Ecstasy drug molecule and tablets

Ecstasy drug molecule and tablets

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Credit: PHANTATOMIX/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ecstasy drug molecule and pills. 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 the molecule (left), atoms are colour coded: carbon (green), nitrogen (purple), oxygen (dark pink) and hydrogen (light pink).

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