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Ecstasy does not cause brain damage

There is no evidence that ecstasy causes brain damage, according to one of the largest studies into the effects of the drug.

Too many previous studies made over-arching conclusions from insufficient data, say the scientists responsible for the research, and the drug's dangers have been greatly exaggerated.

The finding will shock campaigners who have claimed ecstasy poses a real risk of triggering brain damage. They have argued that it can induce memory loss, decrease cognitive performance and has long-lasting effects on behaviour.

The study was carried out by a team led by Professor John Halpern of Harvard Medical School and published in the journal Addiction last week. Funded by a $1.8m grant from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, it was launched specifically to avoid methodological drawbacks that have bedevilled previous attempts to pinpoint whether or not ecstasy users suffer brain damage.

Posted By JamieBBlast at 2011-02-20 00:56:37 permalink | comments
Tags: Ecstasy
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erisgumma : 2011-02-23 11:31:16
Amon, from what I gathered, they surveyed people who have been using ecstasy pills on their own in parties. I've got the impression that it wasn't a lab experiment.
amon. : 2011-02-22 13:26:47
@Eric - There is no way scientists are procuring impure E pills for their study. They will always use pure MDMA. Surely if we could see the source for this article from a scientific journal, they wouldn't be using the term ecstasy, but MDMA or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. That's why I hate that news outlets change it to the slang street term. It's not scientifically accurate. If the word "MDMA" was in the title and article, it would attract far less people - only those who know what it is, or those who might be curious. But because "ecstasy" is such a common household name, it gets far more publicity and most likely gets misinterpreted by many ignorant people who don't know any better.

It isn't incredibly common to find those chemicals in pills, but it does happen. More often though, they're cut with caffeine, BZP, or TFMPP, or a laundry list of other chemicals I am not really knowledgeable about. But I have personally used pill testing kits and on three different occasions friends of mine have procured pills containing meth and DXM, and very little MDMA. There are lots of ways to tell by experience if your pill is impure - most notably, if it's speedy or leaves you feeling disgusting and hungover or sick the next day. With pure MDMA, it has barely any physical side effects the day after aside from maybe the feeling of being a bit drained emotionally.

erisgumma : 2011-02-22 09:33:09
I didn't get the impression that the study would have been restricted to pure MDMA only. Am I wrong?

Considering that no brain damage was detected, could this mean that even the reportedly neurotoxic non-MDMA ecstasy pills don't necessarily cause detectible damage?

Precisely how common is it to have cocaine, DXM or ketamine in an X pill?

Gaugenmaier. : 2011-02-22 00:57:12
true, i was speaking of ecstasy, not pure MDMA.......but when your talking about long term effects, im assuming most people are exposed to the mainly the street version.....i know thats all i can find...(usually)
K. : 2011-02-22 00:09:01
I'd have to agree with others - I think they should clarify whether or not they mean MDMA or a specific combination of substances that form ecstasy. Just saying e in general doesn't cause brain damage doesn't sound right, a cool as that would be.
amon. : 2011-02-21 23:09:41
@Potter: I'm aware. I saw that. Maybe I'm just anal about it, but I really hate when ecstasy and MDMA are used synonymously. They aren't the same thing anymore; ecstasy isn't what it used to be. If anything, the street name for pure MDMA is Molly, not ecstasy, E or X. Pure MDMA/molly is far more expensive and harder to find than common laced E pills.

What I really should have said in my previous post is that I wish the word MDMA was used in the titles/headlines of articles instead of ecstasy. Some stupid tweeny raver kid could see the title, fail to read the article itself, and assume they're fine to take crappy E pills because they were mislead to believe it won't cause any harm.

Potter. : 2011-02-21 18:23:36
If you read the article, it makes the point they are discussing MDMA, not generic street pills. Fourth paragraph, first line.
Beow. : 2011-02-21 17:30:59
MDA and MDE are common adulterants in ecstasy pills, and I seem to remember that at least one of them is neurotoxic.
amon. : 2011-02-21 10:10:46
According to Erowid, dissociatives like DXM and ketamine can cause brain damage and neurotoxicity if used heavily. Crack, cocaine, and meth can also cause brain damage in the long run, all of which are somewhat common chemicals found in E pills.
erisgumma : 2011-02-21 01:29:44
"It's misleading to say that "ecstasy" doesn't cause brain damage, because "ecstasy" - in most peoples minds - refers to any of the little colorful pills you can buy on the street. And THOSE can definitely cause brain damage."

What exactly are the substances in the E pills causing brain damage?

dononamous. : 2011-02-20 22:18:25
fucking permanent damage I have from horseback riding!! *shakes fist
amon. : 2011-02-20 18:37:51
Everyone that I know who has suffered obvious physical and emotional damage and negative effects of some kind have taken a lot of "E" pills as opposed to pure MDMA. I'm sure the pressed impure pills that have tons of other unknown chemicals are what causes the damage, not the MDMA itself.

I wish when people referred to "ecstasy" research in news articles they would just say "MDMA" instead, implying that it's 100% pure. It's misleading to say that "ecstasy" doesn't cause brain damage, because "ecstasy" - in most peoples minds - refers to any of the little colorful pills you can buy on the street. And THOSE can definitely cause brain damage.

erisgumma. : 2011-02-20 16:28:52
Gaugenmaier, it seems quite difficult to discern whether those kinds of issues are caused by MDMA, or an overall unhealthy lifestyle - combining many different drugs and such.
dave its bitch!. : 2011-02-20 14:14:02
fuck yea xtc!!!!!!!
Gaugenmaier. : 2011-02-20 12:05:34
don't get me wrong i love ecstasy.....but i know a few folks who have been taking it habitually longterm....and lets just say they twarnt no smart no more.
har har . : 2011-02-20 01:09:20
woot

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