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Grob CS, Poland RE.. 
Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook; Third Edition.. 1997;p269-275.
MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a novel psychoactive compound with structural similarities to both amphetamine and the psychedelic phenethylamine, mescaline. As was the case with the psychedelics three decades ago, MDMA has since the early 1980s been at the center of a virulent controversy pitting proponents of its use as an adjunctive psychiatric treatment against those who have argued that it poses a grave threat to public health and safety. By recapitulating the generational and cultural divides catalyzed by widespread use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and related compounds in the 1960s, the growing use of MDMA by young people has confounded and shifted debate from one examining the relative risks and benefits of a putative psychiatric treatment to questions addressing social control and protection of youth. Encompassing challenges to conventional cultural norms, defenses of social stability, and the inevitable media distortion and sensationalism, MDMA, as did psychedelics 30 years earlier, has become an issue of "more than medical significance".
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