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Solowij N, Hall W, Lee N. 
“Recreational MDMA use in Sydney: a profile of 'Ecstacy' users and their experiences with the drug”. 
Br J Addict. 1992;87(8):1161-72.
'Ecstasy' (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA) is a recreational drug that is gaining popularity world wide. There is a paucity of research regarding the ways in which Ecstasy is used and the nature of its effects. A 'snowball' peer network technique was used to recruit 100 users who completed anonymous questionnaires. The research revealed that Ecstasy is primarily used by infrequent recreational drug users for 'fun' at dance parties and social gatherings. The primary reported effects of Ecstasy were a 'positive mood state' and feelings of intimacy and closeness to others. The secondary effects of Ecstasy were the stimulant effects of energy and activation, and the psychedelic effects of insight and perceptual and sensual enhancement. Ecstasy was reported to share the properties of both amphetamines and hallucinogens in the nature of its side effects and residual effects which were no more severe than those of the latter two classes of drug. It appeared Ecstasy was not conductive to regular and frequent use, because tolerance was reported to develop to the positive effects of Ecstasy, while negative effects increased with use. Although few problems associated with the recreational use of Ecstasy have surfaced to date, animal research has shown it to be neurotoxic to serotonergic nerve terminals. Caution must be observed until further research can determine the level of hazard in humans.
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