Going out for a party and dancing the night away is an innocent enough pastime, but party drugs can cause permanent physical damage, or even kill you. You don’t even have to be a regular user. In some cases, one dose has been enough to ruin lives forever. Does it sound like I’m exaggerating? There have been all too many tragic incidents to back up my claim.

Ecstasy and what it can do to you

A lot of people enjoy the loved up feeling and the energy boost that they can get from using MDMA (Ecstasy) on a party night. But the risks are frightening. It’s not only the fact that it distorts your visual perception and could result in a road accident.

  1. Dangerous dehydration

Ecstasy use dehydrates the body, often to a dangerous degree. Liver, kidney or heart failure are a very real possibility. A lot of ecstasy users are careful about drinking water, but ecstasy also distorts your time-sense. It’s all too easy to forget the need to stay hydrated.

  1. Your body can’ regulate its temperature properly

Your body regulates its temperature as a defence mechanism against overheating or getting too cold. If either of these happen, the vital processes that are essential to life start shutting down.  Overheating is usually the problem associated with ecstasy use.

The feelings of energy you get when you use ecstasy find their outlet on the dancefloor – but your body can’t cool itself properly. The result can be dangerous heatstroke. You may suffer permanent damage or even die. In fact, it is the hyperthermia that is the leading cause of death among club drug users.

  1. Long-term damage

Heart problems, liver or kidney failure, brain-damage, depression and other emotional disturbances are just a few of the possible long-term side effects of ecstasy use. This is the ugly picture of ecstasy use that you don’t see at parties but will find in hospitals. The risks increase when ecstasy is combined with other drugs, including alcohol.

One dose can kill you

Some people are sensitive to MDMA and suffer from liver failure after using it only once. IF they survive, their health will be impaired forever. As for potentially fatal overheating, it can happen to anyone whether you’re using ecstasy for the first or the hundredth time. Is it worth the risk? Obviously not, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from using ecstasy.

You don’t know what you’re getting

Scary fact: police say that most of the ecstasy out there has either been diluted with other toxic compounds that may produce a similar effect to MDMA or isn’t MDMA at all. That’s the problem with anything illegal. There’s no regulation, no quality control.

You could be getting rat poison, drain cleaner, ketamine, opiates – you simply don’t know. The ironic thing is that many otherwise health conscious individuals will swallow these tablets, believing that they ‘know what they are doing’. You don’t know what you’re doing with ecstasy, simply because you have no way of knowing what you’re ingesting.

Putting things into perspective – MDMA deaths

I’m not going to be a scare-monger. The DEA says that there are ‘only’ 50 deaths per 100,000 MDMA users. Of course, this doesn’t take survivors of severe complications into account, but it’s still a relatively low figure when compared to deaths resulting from a perfectly legal ‘party drug’: alcohol.

But scientists are discovering scary things about ecstasy that we never knew before. Longer-term users may be suffering structural changes in their brains, specifically, the serotonin terminals in the brain stop working as they should. The primary result is memory impairment. In a very real sense, ecstasy is a ‘mind-altering drug’.

What you have to ask yourself is whether you want to take risks like this. Do we really have to be ‘high’ to enjoy ourselves? Sure, you might not dance all night without chemical assistance, but at least you can be relatively sure you’ll get home safely. And you can still have a great time. Why take chances? Be yourself and have a good time.

There are no ‘safe’ party drugs

Think about why most of these party drugs are illegal. Usually, it’s because they are unsafe or addictive. Alcohol is legal, and a lot of people point to the dangerous consequences of drinking. They’ll tell you that party drugs are ‘safer’. But I’d like to tell you that there are no safe party drugs: not alcohol, not MDMA nor any of the other things that are sold as MDMA.