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MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), also known by the street names ecstasy/extasy, E rolls, or XTC, is a semisynthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family, whose primary effect is believed to be the stimulation of secretion - as well as inhibition of re-uptake - of large amounts of serotonin, as well as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, inducing a general sense of openness, empathy, energy, euphoria, and well-being.

Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making physical contact with others more pleasurable. Contrary to popular belief ecstasy does not necessarily produce aphrodisiac effects. Its reported ability to facilitate self-examination with reduced fear may prove useful in some therapeutic settings, leading in 2001 to permission from the United States FDA for testing in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder in conjunction with psychotherapy. It was classed in an entirely new category of drug action as an "empathogen" or sometimes known as "entactogen".

A patent for ecstasy was originally filed on Christmas Eve 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck, after being first synthesized for them by German chemist Anton Köllisch at Darmstadt earlier that year. The patent was granted in 1914; Köllisch died in 1916 unaware of the impact his synthesis would have. At the time, ecstasy was not known to be a drug in its own right; rather, it was patented as an intermediate chemical used in the synthesis of a styptic (a drug intended to control bleeding from wounds); over half a century would pass before the first recorded ingestion of ecstasy by humans.

The U.S. Army did, however, carry out lethal dose studies on animals of ecstasy and several other compounds in the mid-1950s. It was given the name EA-1475, with the EA standing for either (accounts vary) "Experimental Agent" or "Edgewood Arsenal". The results of these studies were not declassified until 1969.

Ecstasy was legal in the United States until May 31, 1985. Before then, it was used both as an adjunct to psychotherapy and as a recreational drug. Ecstasy began to be used therapeutically in the mid-1970s after the chemist Alexander Shulgin introduced it to psychotherapist Leo Zeff. As Zeff and others spread word about ecstasy, it developed a reputation for enhancing communication, reducing psychological defenses, and increasing capacity for introspection. However, no formal measures of these putative effects were made and blinded or placebo-controlled trials were not conducted. A small number of therapists - including George Greer, Joseph Downing, and Philip Wolfson - used it in their practices until it was made illegal.

Ecstasy appeared sporadically as a street drug in the late 1960s (when it was known as the "love drug"), but it came into prominence in the early 1980s in certain trendy yuppie bars in the Dallas area, then in gay dance clubs. From there use spread to rave clubs, and then to mainstream society. During the 1990s, along with the growing popularity of the rave subculture, ecstasy use became increasingly widespread among young adults in universities and later in high schools. It rapidly became one of the four most widely used illegal drugs in the U.S., along with cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ecstasy was widely used in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, becoming an integral element of rave culture and other psychedelic/dancefloor-influenced music scenes, such as Madchester and Acid House.

The primary effects of ecstasy include feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love, and heightened self-awareness. Some users also report a tactile effect that many users refer to as the "touchadies". This is a very pleasurable sensation when touching other objects. Its initial adoption by the dance club sub-culture is possibly due to the enhancement of the overall social and musical experience. Taking ecstasy is commonly referred to as thizzing, skating, popping, rolling, pilling, boshing or dropping in the United Kingdom; pilling, pinging, or "grinding" in Australia; flipping, tripping balls, getting chewed and/or doing E in Canada. Some term the rushing feeling of the drug as blowing up, coming up, flying, rolling face, zooming, peaking(in Australia) or buzzing.

Ecstasy use has increased markedly since the late 1980s, and spread beyond its original sub-cultures to mainstream use. Prices have also fallen since the 1980s. In countries where distribution is more extensive, such as in the Netherlands and other places in Europe, prices can sometimes be as low as $1 per tablet. In countries where distribution is more difficult, such as the US and Australia, prices are accordingly higher at up to US$10-40 and AUD$20-40 respectively per tablet. In the United Kingdom it is common to pay around £2 to £3 for a tablet on average. Prices have been driven very low in Canada due to large supply, CAD$5 to CAD$10 is the average price per tablet, while prices decrease in quantity such as 2 for CAD$5 or 3 for CAD$10 depending on quality. Prices are also usually higher when the drug is purchased in a club or at a rave.

In 2008, 1.8% of the 10th grade population admitted to abusing LSD within the year.

Ecstasy is one name for MDMA, an illegal drug similar to hallucinogens and stimulants.

GHB also known as liquid ecstasy is one of the common club drugs.

Some street names for GHB are G, Liquid Ecstasy and Georgia Home Boy.

LSD produces unpredictable psychological effects, with 'trips' lasting around 12 hours.

Ecstasy increases perceptions while lowering aggressions and hostility.

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