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MDMA is a synthetic substance commonly known as ecstasyalthough the latter term has now been generalised to cover a wide range of other substances. Originally developed in by the Merck chemical company, it was never marketed as such.
Although proposed as an aid to psychiatric counselling, therapeutic use is extremely limited. It acts as a central nervous system CNS stimulant and has a weak hallucinogenic property more accurately described as increased sensory awareness.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (mdma or 'ecstasy') drug profile
MDMA is under international control. MDMA is an abbreviation for m ethylene d ioxy- m ethyl a mphetamine.
MDMA is a member of the larger group of ring-substituted phenethylamines. As with other phenethylamines, and like ecstasy tables close relative methamphetamineMDMA also exists in two enantiomeric forms R and S. The most common salt is the hydrochloride CAS which occurs as a white or off-white powder or as crystals soluble in water. The phosphate salt is also encountered. Illicit products are seen principally as white tablets with a characteristic impression logoless commonly as white powders or capsules.
MDMA base is a colourless oil insoluble in water. Whereas phenethylamines without ring substitution usually behave as stimulants, ring substitution as in MDMA le to a modification in the pharmacological properties.
Ingestion of MDMA causes euphoria, increased sensory awareness and mild central stimulation. It is less hallucinogenic than its lower homologuemethylenedioxyamphetamine MDA. The terms empathogenic and entactogenic have been coined to describe the socialising effects of MDMA.
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Following ingestion, most of the dose of MDMA is excreted in the urine unchanged. Major metabolites are 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine MDA and O -demethylated compounds. Following a dose of 75 mg, the maximum plasma concentration of around 0. The plasma half-life is 6—7 hours.
In animals, MDMA causes neurotoxicity, as evidenced by anatomical changes in axon structure and a persisting reduction in brain serotonin levels. The ificance of these findings to human users is still unclear, although cognitive impairment is associated with MDMA use. Some of the pharmacodynamic and toxic effects of MDMA vary, depending on which enantiomer is used. However, almost all illicit MDMA exists as a racemic mixture. Fatalities following a dose of mg have been noted, but toxicity depends on many factors, including individual susceptibility and the circumstances in which MDMA is used.
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There are four principal precursors which can be used in the manufacture of MDMA and related drugs: safrole, isosafrole, piperonal and 3,4-methylenedioxyphenylpropanone PMK. Safrole is the key starting material in so far as the other three can be synthesised from it. In the original Merck patent ofsafrole was reacted with hydrobromic acid to form bromosafrole, which was converted to MDMA using methylamine.
Many illicit syntheses start with PMK and use either the Leuckart route or various reductive aminations including the aluminium foil method. All of these methods produce racemic MDMA.
MDMA in tablet form is almost always used orally ingestedbut the powdered form could also be snorted, inhaled or injected, although the latter route is rarely observed in the context of recreational ecstasy use. As some of the above names suggest, MDMA is a derivative of amphetamine and a member of the phenethylamine family. A of homologous compounds with broadly similar effects, e.
These and many other more distant relatives of MDMA have now been subsumed by the generic term ecstasy. Mitsubishis, Love Doves and many others.
Using gas chromatography, the limits of detection in plasma and urine are 1. European drug markets size estimate December Iversen, L. King, L. Moffat, A. United NationsRecommended Methods for the Identification and analysis of amphetamine, methamphetamine and their ring-substituted analogues in seized materials revised and updatedManual for Use by National Drug Testing LaboratoriesUnited Nations, New York.
Home Publications Drug profiles. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of patterns emerging across Europe in the areas of drug supply, illicit drug use and associated public health problems.
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National data sets are also provided across these themes and on key harm-reduction interventions. The report is available in English The issues selected here have been chosen for their policy relevance and general interest.
Since the start ofEuropean countries have been experiencing an unprecedented public health threat with the emergence of the coronavirus disease COVID In order to investigate the effects and implications of this pandemic for people who use drugs in Europe, the EMCDDA instigated a mixed This t publication from the EMCDDA and Europol analyses the impact of the pandemic on the market for the main drug types cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, NPSincluding demand, production, trafficking and availability.
In order to investigate the effects and implications of this outbreak for drug services in Europe, the European Monitoring Centre for This report includes estimates of the total size of the retail drug market in the European Union in for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA. The analysis presented in this ecstasy tables spans numerous topics such as the links between drugs and other crimes, the licit economy and society more generally as This short publication presents the main highlights from the EU Drug Markets Reporttargeting policy and practice.
Infographic: of reported drug seizures, breakdown by drug, Infographic: drug law offences in the EU related to drug use or possession for use or drug supply: indexed trends and reported offences in Infographic: Changes in drug price and availability. Interactive: wastewater analysis and drugs. Infographic: EU retail drug market size minimum estimate