Ecstasy (MDMA) in Recreational Users: Self‐Reported Psychological and Physiological Effects

  title={Ecstasy (MDMA) in Recreational Users: Self‐Reported Psychological and Physiological Effects},
  author={D. Davison and Andrew C. Parrott},
  journal={Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental},
  • D. Davison, A. Parrott
  • Published 1 May 1997
  • Psychology
  • Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental
Twenty recreational drug users were asked to describe the psychological and physiological effects they experienced under MDMA (3,4‐methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The subjects comprised 11 males and nine females, in the age range 18–31 years. Five subjects had taken MDMA once, nine had taken it 2–9 times, while six subjects had taken it +10 times. Each subject completed a modified Profile of Mood States Questionnaire (POMS), an Ecstasy Effect Questionnaire, and a structured interview, covering… 

Ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamine, and LSD: comparative mood profiles in recreational polydrug users

Twenty‐one recreational polydrug users (age range: 17–34 years), were recruited into the study using the ‘snowball’ technique (Solowij et al., 1992). All had used MDMA

Ecstasy (MDMA) effects upon mood and cognition: before, during and after a Saturday night dance

The cognitive deficits in drug-free recreational ecstasy users, suggest that MDMA may also be neurotoxic in humans, and agrees with previous findings of memory impairments indrug-free ecstasy users.

Human psychopharmacology of Ecstasy (MDMA): a review of 15 years of empirical research

  • A. Parrott
  • Psychology, Biology
    Human psychopharmacology
  • 2001
Abstinent regular Ecstasy users often display reduced levels of 5‐HT, 5‐HIAA, tryptophan hydroxylase and serotonin transporter density; functional deficits in learning/memory, higher cognitive processing, sleep, appetite and psychiatric well‐being, and, most paradoxically, ‘loss of sexual interest/pleasure’.

The sub-acute effects of recreational ecstasy (MDMA) use: a controlled study in humans

The presentings suggest that the sub-acute effects of ecstasy in regular recreational users are relatively modest and transient but that such genuine effects may have been masked by, perhaps more clinically signi.cant, chronic sequelae of regular ecstasy use in all previous studies of recreational ecstasy users.

Gender differences in the subjective effects of MDMA

The fact that equal doses of MDMA per kilogram body weight produce stronger responses in women compared to men is consistent with an increased susceptibility of women to the 5-HT-releasing effects of MDMA.

Ecstasy (MDMA): a review of its possible persistent psychological effects

There is growing evidence that chronic, heavy, recreational use of ecstasy is associated with sleep disorders, depressed mood, persistent elevation of anxiety, impulsiveness and hostility, and selective impairment of episodic memory, working memory and attention.

Decreased pain tolerance and mood in recreational users of MDMA

The current results suggest that MDMA, at least in the short term, may cause serotonin-mediated alterations in pain sensitivity, and confirmed the association between MDMA and depressed mood.

MDMA, cortisol, and heightened stress in recreational ecstasy users

It is concluded that ecstasy/MDMA increases cortisol levels acutely and subchronically and that changes in the HPA axis may explain why recreational ecstasy/ MDMA users show various aspects of neuropsychobiological stress.

Dance Clubbing on MDMA and during Abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA: Prospective Neuroendocrine and Psychobiological Changes

A group of recreational Ecstasy users when dance clubbing on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and when clubbing during abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA are compared, finding that neurohormonal release may be an important part of the acute MDMA experience.



Ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamine, and LSD: comparative mood profiles in recreational polydrug users

Twenty‐one recreational polydrug users (age range: 17–34 years), were recruited into the study using the ‘snowball’ technique (Solowij et al., 1992). All had used MDMA

The psychological and physiological effects of MDMA on normal volunteers.

  • J. Downing
  • Psychology
    Journal of psychoactive drugs
  • 1986
The findings support the general impression among knowledgeable professionals that MDMA is reasonably safe, produces positive mood changes in users, does not cause negative problems (if used sparingly and episodically) and is without evidence of abuse.

Subjective effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in recreational users.

These observations should be considered preliminary, they represent the first documentation of the subjective effects of MDMA in recreational users and confirm previous reports obtained from patients treated with this drug.

Recreational MDMA use in Sydney: a profile of 'Ecstacy' users and their experiences with the drug.

The research revealed that Ecstasy is primarily used by infrequent recreational drug users for 'fun' at dance parties and social gatherings and tolerance was reported to develop to the positive effects of Ecstasy, while negative effects increased with use.

Cognitive performance in recreational users of MDMA or 'ecstasy': evidence for memory deficits

Although the design of this study was far from ideal, these data are consistent with other findings of memory decrements in recreational MDMA users, possibly caused by serotonergic neurotoxicity.

Chronic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use: effects on mood and neuropsychological function?

Concern is raised about possible detrimental effects of MDMA use on neuropsychological function for future systematic study and important issues regarding the effects of 5-HT deficits on cognitive function and mood regulation are highlighted.

Ecstasy: The Clinical, Pharmacological and Neurotoxicological Effects of the Drug MDMA

  • S. Peroutka
  • Biology, Psychology
    Topics in the Neurosciences
  • 1990
This study examines the effects of MDMA in brain, structure-Activity Relationships of MDMA and Related Compounds, and Effect of MDMA-like Drugs on CNS Neuropeptide Systems on the basis of published studies and anecdotal evidence.

Increasing use of "Ecstasy" (MDMA) and other hallucinogens on a college campus.

Mescaline/psilocybin and Ecstasy were more likely than the other drugs to have been used first during the students' college years, according to the 1990 study.

Toxicity and deaths from 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy")

Psychiatric complications of 'Ecstasy' use

Two case reports are presented of significant psychiatric disorders associated with ingestion of 'Ecstasy' (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), a recreational drug whose use appears to be increasing.