A recent study says that ecstasy use in teens is on the rise, and that means it’s something parents have to be on the lookout for. Nearly 3 million teens have admitted to trying the “love drug,” and use of ecstasy has risen 71 percent since 1999. While drug use is generally down in teens, ecstasy is still attracting more teen use than ever.
Ecstasy is currently as popular as cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine. (Marijuana remains the most popular drug with 41% of teens admitting to its use). It is very important for parents to know just as much about these drugs as their teens do, so here are the facts about ecstasy.
Don’t ecstasy and MDMA refer to the same thing?
No. MDMA generally refers to the pure form of the drug. Unfortunately, drug dealers are “cutting” their ecstasy with other drugs like ephedrine, DXM (the active ingredient in cough syrup), ketamine (an animal tranquilizer), caffeine, cocaine, and methamphetamine. These mixes are very dangerous and can be extremely harmful to your teen.
What does ecstasy look like?
Ecstasy generally comes in pill or powder form. If it is in pill form, it will often have different name brand logos imprinted to symbolize the dealer or type of ecstasy. Pills often come in several colors. If your teen is in possession of pure MDMA, then you will find a fine white powder. Unlike cocaine, which tends to be more “cakey” in texture, MDMA is usually finer and more fluid, more similar to baking soda than cooking flour.
How is it used?
Ecstasy is generally swallowed. It can also be snorted, injected, or even inserted as a suppositor. Pure MDMA powder is usually snorted or “parachuted.” (Parachuting refers to the process of wrapping up powder, usually in a small piece of toilet paper, to create a makeshift pill so that a drug that is normally intended for insufflation can be taken orally instead.)
Is it addictive?
While it is not directly addictive, 60 percent of users feel symptoms of withdrawal after heavy use because the drug is a stimulant.
What are users looking for?
Many MDMA and ecstasy users are looking for a sense of euphoria. This is often coupled with self acceptance and compassion for others. (MDMA was first used in therapy to lower inhibitions.)
How can I tell if my teen is using drugs?
Experts say that parents can look for the following signs of drug use:
- Being involved in a peer group that has trouble with the law
- Dishonest behavior
- Lower performance in schools
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
These signs are specific to Ecstasy:
- Possession of objects commonly used to stop jaw clenching, such as pacifiers, lollipops, candy necklaces, straws, etc.
- Possession of mentholated vapor rub
- Sore jaw (from clenching teeth)
- Severe anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Vomiting or nausea (from hangover)
How can I tell if my teen is currently on MDMA or ecstasy?
There are many symptoms of MDMA and ecstasy use, including
- A trance-like state
- Blurred vision
- Chills or sweating
- Paranoia or severe anxiety
- Being transfixed by sights and sounds
- Unconscious clenching of the jaw or teeth grinding
- Being very affectionate.
You might also look for signs that your teen has been at a rave, a party at which many individuals consume ecstasy at the same time. Signs of rave attendance include wearing brightly-colored costumes, possessing glow sticks or glowing jewelry, and bringing copious amounts of water.
If you suspect that your teen could be engaging in drug use or other dangerous behaviors, it could be time for you to seek help from an outside source. One great source of help for at-risk teens are Christian boarding schools. At these schools, students are rehabilitated through a time-tested and individualized program consisting of both discipline and reward. Students receive the love and guidance they need to transition from a troubled teen into an emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually healthy young adult.