Last updated: December 4, 2023
Ecstasy is known for being a party drug. To reinforce the fact, it’s often produced in brightly colored pill form, complete with fun designs. Some are even marketed in shapes, such as Darth Vader, for instance. They strongly resemble the shaped, colorful vitamins that you may have taken as a kid. Teens and young adults often favor it as their drug of choice strictly due to its reputation.
It might seem, then, as if there would be no need to be ready to recognize it at work. It’s supposed to amp up the user. Visions of raves come to mind—wild, dance parties with DJs continuously blasting fast-paced music that works everyone into a frenzy. So, of course, your employees would never show up at work with a bag full of colorful tablets and then start handing them out like candy.
Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is addictive. Addicts aren’t known for making the best judgment calls—especially if withdrawal symptoms are setting in. Passing them around the office isn’t likely to happen, however, being under the influence isn’t out of the picture entirely.
Signs of use
Ecstasy triggers the release of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. The user is flooded with intense feelings of happiness, socially tuned-in, has an increased sense of empathy, and is going to be awake for hours. The high lasts between three to eight hours depending on the strength of the drug and the individual metabolism process of the user themselves.
There are many signs that someone has taken ecstasy.
- Teeth clenching
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble concentrating
These side effects are short-term, however, there are long-term side effects, as well.
Side effects of long-term use include:
- Memory loss
- Anxiety disorders
- Liver problems
- Kidney issues
Those who take ecstasy regularly, whether due to an addiction or not, may anticipate the amount of time the drug will remain active in their body. In order to prolong the intense feelings of euphoria, they might repeat the dose sooner than they should in order to maintain their buzz. Subsequently, of course, they increase the chance of overdosing.
Signs of overdose
Taking ecstasy can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature. That’s why most people sweat profusely after taking the drug. The sweats alternate with getting the chills. Those who take the drug and are in the midst of an overcrowded, overheated environment put themselves at risk of experiencing serious side effects.
They are heat exhaustion and severe dehydration.
Moreover, there have been cases of individuals dying because their bodies overheat. It doesn’t get any more serious than that.
Signs of having taken too high a dose include:
- Very high blood
- Muscle twitches
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Elevating blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
If someone experiences these symptoms, call 911 immediately. It’s important to note that if the person is acting irrationally, don’t restrain them. It could contribute to complications that could become fatal.
Addicted, but to what?
Ecstasy contains 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, this drug in its pure form is called Molly on the street. Many people think that ecstasy is merely another street name, but no. Ecstasy also contains a mixture of any number of drugs, including cocaine and opiates—including fentanyl.
If someone escapes an overdose due to that hidden killer, the other hidden drugs can cause one too. Moreover, they can have detrimental, long-term effects on the system.
They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Myocardial infarction
- Sudden death syndrome
- Cerebral infarction or cerebral edema
- Cerebral hemorrhage
Drug abuse is nothing to rave about
Ecstasy, along with other abused drugs, causes feelings of euphoria. Subsequently, many who experience that sensation look forward to experiencing it again. And, again. That fact alone puts the person at increased risk of experiencing a drug overdose. It gets worse though because the brain builds up a tolerance to many drugs that we take on a regular basis.
That means that the abuser has to steadily increase the dosage amount in order to achieve the desired effect. Moreover, psychological dependence can be as devastating to a person as becoming physically dependant—and this drug creates both. People who consistently abused ecstasy for a long period of time before seeking treatment report having a hard time beating their addiction.
Of course, that’s going to be true for any addiction. Once our brain accepts something as “normal,” it wants to keep everything moving along in the same vein. The problem with that is drugs impair the brain. In reality, rather than helping, drugs are destroying the user, their family and friends, and, in the big picture, our society.
Taking a stand against drugs
Promoting a drug-free workplace is one way to fight the problem because most people who use drugs won’t even bother to apply for a job if they know a drug test is involved in the hiring process. If it’s a job they really want, however, it could be the incentive they need to put them down. Even if that doesn’t happen, the employees that are willing to take that test know that you care about their safety.
There are mountains of data out there to support the positive effect that drug-free programs have on a company. When your employees feel as if you truly care about their well-being, they are going to work harder. Production levels increase. When drug abusers don’t come to work for your company, your absenteeism rates decrease. Reported accidents decrease within companies that operate a drug-free workplace too. Lastly, there is a ripple effect that creates a positive vibe that flows throughout your work culture.
If you already have a program in place, way to go! If you don’t, you should consider it.