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McDowell DM, Kleber HD. 
“MDMA: Its history and pharmacology”. 
Psychiatric Annals. 1994 Mar;24(3):127-130.
Better known as Ecstasy, (+_)3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been known as Adam, XTC,and just plain X. A synthetic amphetamine analog with stimulant properties, it appears to exert unique psychological effects in humans, which discriminates it from chemically related substances. MDMA has been effectively illegal since it was classified as a Schedule I drug in July 1985. In spite of its illegal status, its recreational use has skyrocketed in the past several years.3 This rise in usage has been particularly prevalent among adolescents and has been inextricably linked with the increasingly popular raves, all-night dance marathon parties that have gained recent media attention. MDMA use at raves is rampant, as found in preliminary data gathered by the authors. This rise in use is cause for concern and perhaps alarm. MDMA has been convincingly demonstrated to damage brain serotonin neurons in experimental animals. The question of whether the compound is neurotoxic in humans is as yet unanswered. Given the rapid rise of use of MDMA and the unresolved questions of its toxicity, an understanding of the compound's history, psychological and physiological effects, and its present use in novel settings is vital, as psychiatrists are increasingly likely to encounter patients who have used MDMA.
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