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This is often called the original designer drug because of its synonymous relationship with rave culture in the early 90's. Clubbers took ecstasy to stay awake and dance for hours. The effects take about half an hour to kick in and tend to last between 3 to 6 hours, followed by a gradual comedown.

Slang: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. E, pills, brownies, Mitsubishi's, Rolex's, Dolphins, XTC.

The Risks

• Physical side effects can develop that include: dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, tightening of the jaw muscles, raised body temperature and the heart beats faster.
• Short term effects of use can include anxiety, panic attacks, confused episodes and paranoid or psychotic states.
• There's no way of telling what's in an E until you've swallowed it. So, there may be negative side effects from other ingredients in the tablet.
• E's can make users feel a bit down after use.
• There've been over 200 ecstasy - related deaths in the UK since 1996. Ecstasy use is the cause of death in many cases but there have been some involving other substances sold as Ecstasy e.g. PMA.
• Ecstasy affects the body's temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere increases the chances of overheating and dehydration. Take regular breaks from the dance floor to cool down.
• And watch out for your mates - sometimes they mightn't realise they're in danger of overheating or getting dehydrated.
• Be careful with fluids though, as drinking too much can also be dangerous or even fatal. Ecstasy can cause the body to release a hormone which prevents the production of urine. Drink too quickly and interferes with your body's salt balance, which can be as deadly as not drinking enough water. Reduce the risks by sipping no more that a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.
• Using Ecstasy has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems. Anyone using too much can become paranoid and depressed.
• Some long-term users report getting colds, flu and sore throats more often. This may be attributed to staying awake for 24hrs, which puts your immune system under pressure.



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