orally in tablet or capsule form. Molly; a slang for “molecular” signifies a form of MDMA which is pure crystalline powder that is sold in capsules. Once taken the effects of Molly can last approximately 3 to 6 hours before it begins to fade. In most cases MDMA substances are taken in combination with other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra), among others. The initial report of the pharmacological effects of MDMA's in humans emerge in 1978. This delineated a state when the abuser easily controlled consciousness coupled with sensual and emotional overtones that lacked psychological sequel and hallucinatory component. This intoxication apparently lasted several hours and was associated with sympathomimetic effects. The ability of the drug to decrease anxiety and defensiveness would be recognized as having potential value in therapy. In depicting the extent of the consequences of this drug, the essay describes how the problem of MDAM is portrayed in the society today. It also discussed the effects of the drug to the health of all those using and abusing it. It further highlights the assumptions behind this problem definition as well as describing the strengths and weaknesses of these assumptions.
How The Problem of MDMA is Portrayed in the Society
Despite that fact that there is harsher legal sentencing to those found culpable of abusing the illicit drug Ecstasy, its use is hitherto a global phenomenon. Apart from that the reports of neurotoxicity and fatalities related to the use of ecstasy drug are widely publicized especially in the United States. The problem has been perpetuated by drug dealers who act on behalf of drug manufacturers. Due to its addictive effects, the youth are the most affected for they are the usual visitors of music clubs and extravaganzas. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimate of three quarter million Ecstasy tablets are used in Ney Yolk and New Jersey along on every weekend. The trend is worrying considering the deleterious effects that related with this drug. The government has also put in place a number of strategies to curb these harmful outcomes to the young who abuse this drug. Nonetheless it has proven difficult to regulate the use since some users enter these social places when they have already used the drug. Most of the time even the facilitators of the functions are notorious of colluding with traffickers and abusers to perpetuate the practice secretly.
It is proven that the main constituent of Ecstasy, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has the capacity to generate stout venomous effects especially of the functioning of serotonins in bodies causing its depletion as well as generating the terminals of seretonergic nerves. Emerging evidence indicates that when exposure to ecstasy is repeated. It may obviously lead to decrements in performance measures of neurocognitive function which is often a manifestation of neurotoxicity. This is the reason why a specter of the populace of abusers of MDAM-Ecstasy is raising complicated public issues which are directly relevant to psychiatry. Although research is yet to reveal long-term effects of the problem, the psychotherapy of the drug may be confounding as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration for clinical trials.
Effects of MDMA to Abusers
MDMA has a number of effects to those abusing it. First the drug acts by augmenting the function of three neurotransmitters; dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. The pro-social and emotional effects of this drug are either caused directly or indirectly by the secretion of serotonin on a massive scale. This in turn influences an individual’s mood and the related functions like sleep and appetite. Serotonin triggers the re-lease of hormones vasopressin and oxytocin as well. These usually play an important role in love, sexual arousal, trust as well as other social experiences. Consequently, it may contribute to the characteristic feelings of empathy and emotional closeness produced by the drug. Similarly, the surge of serotonin which is caused when MDMA is taken depletes the brain. It therefore lads to negative effects that include depression, confusion, sleep problems, anxiety and drug craving. These symptoms may appear soon after the person would have abused the drug or even days or weeks thereafter.
MDMA can also trigger similar physical effects just like other stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine. These effects comprise increase in blood pressure and heart rate. These are especially risky to those people with circulatory issues and heart diseases. Users of MDMA may also experience other symptoms like nausea, muscle tension, sweating, involuntary teeth clenching, blurred vision, faintness, among others. When taken in high doses, MDMA has the capacity is interfering with the ability of the body to regulate optimum temperature. Unpredictably, this can as well lead to hyperthermia; which is a sharp increase in body temperature. Hyperthermia is often responsible for kidney, liver, or failure of cardiovascular system which is mostly fatal.
As observed most, the users of this drug are fond of compounding the risk with other drugs such as marijuana. Sometimes Ecstasy tablets and capsules of pure “Molly” contain other drugs. The drugs may contain ephedrine which is a stimulant; dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, caffeine, ketamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, among others. These drugs have high degree of venom especially if mingled with MDMA. Users who intentionally or rather unknowingly combine such mixtures with additional substances do put their lives at a higher risk for adverse health effects. Apart from that, since the drug promotes closeness, its use in contexts that are sexually charged may end up encouraging unsafe sex, hence leading to a risk for contracting and spreading of hepatitis and HIV.
Assumptions behind the Problem of MDAM
Following the popularity of the drug Ecstasy, several assumptions have been raised from both the opponents and the proponents of MDAM. Various people assume that the drug is bad because of the physical and social effects that are associated with it. Furthermore, the drug is highly addictive and often shows varying results when used by the fanatics. Apart from the depiction of some of the aforementioned effects, the use of MDAM also exhibits psychological harm, diminished response as well as withdrawal effects. With these multiple effects, the users may with time plunge into a myriad of problems though instantly thy usually exhibit sound effects. Some of the renowned musicians and a number of fans have ended up in multiple tribulations related with health and others even dying due to the use of this drug. In the same breath, the Drug Enforcement Administration has since been labeling MDMA as a Schedule I substance. The drugs of this type are usually associated with high abuse potential and do not contain any recognized medicinal use.
On the contrary, proponents of MDMA have held on to the fact that the drug is perfect. Many value the drug not just as a recreational substance but also as an aid in psychotherapy. Although the clinical trial research is yet to provide support for this assumption, some researchers remain interested and optimistic that MDAM has the potential therapeutic value especially when administered under conditions that are carefully monitored. Currently, MDAM is undergoing innumerable clinical trials as a possible aid in pharmacotherapy. It is assumed that the drug has capacity to aid in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, it is assumed that the drug can suffice in curing anxiety in terminal cancer patients. A number of oncologists has been said in various hospices have reportedly been using the drugs on their patients to alleviate their pain and apprehensiveness.
Apart from the medicinal assumptions, the drug has economic value to the processors as well as the traffickers. These ones make a lot of profits out the sale of the drug hence becoming a reliable means of income. This variant regard for the drug is what has made it difficult to eliminate it from the society. Much as the authorities deem its use as illegal, the general society has perfected ways of putting the drug into various uses and hence perpetuating its popularity.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Assumptions
According to my observation, the drug has significance as elucidated by those who are in support of it. First of all it augments the psyche in the users especially the musicians and the fans who enjoy the music and dance. Through its ability to boost the performance, the industry of music has become quite vibrant and celebrities very popular. Many people with the talent in music have also been inspired to join the industry. This has been deemed as the strength of the drug and why it has been very much popular. Furthermore, the high affinity for the drug has made the drug industry very vibrant to ensure adequate supply. This would also be a strength as much as it aids a number of people to access the means of securing their ends in life. Not forgetting that even the government earns a lot of revenue through the manufacture and sale of this drug. Finally, the medical departments has taken keen interest in the drugs and intense research has been done about it in the recent times. This elicits a lot of hope that perhaps the drug might become a multipurpose substance and will hence become a precious commodity in the society.
Nonetheless, this drug has been seen in bad light by a section of the society. First the government is anti-MDAM due to its disadvantages. Some people have died after ingesting huge amounts of the drug into their bodies. This incident usually sends a bad signal to the government and as a result it takes appropriate measures including advocating for the banning of the drug and its manufacturing. Furthermore, owing to the aforementioned side effects to the users’ health, one may not be advised to value the drug for fear of suffering the repercussions. If I had the opportunity to intervene in this confusion, I would first put sanctions to the manufacturers of the MDAM drug to lessen the harm in the contents. Similarly, through the Drug and substance control agency, I would put measures to regulate its circulation and ensure it is only available for use by the right people and purpose. I would finally encourage the medical researchers to augment their effort of unveiling its medical significance so that the drug is later pronounced as a medicinal rather than a recreational substance.
The prevalence of MDAM Ecstasy drug in the US has had direct and profound implications for psychiatry. Millions of youths who ingest unknown combinations of various powerful drugs in conditions which are unlikely to accentuate reactions that are adverse in nature and neurotoxicity have augmented a daunting problem of public health. The real extent of morbidity of psychiatric that is associated with the use of Ecstasy remains a difficult matter to be determined. For now, a foundation that is empirically based for guiding decisions about treatment in Ecstasy by use of patients is non-existent. This could have put a lot of focus on the effects of the drug an investigated it relevance to the society in the future. Similarly, the treatment of MDMA efficacy and tolerability are yet to be empirically established. It has been a critical exercise for psychiatrists especially for bearing in mind the contexts of use during the time they evaluate both scientific literature and patients. In a number of situations, MDMA Ecstasy appears to be an individual’s neurotoxin whereas in other it appears like a useful and unique medicine. Going forward, prospective clinical experiments that are carefully designed ought to be initiated to enhance valuation of the drug which is truly objective. This is the only way that would substantiate the therapeutic potential and risks of MDMA ecstasy drug. Otherwise, much as there has been much agitation about the use and circulation of MDMA Ecstasy drug. Majority of the users still value it for its innumerable positive effects. A few who have reportedly been grappling with the side effects cannot wholly be the basis for denouncing the importance of the drug altogether. It is time that keep research was done to clear the controversy revolving around this drug.