Synthetic Drugs

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The drug MDMA is a synthetic drug and is a chemical compound found in Molly and Ecstasy. It is a manmade drug. That has a chemical structure is very similar to stimulants and hallucinogens. Molly is the name for the powder version of this drug while Ecstasy is the name for the pill version. There are other street names for this drug such as Adam, Beans, Clarity, E, Hug, X, and XTC. MDMA is a drug that is officially combined with other drugs or alcohol. The effect of the drug can last three to six hours, but most users who take the drug often take a second dose as the many users say the first does is often not enough for them.

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MDMA has been known to increase three chemicals in the brain. The first chemical that it increases is dopamine. Dopamine increases energy, help to reinforce behavior, controls movement, motivation and emotions. The second chemical is norepinephrine. Norepinephrine helps to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. The final chemical is serotonin. Serotonin affects moods, appetite, sleep, feelings of pain, and many other basic functions of the human body. This chemical triggers hormones hat affect trust and can cause emotional closeness and empathy. Many people that take MDMA feel very hyper when they first take the drug. This drug can also affect the body greatly with muscle tension, teeth clenching, nausea, and faintness. This pill has many side effects if taken in high doses. Some of the side effects can affect the body’s way it regulates temperature. This can cause the body experiences liver, kidney, heart failure and even death. MDMA is also makes the brain release serotonin more rather norepinephrine and dopamine. This would cause the person to have their mood become very elevated. This also cause the brain to become very depleted of anything that it needs. The person can also have aftereffect the person can experience many days after taking the drug. In many researches it was found that taking MDMA in high doses for several days twice daily can cause nerve cells. Your brain can be damage even years after taking the drug. Seven years after taking the drug it was shown a reduced number of serotonergic neurons. Weeks after taking the MDMA if you binge-dose you can have a decrease in serotonin transporter. This can also change genes that regulate tryptophan hydroxylase. Having low serotonin can cause bad memory and make you depressed. People that have stopped using MDMA have showed a decrease in brain activity even after stopping the use of the drug.

MDMA is known to cause hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is the body over-heating. The properties of ecstasy cause the body to react in many different ways. People who use the drug more often are more likely to become overheated than others. When the users use MDMA it can active the neurons in the central nervous system that can control the body temperature, heart rate and digestion. MDMA makes the central nervous system over-heat increase in the temperature of the body going up. This can also cause the body to become very dehydrated. When the person starts to experiences hyperthermia the body will start to sweat which will cause the body to need more water. MDMA is also often used with alcohol this can also cause dehydrate. Ecstasy can sometimes release hypothalamus this can cause the kidneys to not produce urine and the person cannot go to the bathroom.

The statistics of MDMA have changed a lot in recent years showing a huge decrease in use among adolescents but increase among adults from the age of eighteen to twenty-five. Statistic in 2014 found that 7% of children twelve years old or older have tried ecstasy at least once in their life. Since 2009 there has been decrease of use among adolescents, but the survey taken in 2013 found that 751,000 people ages 12 and older reported using ecstasy for their first time in their life. The survey also found that kids between the age of twelve and seventeen 1.2% had taken ecstasy once in their life, While 0.7% took it in the past year. Adolescents of about 0.2% also reported using the drug in the past month. Adults from the ages of eighteen to twenty-five are the largest amount of ecstasy users. In 2014 a statistic found that 12% of adults used the ecstasy at least once in their lifetime. Adults also had 3.5% drug use in the past year on ecstasy, but 1% are current users of the drug. Adult above the age of twenty-five had about 6.4% used the drug once in their life, but 0.5% used it in the past year. While 0.1% are current users. It was also estimated in 2011 that 22,498 emergency room visits were because of ecstasy and most the individuals were between the age of eighteen to twenty-nine. A statistic in 2008 found that most people that do ecstasy are between the age of eighteen to twenty-five and 73% are white while 65% are male. In 2014 about 15,000 high school seniors about 4% of them said that they had taken ecstasy in the last year. In this survey 2% 8th graders and 5% 10th graders said they had ecstasy in the last year. High school seniors also did not know the difference between molly and ecstasy about 4% said that. It was also found that you are less likely to use if you live in a rural area. Adults who make at least $50 a week are more likely to use than not.

How is the drug is made is a very long process that starts with extracting from the sassafras. The part of the plant that is extracted is called the safrole. The safrole is extracted from the bark of the sassafras plant. After the extraction the safrole is distilled into oils. The next step is to make methylamine hydrochloride. This is made by making a reaction between formaldehyde and ammonium chloride. The three step is to create MDP2P. MDP2P is a formed during the Wacker process. The Wacker process makes a chemical compound which is MDP2P. The next step is make the MDP2P pure. During the Wacker process the MDP2P that is produced is not pure so the make must distill the MDP2P before continuing the process. The final step is to make the MDP2P and the aluminum amalgam to react with one another. To make aluminum amalgam there must be a reaction between aluminum wire and mercury chloride. Aluminum amalgam and MDP2P are combined to make MDMA oil. The waste from the product creates a lot of mercury so you must be very careful to get rid of the waste of the MDMA oil.

The history of MDMA all started in 1912. Although MDMA started in 1912 it was not patented until 1914 by Merck in Germany. There was however no human research done at the time the drug first got patent. By the 1930s the US government was hoping to use the drug in chemical warfare and possibly as a truth pill, but by the 1950s the US government started to do human and animal testing as well as tested another drugs like MDA and MDE. The death of one of the subjects and toxicological concerns stop the research. In the years to follow the 1970s the drug become very popular and started to be used by psychiatrists and therapist. The drug being used as a part of psychotherapy. The organization MAPS published a book about the use of MDMA as part of psychotherapy. The book was called “The Secret Chief”. In the beginning of the 1980s the drug became very popular in Texas but the drug was being used in for recreational uses instead of medical. MDMA also got a new name during this time it was now called Ecstasy, but in the year 1985 the drug was made illegal for both recreational use and medical use. Judge Francis Young wanted the drug to be used for medical use and that therapist should be allowed to give it to their patients if need. Rick Doblin, Alise Agar and Debby Harlow made the pro-MDMA organization to help with the DEA lawsuit. By the year 1986 organization opened to try and get MDMA approved by the FDA. The organization submitted five different applications to the FDA that include darta from standard preclinical animal toxicity. All five of the application that were submitted were rejected by the FDA. In years to follow Harvard Medical School, UC San Francisco Medical School, and U. of New Mexico Medical School to do double-blind controlled trail all of the applications were denied. Two more applications were submitted by two different physicians for single case studies. One was for treating terminal cancer patient. It was successfully on treating their pain with MDMA along with psychotherapy. The second case study was to treat patients with unipolar depression. The FDA rejected all these case studies because ‘its rationale for rejecting all protocols and single case studies on the on the hypothetical risk of functional consequences of potential neurotoxicity from MDMA proponents” (A MAPS History of MDMA). In the year 1992 MAPS submitted work to the FDA. The work was submitted by Dr. Charles Grob at UC Irvine. He was testing the power of MDMA on pain, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients. The study was approved for a Phase 1 safety study on November 5, 1992. Three years later the safety study was completed. The researched that was found was there was no real risk and that MDMA can be safe if given in clinical settings.

The drug today is being tested to see if it can help people with PTSD. PTSD stand for Post- traumatic stress disorder. This disorders is a mental health condition. PTSD can by triggered by scary event that has happened in someone’s life. Either the person experienced the event or witnessed the even that happened. PTSD can come with flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety. This disorder often starts a month after the event that happened but in very rare cases the disorder can sometime not appear until many years after the event. PTSD symptoms can happen in four different ways intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thought and mood, changes in physical and emotional reactions. MAPS hopes to make the drug MDMA a treatment for PTSD. In many human trails it was find that that the drug is safe and help people with PTSD. MDMA is combined with psychotherapy to help treat the person with PTSD. The drug was found to help greatly anyone with PTSD. In one trail twenty-six war veterans were given the drug and psychotherapy. The results showed a huge decrease in all their symptoms of PTSD. In the trail for the drug more than 68% of the patients that took the drug combined with psychotherapy showed great improvements with their PTSD. MDMA could certified by the FDA as early as 2021 for treating PTSD.

In the country of Israel, the government has legalized the drug MDMA for medical use. The drug is being used to treat PTSD. It was approved by Israel’s Health Ministry to use MDMA to treat many war veterans that suffer with PTSD. In the country of Israel they believe that MDMA is a very dangerous drug and cannot be used for recreational purpose and still is in trial, but the drug is in “compassionate use” this allows the drug to be used outside of the trial and used in the public. MDMA will be given to fifty different patients with PTSD. In the human trial three out of fifteen of the human trails a trained officially will be giving MDMA to patients suffering with PTSD. To continue with human trial was decided because the second stage of trails showed very positive results. To do human group trial of fifty people that all suffer from PTSD and want to get help with their disorder. In the human trial they are looking for the most serious of cases and really need help with their disorder. People in the trail will be given MDMA under very close supervision and will be given therapy along with the drug. The official treatment will give the drug and fifteen psychotherapy session with two different therapists a man and woman. In Israel the success rate has been very high with using MDMA for PTSD. The population of Israel many suffer from PTSD and many other treatments have not showed improvement. Treating patients with PTSD with MDMA have been studied around the world more than 2,000 people around the world suffering from PTSD have tried MDMA in human trails. This drug has not showed the worsening of symptoms in someone with PTSD. A person with PTSD taking MDMA have shown only signs of improving their symptoms not worsening them. The waiting list for someone to get MDMA for their PTSD is very long list. This will take place at the Sheba Medical Center and only fourteen patients can take part at a time. The waiting list has over six-hundred people and growing every day. To continue with the program an official was sent to the United States to work with MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). The United States plans to make the drug legal by 2021 for medical use with PTSD. The official trial had a breakthrough in 2017 and should be approved with in the following years.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the use of MDMA is slowly growing. If someone is found possessing, cultivating, delivering, distributing, selling or transporting the drug the person will face criminal charges. If a person is in possession of two grams or less the prison will be charged with a misdemeanor offense. This means that the person being charged will spend one year in person or have to pay a $5,000 fine. If a person is trying to distribute the drug a court will look at many different factors like quantity of drugs found, drug packaging and the materials used to distribute the drug and what is the person’s drug history. Even if they the person does not distribute the drug if they attempt to they can still be charged. If the person has two or ten grams they can spend up to two years in jail or they can pay a $5,000 fine. If the person is charged with subsequent offenses, they can receive up to three years in jail or a $10,000 fine. If someone has ten to one hundred grams they can spend up to three years in jail or a fine of $10,00. Charged with subsequent offense they can spend up to five years in jail or a $30,000. Caught with anything over one hundred grams a person can spend five years in jail and a $25,000 fine. If they are charged with subsequent offenses this result in seven years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

In summary, MDMA is a synthetic drug and chemical compound found in molly and ecstasy. Effect of MDMA can last three to six hours. Taking MDMA can increase the chemicals in your brain. The three chemicals in your brain that can get increased are dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This drug has a lot of effects on the body including teeth clenching, muscle tension, nausea, and faintness. The drug also makes the brain release more serotonin than dopamine and norepinephrine. This can cause the body to overheat resulting in the person getting hyperthermia. Someone can even experience effects on the brain years after taking the drug. Brain can have decrease brain activity years after not taking the drug anymore. Many of the statistics show that most people that take MDMA are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Most high school student also doesn’t know the difference between molly and ecstasy. Most adults that make $50 or over are more likely to do MDMA. How MDMA is made from the sassafras plant. To begin the process must first begin by extracting safrole from the bark or fruit of the sassafras plant. Than during the Wacker process MDP2P is formed. MDP2P is than mixed with aluminum amalgam to make MDMA oil. The drug MDMA was created in 1912, but was not patented until 1914. The drug was created in Germany by Merck. In the 1930s the drug started to do research to see if MDMA could be used as a truth drug for war combat. In the 1950s the US government started do human and animal trails. By the 1970s the drug started to be used by psychiatrists and therapist. But by the 1980s the drug became very popular in Texas for Medical and recreation purposes. In 1985 the drug became illegal. Judge Francis Young wanted the drug to be un-banned for medical uses.

Many applications were submitted but many different colleges, organizations and doctors. They were all rejected by the FDA in fear of the consequences would be if they approved it. Today the drug is being used to treat PTSD. PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder many people get this after going through or witnessing a traumatic event. In human trials the drug was found to be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of PTSD. The drug was legalized in Israel for medical uses to treat PTSD. In the country of Israel most of the population suffer from PTSD. When given in human trial the drug only helps to improve the symptoms of someone with PTSD not worsen them. MAPS hopes to have MDMA approved for medical use in the United States by the year 2021. The drug in Pennsylvania can cause the person to spend many years in prison or they can pay a big fine, but if they have over hundred grams they person can spend years in prison and a fine.

Doing this project, I learned a lot about this drug I didn’t even know what MDMA was before doing this drug. I learned a lot about this the difference between molly and ecstasy because before this project I didn’t really know there was a difference I am very happy that I got this drug because I learned a lot about it and I learned how it is being used to help people rather than hurt them.

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Synthetic Drugs. (2022, Apr 13). Retrieved October 2, 2022 , from

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