MDMA: The Risks of Redosing

MDMA offers one of the most unique experiences, a pure moment of ecstasy that transcends words. MDMA is truly an amazing compound and one single article could not possibly do it justice. As such, this document does not and could not intend to be all inclusive: the focus here is on dangers associated with redosing.

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by chemist Anton Köllisch who was working for the pharmaceutical company Merck. He hoped to identify a novel treatment for excessive bleeding, as Bayer held a patent on what was most effective. MDMA was not what he was looking for and soon forgotten. The compound remained relatively unknown until it gained fame during the 1970s and 1980s in the United States as a party drug. Psychiatrists would also realize the therapeutical potential of MDMA in recent times as well. MDMA has earned the respect of many and has a bright future in medicine.

MDMA is methylenedioxymethylamphetamine. That is, MDMA is a methamphetamine molecule with a methylenedioxy group attached to its arene ring. A methylenedioxy group consists of two oxygens that are connected by carbon. MDMA is a phenethylamine, which means it bears resemblance to compounds such as amphetamine and mescaline.

MDMA (left) and Meth (right)MDMA (left) and Meth (right)

MDMA (left) and Meth (right)

 

MDMA is often consumed as a pill (rolls, ecstasy) or powder (Molly). Pills of ecstasy are notoriously adulterated with drugs other than MDMA (see www.ecstasydata.org for examples). Please consume your MDMA during the most deserving of occasions, as the “magic” is limited by how many times it can be felt. After a dozen or so exposures, users often report that MDMA no longer works. MDMA’s effect can perhaps be prolonged by exercising some basic harm reduction techniques.

Consuming water is an important, though often overlooked, component of daily health. Water consumption becomes even more important when one has taken MDMA. Although, research shows that the most important variables are diet, body temperature, and the duration of exposure.

I should not have to say that one should always eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet will provide plenty of natural antioxidants. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E are common and effective antioxidants. Vitamin C and beta-carotene can be found in many fruits, such as oranges. Spinach, seeds, and avocados are great sources of vitamin E and should be consumed regularly.

High body temperatures pose a danger as antioxidants become less effective. It’s also very important to space out rolls. Do not roll every day or every weekend, doing so puts your nervous system at risk for severe oxidative damage. Your nervous system can accommodate the use of MDMA, although it does need time to repair and clean out toxic metabolites between exposures.

Keeping the duration of a single exposure brief is important because MDMA produces neurotoxic metabolites, and users must limit how long they expose their nervous system to these toxic byproducts. As the liver metabolizes MDMA, it forms compounds such as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), N-methyl-methyldopamine (N-Me-MeDA), methyldopamine (MeDA), and additional metabolites. The catechol nucleus of these compounds is hydroxylated, and as such can easily form toxic reactive oxygen intermediates. These compounds are the source of MDMA neurotoxicity, which has been demonstrated to occur through apoptotic (cell death) pathways.

While taking more MDMA may be an attractive option, prolonging your roll is not without danger. Some users learn to enjoy the come down, while some switch to a different substance and let their body clear itself of MDMA’s neurotoxic metabolites. Users of MDMA have long praised the use of ketamine during a come-down, though many attractive options exists.

MDMA can provide a beautiful experience and should be used with utmost respect. The longer one exposes him or herself to the effects of MDMA, the longer their vulnerable brain is exposed to harmful reactive oxygen species. Harm reduction is a topic that should always be on every drug users mind and this topic could not be more important when using MDMA. Have fun and stay safe, thanks for reading!

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