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MDMA vs. Alcohol

Before modern civilization and before laws, human beings have been experimenting with drugs. In the earliest times, B.C., opium, and marijuana were used recreationally and to treat pain. As our society has progressed, our thirst and desire to get intoxicated has not changed much. The only change is the science behind these illicit substances. We’ve learned about their control over society. As science has progressed, it has led to the discovery of other drugs like alcohol and MDMA.

MDMA and alcohol have two different reputations. They do not have much in common other than they are used to enhance how we feel in a party scene. Alcohol falls into a completely different category of drugs known as depressants, whereas MDMA is a stimulant. Despite its legality, some would argue that alcohol is more dangerous than MDMA.

Both drugs can be addictive if they are abused. Unfortunately, alcohol is a much more dangerous substance when abused. These drugs both work in our brain to produce euphoria, and when you alter your natural chemical balance, there is a chance it never returns to normal. 

The only common trait between the two drugs is an addiction and a potential for harm. Ecstasy produces a much smaller risk than alcohol when it comes to full-blown addiction, but both are deadly when abused. The risks increase exponentially if you use the two drugs in conjunction with one another or other substances.

Despite its legality, alcohol has a worse reputation than MDMA. There are therapeutic designations for MDMA, but they should both be avoided unless instructed otherwise by a medical professional. Let’s delve a little deeper into the differences between the two substances.

What Is Alcohol?

There are many reasons why people drink alcohol. In some cultures, it’s accepted as a means to celebrate, while others use it to socialize, and others to relax. Alcohol can have a potent effect on some people, and throughout our history in the world, people have struggled to manage the power of alcohol. The effects will vary from one person to another, and while drinking alcohol itself is not necessarily a problem, drinking too much can cause severe consequences.

Some factors that determine alcohol’s effects include:

  • Family history
  • Health
  • Age
  • How much alcohol was consumed
  • How often you consume alcohol

Now that we know some factors that cause some people to be affected more than others, what is alcohol exactly? It is the main ingredient found in wine, beer, and spirits that cause you to feel drunk. Alcohol is formed when yeast ferments the sugars in different food. Alcohol is known as a sedative-hypnotic drug, which means it depresses the central nervous system (CNS) at high doses. At lower doses, however, it can mimic stimulant effects and induce feelings of euphoria or talkativeness.

Someone that drinks too much alcohol, however, is setting themselves up for more than just a next-day hangover. It can lead to respiratory depression, drowsiness, alcohol poisoning, and in some cases, death. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances on the planet, and its legal status should be concerning for those worried about a loved one who drinks.

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Even someone who doesn’t regularly consume alcohol can set themselves up for failure. It only takes one time to get behind the wheel and cause a drunk driving accident. Someone that does not consume alcohol is at risk if someone decides to drive drunk causes an accident. The dangers surpass its users, and we must educate ourselves about what it can do to our society.

What Is MDMA?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that MDMA is a synthetic drug that produces effects similar to stimulants and hallucinogens. It works in our brain by producing effects that distort time and perception, energy, and enhancing experiences by providing a sense of joy and that everything is perfect.

NIDA goes on to describe the drug as an entactogen, which means it increases self-awareness and empathy. It is now being tested in therapy settings to treat those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine derives from the phenethylamine family of chemicals – it can act as a stimulant, hallucinogen, or entactogen.

MDMA is known mostly by its slang name, ecstasy. It is commonly sold in a capsule that is consumed during a rave or at a club. Unfortunately, most of the ecstasy today is adulterated, or it contains varying amounts of the active ingredient. It is commonly cut with heroin, PCP, cocaine, or ketamine.

Molly is another slang word used to describe MDMA. It refers to the crystallized pure version of the drug. People believe that because they purchased a crystallized version that it is genuine. Unfortunately, it is easier for drug dealers to cut the drug this way and increase their profit margins. Molly has been tested and shown to contain many different types of dangerous drugs.

MDMA Side Effects

Despite its legal status, MDMA has been proven to have less severe side effects than alcohol. Do not let that fool you, however, because MDMA can cause severe depression. The substance interacts with our serotonin and dopamine in a unique fashion and those who abuse MDMA place themselves at a much higher risk of crippling depression. Even if you stop using MDMA, these feelings can last for months. In some cases, the damage can be permanent.

The most common side effects of MDMA include:

  • Crippling depression or sadness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased libido
  • Restlessness
  • Unusual sleep patterns

It’s ironic that a drug with the power to boost your emotions so high can produce such a low. Unfortunately, that is the common theme for most drugs of abuse. They may feel good in the moment, but they are not worth your time.

Sources

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (0AD). Drug Misuse and Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (0AD). What is MDMA? Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/what-mdma

Depressant. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/taxonomy/term/316

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Alcohol. Retrieved from https://www.druga buse.gov/drugs-abuse/alcohol

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