MDMA is a powerful psychoactive drug that is used for recreational use. When taken, the side effects can be increased euphoria, empathy, and heightened sensations. According to the 2015 European Drug report, 37% of club-goers in Europe from ages 14-35 have used MDMA. The 1980s was the beginning of the recreational use which was associated with popular house/rave and techno music that started in Chicago and then made its way to Europe during the Second Summer of Love era in the UK in 1988. The general population who take MDMA in Europe are linked with the nightlife setting and electronic dance music. While MDMA can be psychadelic, it can also be harmful to your body as well as deadly.
There are many symptoms from MDMA that people have experienced in Europe. There have been cases of agitation, headaches, nausea, sweating, insomnia, increased heart rate, blurred vision, and raised blood pressure. There are also poisonous side effects like serotonin syndrome, hyperthermia, seizures and arrhythmias. MDMA has the effect to damage the central nervous system such as impairing the higher cognitive brain functions, impairment to memory, and damage to dopamine and serotonin nerve terminals. There are many mental risks involved with MDMA such as confusion, depressed mood, and acute psychosis. Long-term mental effects include depressive symptoms, impulsivity, prolonged psychosis, and elevated anxiety.
According to the EMCDAA, Europeans have checked into the hospital with 31.7% suffering from agitation/aggression, 23.9% with anxiety, 12.6% with palpitations, and 10% with chest pains all having to do with taking MDMA. Three quarters of these patients were discharged after twelve hours. 5% were under critical care admission. Sixteen patients suffered hyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis.
Not only can MDMA hurt your body, it can also destroy it. There has been a lot of media attention of MDMA-related deaths in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and the UK. EMCDAA said that in Ireland in 2014, 14 people out of 219 cases died. In France in 2013, five people died out of 264 cases. The number of fatalities occurring in Europe have been small compared to in Turkey where 113 people died in 2014 which was double than the year before. There is very little research about MDMA’s harmful effects. With more European festivals and events, this will give Europeans more opportunities to take MDMA. The fun will be over once those harmful MDMA statistics continue to rise.