Ecstasy drug molecule

Ecstasy drug molecule

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ecstasy, molecular model. Ecstasy is the common name for the illegal euphoriant drug 3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The drug produces feelings of energy, euphoria, empathy and love. It causes the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These neurotransmitters are involved in the regulation of mood, with high levels being associated with positive feelings. Its exact mechanism of action remains unclear, however. Although large amounts of the drug may be toxic, the main risks involved with taking ecstasy are of overheating or excessive water intake. In this molecule, atoms are shown as balls and are colour coded: carbon (grey), nitrogen (blue), oxygen (red) and hydrogen (white).

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