With the availability of illegal drugs bigger than ever before, we explore the risks of MDMA and why people continue to take the drug.
Here in the UK, there are some of the highest drug taking rates in Europe. From cannabis and spice to ketamine and cocaine, thousands of people take recreational drugs on a regular basis. One of the most popular drugs in the UK over the last 30 years has been MDMA or Ecstasy as it is more commonly known. Recent years has seen a spike in MDMA related deaths, use and potency with the question that needs to be asked, do people really know what they’re getting themselves into?
Ecstasy or MDMA to give it its proper name started becoming popular around the late 80s as clubbers used it to stay awake and alert while raving in nightclubs. Effects of Ecstasy include feeling a euphoric buzz or a high which can last for hours which is where the name originates. One of the drugs seen to be one of the most playful due to the appearance of it in the form of colourful pills. These pills have included the logos of famous companies such as Rolls Royce, Chupa Chups and Nintendo, as well as gold bars and even Donald Trump.
Ecstasy is dangerous because the people who take it 99% of the time don’t really know what it contains. More often than not, the amount of MDMA in them is either extremely low or non existent and is substituted for the more dangerous PMA. PMA is similar to MDMA, however can be extremely poisonous and in a lot of cases has been known to be fatal. Because PMA isn’t as strong as its synthetic cousin there have been many overdoses by people who think twice the dose will give them twice the high but don’t take into account the double side effect risk factor. On the other hand MDMA potency has also dramatically increased in pills in the last few years, with more people now taking the drug than ever before.
There are many long term health risks when taking any drug due to the mystery surrounding the ingredients as well as the side effects, and the risks of MDMA are no different. The fatality rate may not be high as traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine, however the risks are just as great and the gap is now narrowing. The risks of MDMA as well as Ecstasy related deaths has become a common site in the news headlines in the UK, with teenagers taking high potency pills without knowing the real risks involved from the party drug. Last Sunday saw the death of Michael Trueman, a 19 year old from Birmingham after taking MDMA, similar stories are sadly becoming a very common occurrence in post weekend news across the nation.
One high potency pill can lead to dehydration, an increased heart rate and even heart attacks and death, so why do so many continue to take it? As with all drugs its mainly for the buzz and a way of escapism from the mundane 9-5 shifts of the common working week. A new wave of pill takers and party goers are now exposed to higher potency pills which are said to be 3 times the potency of original Ecstasy pills that were in circulation during the 90’s and noughties.
With illegal drugs being as readily available as they are, it’s no wonder that more and more people have started taking them. A lot of them see Ecstasy as one of the safer ways to get high when in reality there isn’t a ‘safe’ drug to take due to the ingredients and the side effects of regular use. The likes of the Dark Web has made the availability of high strength MDMA just the click of a button away with sellers offering reputable product in return for good feedback. Back in the days of traditional dealers the average punter would get what they were given without necessary always getting the best product. The recreational pharmaceutical factories knocking out thousands of pills know exactly what they are doing. The cash rich business is now about packing as much MDMA in a pill as physically possible for the highest possible margins. Like any illicit activity, profits are always the main agenda.
It’s hard to see a world without drugs because of the amount of money involved and the pull they have on people, however, this means in the near future we could possibly see a discussion about the regulation or legislation of drugs. Could legalisation lead to better awareness and regulation of potency of MDMA? However regardless of laws, people will continue to take the drug for its euphoric effects yet the risks of MDMA are worse than ever before. Everyone has their own vice, its just a question of how dangerous it is to your own health that you should be aware of. The real question in matter here is why do more people now feel the need to escape from the realities of the real world by taking mind altering substances? Has modern day mankind got to such a state we need to take drugs to break free from reality and escape the everyday atrocities we are exposed to on a daily, if not hourly basis thanks to apps, feeds and global news?
In other similar type features you should also check out how teenagers are selling drugs on Instagram and other social media platforms.