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Psychedelics and their Effects on Addiction
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General Info about MDMA
from Usenet & Other Sources
MDMA Info from the Xochi Speaks poster, by Lord Nose (1991)

MDMA (3,4 -Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

Dosage: 100-150 mg/oral

Duration: 30-60 minutes to onset; 2-3 hour plateau; 6 hours to baseline

Effects: Ego softening; neurotically based fear dissolution; feelings of
emotionally based love and empathy. No visual effects. Lucidity retained, in-
depth communication facilitated. Present moment awareness heightened.

Side effects: Appetite loss; stimulation; mild jaw-clenching; mild to
moderate post-session fatigue. Occasional nystagmus (lateral eye wiggle).
Initial restlessness, nervousness, nausea, shivering or tremor.
CAUTION: May induce inappropriate and unintended emotional-bond imprinting.
Note: Reversible nerve cell toxicity has been reported in laboratory animals
at a dose equivalent to human consumption of 175 mg or more.

Contraindications: Concurrent use of stimulants or MAO inhibitors 
(see Warning). Heart ailments, glaucoma, hypertension, aneurism or "stroke"
history, hepatic or renal disorders, diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Context: Light and warm environment; with a loved one or a few close friends,
but sometimes with many others in celebration.

================================================================

Comments from Lamont Granquist

MDMA, aka Ecstasy, X, XTC, E, Adam, etc, etc...

Chemically:
----------

     MDMA = 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
     MDA  = 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
     
     MDMA = N-methyl-MDA = Adam  
     MDE  = N-ethyl-MDA  = Eve

     O     /\     /\     NHCH3  
   /   \ /    \ /    \ /  
  /     |      |      |   
 CH2    |      |      CH3
  \     |      | 
   \   / \    /
     O     \/

     Replacing the NHCH3 with NH2 is MDA; Replacing it with NHCH2CH3 
     is MDE.  MBDB is formed by replacing the CH3 with CH2CH3 (I forget
     the chemical name of this offhand).  Replacing the NHCH3 with
     a double bond to an O atom gives you 3,4-methyeledioxyphenylacetone
     which is typically the immediate precursor to MDA, MDMA & MDE.  
     Eliminating the radical entirely and replacing the CH3 with a
     double bond to a CH2 gives isosafrole which is 3,4-methylenedioxy-
     allylbenzene which is an essential oil. 

     If you slice off the first methylenedioxy ring you get
     methamphetamine -- then replace the NHCH3 with NH2 and you're looking
     at amphetamine.

Psychologically:
---------------

     MDMA is *chemically* an amphetamine, but psychologically its
     whats known as an empathogen-entactogen.  There is some amphetamine
     stimulant quality left, which enhances the empathogenic quality.
     The empathogenic quality is basically the ability to communicate
     things to others, and the ability to feel empathy towards others.
     Its sort of an "external" quality, that opens lines of communication.
     The stimulating quality and the empathogenic effect are what most
     recreational users seem to be after.  The entactogenic effect, on
     the other hand, is an internal quality.  Its a sense that the
     world is sort of "and okay place to be" (that sounds kinda stupid
     but its hard to describe...  kinda like daily affirmation with
     Stuart Smalley only its a genuine feeling...).

     THESE ARE ACUTE EFFECTS!!!!  You don't dose someone up with MDMA
     and expect the high to last forever, thats not the concept...

Psychotherapeutic Use:
----------------------

     The idea is to use the acute effects of the drug to massively
     accelerate psychotherapy.  The empathogenic effect has obvious
     applications, both for use by the therapist and the patient.
     It facilitates communication, trust, etc, ad nauseum.  

     The entactogenic effect is what does the work, however.  It
     strengthens the ego, and is *NOT* *NOT* dissasociative.  It is
     the only recreational drug that I have tried to date that has
     allowed me to keep a clear mind without being dissasociative
     or stoning (hell, it makes my mind clearer than it normally
     is) -- confusion on MDMA is not a normally encountered
     problem.

     Now, if you read the book PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known
     and Loved by Alexander Shulgin) or Through the Gateway of the
     Heart [and I think you can find out how to get both of these from
     the Misc FAQ on alt.drugs -- if not, I'll post], you will come
     across very striking situations where the entactogenic effect of
     MDMA can help.  In particular, I believe its probably the best
     way to get repressed memories to resurface that there is (provided
     that the patient is prepared to remember them).  The entactogenic
     effect acts as an emotional brace so that the patient can
     recall the event without going through incredible emotional
     trauma.  That allows the mind to relax its protection on those
     memories and let the person remember them...

     It is *not* another LSD.  LSD, IMHO, is risky for doing this kind
     of shit.  MDMA does not cause bad trips, and the only psychological
     risk that you're in for is that the person is going to not
     get anything out of it.

Related Chemicals:
------------------

     Amphetamine stimulants are just useless because while they facilitate
     communications (and *lots* of communication), they tend to
     not do anything for a persons emotions (other than maybe inflate
     their ego).

     MDA is similar to MDMA, but its an empathogen-entheogen rather
     than an empathogen-entactogen.  It (as opposed to MDMA) does make
     one stoned, and at higher doses it tends to be hard to remember
     the first part of the sentence that a person is speaking.  Its
     generally not considered anywhere near as useful for therapy as
     MDMA, although some researchers have had some success with it.
     MDE has roughly the same effects as MDA (offhand I can't recall
     the details of the differences and I have never tried MDE before).
     
     Neurochemically, MDA and MDMA are quite different.  Their active
     isomers are switched, and MDA seems to effect the 5-HT2 receptor
     where MDMA is inactive.

     MBDB has a somewhat similar effect to MDMA, and has been proposed
     as the prototypical entactogenic drug.  Its not as useful as
     MDMA, however, since it doesn't facilitate the same amount of
     communication.  Only about 50% of the people who take it feel that
     its comparable to MDMA.  Neurochemically the difference is that
     MBDB seems to release less dopamine than MDMA for one thing.
  
Side effects and other crap:
----------------------------

     MDMA doesn't cause parkinson's disease -- MPTP which an entirely
     different drug (an opiate) does.  MDMA doesn't dry up your
     spinal fluid -- thats a completely stupid and silly concept to
     begin with.  The way that researcher's have been *testing* for
     MDMA damage is to draw a spinal tap.  What they are looking for
     is lower levels of 5-HIAA which might indicate damage to 
     5-HT neurons.  In short they haven't found anything convincing
     in humans.  In animals it takes large doses over consecutive
     days to produce neurotoxicity (bursting of 5-HT axons, which
     is reparable).  With smaller doses with longer time periods
     in between, there is no evidence of neurotoxicity.  I have
     never heard of MDMA producing paranoia or schizophrenic breaks
     or anything like that -- that is an effect one might expect of
     classical amphetamines or LSD (respectively).  MDMA may actually
     be useful in treating patients with paranoia or schizoid features.
     MDMA is a damn safe drug, certainly more safe than alcohol.  The
     only problems would be due to its exaggerating existing heart
     conditions.  And also, as recently happened in England, the
     stimulant qualities could make a person overextert themselves
     without knowing it (however, thats really quite rare -- 7 cases
     is nothing compared with the wreckage due to alcohol).
 
     For more info check out the alt.drugs FAQ... or the books cited
     above (And add MDMA: the Ecstasy Story as another good one to
     check out...).
 
So, have I cleared most everything up, or are there more questions?

ps. and _Psychedlic Encyclopedia_ is a reference that I forgot in the
    original posting, but which is *very* good and for more than just
    MDMA -- it also covers LSD, DMT, Harmaline, Psilocybin/Psilocyn,
    and THC.

-- 
Lamont Granquist
  "When dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases."
                                      -- Robert Anton Wilson

================================================================

Comments from Brett

Ecstasy is not a 'happy drug'. It by itself does not to anything.  
That 00 gelatin capsule you bought from this guy your good friend knows... with 
bitter crystaline powder in the bottom of it... does not contain any warmth,
joy, wisdom, or experience. It contains a salt of millions of a rather
simple organic molecule. All identical. The ecstasy and joy come from
within YOU. That is your natural, instinctive consciousness when you
aren't poisoning yourself with fears, hangups, and stress. It is a glimpse
of the true empathy, calm wisdom and energy you possess when you are
living HERE, and NOW... not based on the past, future and fear. MDMA is a
chemical key to the paradise within each of us.

-- Brett (phase@grove.ufl.edu)

================================================================ From: gvbush@vivid.net (Gregory Bush) Newsgroups: rec.drugs.psychedelic Subject: Re: *wondering about my ecstacy trip Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 04:25:25 GMT Message-ID: <4cvf45$db8@stealth.mindspring.com> rusty435@aol.com (Rusty435) wrote: >I did ecstacy for the first time about a month ago and loved it. I payed >$25 for one little pill and it was fun and everything but I am wondering >if my ecs is as strong as stuff you get on the streets. While trippin, I >got weird sensations when I was touched but I wasnt like hardcore trippin >or anything. no hallucinations and I could pretty much think clearly. >PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH COMMENTS Rusty... Apparently you were misinformed about the nature of Ecstacy! Don't worry... First of all your $25 for a pill is very typical. I've known people to pay up to $35 before. Unfortunately, it's quite expensive compared to most other popular drugs, but personally I think that's about the only down side to it. If you get strong visual or auditory hallucinations or "visuals" then you did not get real X. At best you got a mixture of LSD and X, sometimes called "Candyflip," but there are some losers out there who apparently try to mix LSD and speed thinking it is a cheap substitute for X and people will not notice. They are wrong of course, the effects are completely different! Always buy from a "reputable" source that you trust and can track down easily later. Preferably buy from a friend who bought a couple of pills at once from someone else and has already tried them out to know they are the right thing and not too strong / too weak, etc. You also said that you could think clearly. One of (in my opinion) the nicest things about X is that it does not feel as if your mental processes are disturbed at all. Now, I think they *are* somewhat, but it is nothing like being "stoned," etc. where you are confused or "slow." In fact, if anything, your mind is much more aware and sensitive than normal which often leaves you a bit distracted with the beauty of mundane things. I think you could drive unimpaired (at least in a physical sense) on X, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you ever got stopped, a cop would immediately know that you were "on something" from your dilated pupils, plus I think there is a tendancy on X to not notice that you may be somewhat impaired in your thinking or judgement -- bad things to take with you on the road. So, if you don't get hallucinations or get "stoned", what *do* you get? Since you've already done it and liked it, you already know a lot of it ... but X is a drug that in many ways you get out of what you put into it. Just sitting around the house and washing the dishes won't really do a whole lot for you, in other words. Here are some suggestions that you may want to look into... DO... 1) Take it early in the evening and get some daylight hours in your trip. There's more to look at outside, and you won't feel bad the next morning from staying up all night. Keep in mind that sunsets are a *great* thing to catch while you are peaking. Time your dose and plan for it! 2) Trip with good friends. X can be great alone, but its even better when you do it with people you care about. Easy and intimate social interaction is one of the prime reasons to take X. 3) Listen to music -- softer New Age / Ambient / Space Music type stuff in a dark room is *great* when it's starting to come on and when you are coming down. Look for music that is "dramatic" with high emotional content. Good movie soundtracks or good classical music can be great too. Most of all, listen to what you enjoy the most. When you are reaching your "peak" and getting antsy, something like techno or other dance music is divine ... try closing your eyes and dancing, moving your body to the music. Be sure to take a break every other song or so, and stay hydrated. [Erowid Note: The two top acute (short term) health risks associated with taking MDMA and related compounds are overheating and hyponatremia. When authors describe hydrating, it's important to remember that over hydrating can cause the body's electrolytes to become imbalanced and lead to serious, potentially fatal problems. Isotonic fluids, sports drinks, and/or salty snacks are important to maintaining blood electrolyte levels when taking long acting stimulants. -- Oct 16, 2014 ] -- don't overextert yourself; you may not be able to tell when you do. When you are resting, find a soft, comfy place to close your eyes and roll and wiggle around on. This can be incredibly orgasmic in a strangely non-sexual way. If you have a cuddly kinda friend to hug and caress, that's even better! 4) Go to a place with a lot of natural beauty or visual stimulus and walk around in it. Nature trails, parks, etc. are great. A personal favorite is the grocery store! The air conditioning feels really weird and good on your skin, and all the rows of products and loud colors on advertising stuff really can set you off! There are just so many sights, sounds and smells... When you are wherever, don't just sit or stand around. The pleasureable effects of X often come on more when you are walking and moving. But be sure to rest now and then, and don't run around or exert yourself a lot -- your body is already in a excited state with somewhat higher blood pressure and heart rate. Nothing to worry about, but no need to push it! 5) Talk with your friends about anything, especially about emotional aspects of your life if you are with close friends that you trust. You will be able to express yourself very fluently, and they will be able to empathise with you very well, to satisfying effect. 6) Watch a good, really dramatic movie with superior actors in it. You'll be surprised how much you can get into it, and how much empathy you will have for the characters. Nonverbal communication really stands out, especailly. You will be able to catch the most subtle facial twitch or glance of the eyes and know exactly how the characters are feeling and what they are thinking. The first time I did X I watched "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" with a couple of friends. I was really tripping out on it ... it was *fantastic*, and I'd recommend it to any male X-tripper! But make sure to get something that you know is really awesome even when you are not messed up. Don't waste a good trip on a stupid movie -- bad acting will *not* do it for you ... in fact when you watch a movie with even "good" or "average" acting in it, it will become painfully obvious to you that the people are "acting" and you will pick up not the emotions of the character of the film, but of the actor themselves. Entertaining kind of, but not what you're really looking for probably. By the way, don't watch it in the theater, cause you'll want to give commentary the whole way through -- rent a video and watch it in your house with friends who are tripping too. Comment about the movie while it's playing. Get up now and then and stretch and walk around the room -- wiggle your feet and stuff when you are lying down. Some motion and activity will use up your nervous energy, keep your trip intensity a little higher, and besides -- it feels good! 7) Write your girlfriend a love letter or call her on the phone to tell her you love her. (Careful with ex-gfs when you are on X ... it's way too easy to call one up and gush and moan about your "feelings" for them and regret it a lot later.) 8) When you are "coming down" or after you feel "mostly down" go out into public and have a conversation with a few complete strangers in a suitable setting -- the bar at a diner for instance. You'll probably be surprised how natural and easy it is to talk to someone you don't know and how well they react to you. Your conversation will probably seem very meaningful, and you will feel a lot more confident, friendly, and sociable afterwards. If you are on a full dose, you probably don't want to try this while you are reaching your peak because you will probably be a bit too intense and wired to pull this off successfully. I think you will interface and feel more in tune with clear-headed people than with people who have been drinking, but find out for yourself. 9) When you feel "mostly down" look at yourself in the mirror for a while. You will probably get to see yourself in a very positive light. If you do this while you are peaking, you may look a little weird and bug-eyed, so wait until later. This can be really cool and very positive, especially if you normally don't think you are particularly attractive, but YMMV... 10) Experiment! As you grow in experience, find other fun and rewarding things to do while on X and share what you have learned with others! 11) Think about the spiritual aspects of X and incorporate them into your everyday life. Sure, X can be really entertaining and a lot of fun on a Saturday evening, but can it beneficially change your life? Think about how you feel, and how you can care about others and really express yourself. Think about how you have lost your fears and insecurities about yourself. Try to learn something from your experience and take a part of it back with you. When you are down from the trip, try to remember how you felt and recapture some of that in your life. Smile at strangers and talk to people in the checkout line, cherish your friends and keep in touch with family, empathise with people and listen to them understandingly, lose some of your fears and let people know that you care about them, give a dollar to that Salvation Army guy and take time to help someone else. There are some things that I would recommend against, too... DON'T... 1) Don't take it if you are really sleepy. Get some rest and take it later. If you do take it, it will keep you up for six hours minimum and you will probably feel crappy the next day, but that is your choice. 2) Don't rush to take it if you are unsure about tripping right then or have a lot of negative things on your mind. Unlike most "psychedelics", X is a very kind, gentle and forgiving drug and it is very difficult to have a "bad trip" on it. But don't push your luck if you don't have to. "Set" and "Setting" are still important to what effect the X will have on you -- it is a beautiful and multifacted gem and can present itself in many ways. If you really are in a poor or unstable emotional state and want to take X, then I would recommend breaking the tablet in half and taking that. It will still pretty much get you where you want to go, and won't leave you feeling uncomfortable and speedy or emotionally uncontrolled if it just doesn't come through for you the way you want it to. If you do it while feeling acutely depressed or have a lot of bad situations in your life right then, you may think a lot about your problems and feel some profound sadness now and then, although there will probably still be a strong positive push to your trip offsetting this a bit. This can be very therapeutic, and can help you work through your feelings if you have problems bottling up your emotions, but it will probably be a "different" kind of trip and it would be good to have a really close friend to talk during your trip to if you do this. 3) Don't underestimate it or get impatient with it. X sometimes has a strange way of making you think that it isn't doing anything to you. This can be especially strong the second time around when you may feel it is not kicking in fast enough or is not as dramatic as the first time. Don't take another pill to compensate -- just give it some time. It will most likely come through for you in the end. Also remember that every trip will have differences. Don't look for the same thing to happen again and again, because it won't. Just explore what is happening to you right then. Mild physical activity like dancing, or sensory stimulus like good music or beautiful surroundings can help set you off, and will have a better effect than a higher dose usually. 4) Don't take more than one pill or take it more than once a week. Your body builds a tolerance to X very quickly. If you really feel that you are not getting the effect you are wanting after having fully completed a trip, don't take more next time ... just wait longer before taking your next dose. Another little trick that has actually worked for *some* people is waiting a few weeks and taking *less* the next time after a disappointing trip. X in higher doses has a fairly significant "speedy" nature to it that can actually mask the empathogenic effects. Increasing your dose may actually be decreasing the most unique effects of X! Also there is evidence that doses somewhat higher than the average recreational dose (possibly 5 - 10 pills or so) can potentially cause long-term (like 6 months to permanent) changes in your brain structure, which is something the prudent would probably want to avoid. If you like X, but really, really, really want visuals and the like, then you can mix a hit of X with LSD to potentially good effect. They feed off of eachother, though, so if you are wise you will only take half or preferably less of the LSD you are used to. Take the LSD an hour or two before the X so they peak around the same time. If you have never done LSD before do *not* attempt this at all. Mixing drugs is not for the inexperienced, and LSD can often be a real mind-bender even for the experienced user. 5) Don't mix it with any kind of "speedy" drug like cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, etc. THIS CAN KILL YOU!!! At the least it stands a good chance of putting you in an ER somewhere or giving you a big nasty panic attack, and that is not a fun way to spend a Saturday night. Also there are things called MAOI drugs (monoamine oxidase inhibiters) that can also kill you if you take them with X. If you were taking one, you would know it though, because your doctor would *definately* tell you and you would not be able to, for instance, eat fermented cheese. (Go figure.) There are no common recreational drugs that are MAOI's, so unless you are into strange tropical hallucinogenic plants or your doctor has told you that you are on one, you need not worry about that. 6) Don't take it with alcohol. If you do, don't worry. It's not going to kill you or make you sick or anything like that, but alcohol will deaden the effect of the X and make your trip less than it could be, a *lot* less if you have more than a few beers. Sometimes the come-down from X gets a little speedy-feeling and slightly uncomfortable, and there is nothing wrong with having a drink or two to offset that feeling and abort the tail end of your experience a bit. I personally would feel uncomfortable drinking a *lot* of alcohol near a dose of X because I don't think the combined effect of alcohol and X is fully known and combining alcohol with other drugs can increase the liver damage that alcohol already causes, especially in genetically succeptable people. For instance, a lot of alcohol and a lot of Tylenol can be deadly in some people. I have no idea whatsoever whether X has a sympathetic reaction with alcohol like this, but I like to play it safe when it comes to chemical interactions. 7) Don't overexert yourself or get dehydrated and stay out of hot, crowded places. It's rare, but several people have actually died from heatstroke while at raves on X. You may not be able to tell when you are overheated and ready to collapse, so be cautious and use common sense. If you are dancing at a rave, drink lots of water, take frequent breaks, and if possible, bring a blanket so you can sit down outside or in a cool area to rest and talk with friends between fits of dancing. *** Well, I think I have covered most of the bases. Hopefully you find some of this useful, and I have not bored you to tears. Maybe you already knew much of this, but from your post it didn't sound like you knew a lot about X before you took it. There is *lots* of very useful recreational drug information at http://hyperreal.com [Ed Note : Now archived at Erowid.org/] if you have a WWW browser to view it. Most people don't take the time to do it, but everyone *should* know everything useful there is to know about a chemical before they dose themselves with it, whether that chemical is legal or illegal, recreational or medical. It can both keep you out of real trouble and potentially make your experiences a lot better and more manageable. At the very least you will know what you are getting into, which is important for having the best possible experience. It is *very* hard to find accurate drug information through easy to access or popular means with the so-called "War On Drugs" taking place in America, and if you really research the real, unbiased, scientific information on these substances you will usually find it to be very valuable. Many of the street rumours you will hear about these drugs are false ... for instance, LSD does *not* contain strychnine, Ecstacy is *not* frequently laced with heroin. Most people also do not know the dangers of certain drug interactions and how to avoid serious health problems associated with different types of drug use. You can use the internet to get a lot of information that will be valuable to you if you choose to use certain drugs, and I hope that you have found rec.drugs a good place to start. !!!Be Happy and Love Others!!! (-: GREG :-) ============================================================================= From: lilzero@inforamp.net (LittleZero) Newsgroups: rec.drugs.psychedelic Subject: Re: *wondering about my ecstacy trip Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 02:18:02 -0500 Message-ID: In article <4cvf45$db8@stealth.mindspring.com>, gvbush@vivid.net (Gregory Bush) wrote: > > > DON'T... > > 3) Don't underestimate it or get impatient with it. X sometimes has a > strange way of making you think that it isn't doing anything to you. > This can be especially strong the second time around when you may feel > it is not kicking in fast enough or is not as dramatic as the first > time. Don't take another pill to compensate -- just give it some > time. It will most likely come through for you in the end. Also > remember that every trip will have differences. Don't look for the > same thing to happen again and again, because it won't. Just explore > what is happening to you right then. Mild physical activity like > dancing, or sensory stimulus like good music or beautiful surroundings > can help set you off, and will have a better effect than a higher dose > usually. I want to second this, and stress its importance. After you take for the first time, and have basked in its glory, you will want your next trip to be just as good. Now knowing what to expect (the warmth, the gurgling in your stomach, the waves) you'll spend your time looking for "signs" of getting high. Never really knowing what you've taken, whether it is from a friend or not, you may feel that you've taken "garbage" and feel the need for another. RESIST. At the last rave I attended, I took a second full-dose E just as my first E really hit. The combination of the two sent me way, way to far. Basically, the warm waves became rushing tidal waves of heat (I felt I was burning up) and the calm stomach rumblings became Tyson-esque body blows. Needless to say, I puked. After that I was fine. Of course I'd removed a large quantity of the E from my system, making the second E a complete waste. E, from my experience, is not physically addicting in any way, but once you have experienced it, you get extremely giddy before taking it again, much in the same way one gets excited for a movie that you've been waiting for ages, or a great film you haven't seen in ages. You know you're going to have a great time and you want it to be happening NOW, not later. >From my bad experience, I've learned that E will come. Make sure that when you're going up that everyone is relaxed. That the people around you aren't constantly going up to you and saying "Are you up? Are you up?" or rubbing your head. You can become very self concious very quickly when this begins to happen. My suggestion to to thank them and tell them quietly (if possible) that you're haven't peaked yet. If they're up, they'll find this a very positive response and will allow them to maintain their positive outlook. If I can add another suggestion to Greg's list, do NOT take E if you are congested. Due to the throat drying nature of the drug you may find yourself feeling that you "cannot breath" and begin focusing on this. Once this happens you really need to focus on other things. Hugging, and Vicks (any balm will do) on the back (not under the nose) can help in regaining your positive outlook and focus, but I would recommend just avoiding these situations in the first place. Karl. P.S. I'm still trying to find out what "Roofies" are. Any help would be appreciated. ------------------------------------------------------- Karl j Borst & Sandra Bornn