2 MIN READ | Mental Health

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Survey Reveals the MDMA’s Effect on the Brain

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News Release, (2022, September 22). Survey Reveals the MDMA’s Effect on the Brain. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/mdma-effect-brain/
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With Leeds and Reading Festival organisers issuing warnings over rising numbers of ecstasy deaths year on year, festivals are warning attendees that there is no such thing as a ‘safe dose’. 

Not only has the consumption of MDMA at music festivals risen over the last few years, but the pills recently tested were found to contain an average of 160mg of MDMA. Twice the adult dose. 

A drug and alcohol survey conducted by private rehab clinic Delamere, revealed that a concerning 30% of Brits surveyed revealed that taking ecstasy made them feel happier. The notoriously long-lasting drug can encourage energy and alertness, with many young Brits opting to take it rather than drinking alcohol at events that require a lot of dancing and physical exertion. 

Despite the initial happiness people feel when they take MDMA, the drug has an extremely negative and, in some cases, long-lasting impact on how the brain works.

With the ever-present danger of taking MDMA, and the rising number of deaths each year, the team at private rehab clinic Delamere, has outlined how taking MDMA affects the brain and the issues it can cause to a person’s mental well-being. 

How does MDMA impact the brain?

When MDMA is consumed, it causes the brain to increase the activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These three neurotransmitters are responsible for relaying the brain signals that help regulate mood and emotions.

When a person consumes MDMA, serotonin and norepinephrine over power levels of dopamine and causes a euphoric and energetic feeling, hence the street name ‘ecstasy’ is given to the drug

A drug and alcohol survey conducted by private rehab clinic Delamere, revealed that a whopping 30% of Brits surveyed revealed that taking ecstasy made them feel happier. The notoriously long-lasting drug can encourage energy and alertness, with many young Brits opting to take it rather than drinking alcohol at events that require a lot of dancing and physical exertion. 

Despite the initial happiness people feel when they take MDMA, the drug has an extremely negative and, in some cases, long-lasting impact on how the brain works.

Due to the large quantity of serotonin the brain releases when MDMA is consumed, the brain depletes serotonin several days later, leading to unpleasant side effects, commonly referred to as a ‘comedown’. This can typically leave people feeling low in mood, with a loss of appetite and increased anxiety for several following the consumption of the drug.

What are the long-term impacts of MDMA on the brain?

Studies  have found that taking MDMA changes brain functions and can make rapid changes to its neurotransmitter systems, negatively impacting the amount of serotonin.

Studies have also shown that people who regularly consume MDMA can suffer from various cognitive impairments such as confusion, difficulty with concentration and attention span, and negative impacts on memory.

People have also reported long-lasting feelings of depression and increased anxiety while also experiencing feelings of paranoia and intrusive negative thoughts, as well as problems with sleeping patterns.

Martin Preston, founder and chief executive at Delamere, comments: ‘The negative effects of MDMA: Aside from the obvious physical risks and dangers that people typically associate with taking MDMA, it is important to be aware of the long-term damage that can occur to the way the brain functions after taking the drug.’

‘As well as the short-term ‘comedown’ that people experience after taking MDMA, regular consumption can lead to many long-term cognitive issues and difficulties regulating emotions. Long-term mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can also occur due to consuming MDMA.’


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