One of the most popular drugs on today’s market, MDMA, had a much humbler beginning and has seen many ups and downs in its lifetime. It was first synthesized by Anton Kollisch and as with many other drugs; its discovery was a complete accident. The patent for MDMA was used and researched on and off during the coming years, both for medical and non-medical purposes. It wasn’t until 1976 that it was counted among recreational drugs, after research conducted by a chemist Alexander Shulgin, who was later promptly known as the “Father of MDMA.”
The use of MDMA has first spread among drugs used by psychotherapists and was well known for its empathogenic properties, which was also the reason that it started raising its popularity amongst the recreational drugs. The late 80’s were the breaking point for the use of MDMA drugs compared to other recreational drugs. It was at this point that British community started creating parties that were made to enhance the effects of MDMA drugs, featuring strong light and sound stimulants together with a kind of music, specially made for such occasions.
In today’s culture drugs and mainly MDMA is tightly connected to raves and EDM festivals and as some researchers suggest as much as 70% of festival goers are known to take MDMA drugs or some other stimulants. The reason to why MDMA drugs are so popular can be traced to its effects and use. MDMA’s main effect is that it causes increased happiness or euphoria coupled with stronger sensual perception. All of these effects are reported to increase the appreciation of music and user’s surroundings. Since parties and festivals are large social events, an increase sense of mutual bond and understanding with other people is often visible after MDMA use. The downside of MDMA drugs is in the fact that since it increases the user’s feeling of connection to others it can sometimes cause involuntary and unwanted emotional display. Of the more common physical side-effects are dehydration and jaw-clenching, in which drinking plenty of water and chewing gum is often used as a counter-measure. The long term side-effects differentiate in duration and strength in each user, but in most cases an increased effect of MDMA drugs is reported after a long-time use. There is also the possibility of increased feeling of fatigue the day after MDMA drugs use, which can last even longer in cases of regular intake or mixing with other drugs.
The main problem that is faced with MDMA drugs intake is the inability to determine its purity without a testing kit and even when using a kit, one cannot be 100% sure if the substance has been mixed with other drugs. This is the cause of many overdoses and poisonings from “street” MDMA, since mixed MDMA has a different strength form the pure one.
MDMA drugs are generally considered to be one of the most used recreational drugs and since its first use as such it has had either a steady growth or stagnation in overall popularity. This can be contributed to the shift towards electronic music in the later years, which is tightly connected to MDMA and its culture. Whichever the case may be it seems that MDMA is just going to become more popular and available compared to other drugs as the time goes by.