SHOP - Student Health Outreach & Promotion: Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
What are club drugs?
What is Ecstasy?
How is Ecstasy used?
Why do people take Ecstasy?
Are there short-term dangers?
Are their long term consequences?
How do I recognize a problem?
Is it addictive?
Is it illegal?
How do I help a friend?
Links you can use
Second, users report a number of side effects, including:
- Heatstroke (also known as hyperthermia)
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision
- Teeth clenching
- Day-after depression
Ecstasy raises your body temperature and heart rate. Combine this with hot conditions, the physical activity of dancing in a party or club, and not drinking water, and the greatest immediate danger of MDMA is heatstroke. Heatstroke (or hyperthermia) is the primary cause of death from Ecstasy. Someone taking Ecstasy should make sure to drink about a pint of water every hour while on Ecstasy, sipping, rather than drinking it all at once. Also, taking breaks from dancing on a hot dance floor to cool off is an important way to reduce the risk of heatstroke. Ecstasy-related deaths are relatively rare (there were 27 nationwide from 1994 to 1999). However, emergency room hospital visits are on the rise.
Ecstasy causes the release of norepinephrine, which increases your heart rate dramatically and can be dangerous for people with cardiovascular disease or weakness. Dehydration can also lead to liver or kidney failure. Some people report bad emotional reactions to Ecstasy including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia, sometimes lasting long after taking the drug. Using Ecstasy with alcohol and/or other drugs can increase the risk of adverse effects. Alcohol is dehydrating, too, and its depressant effects can mask the stimulant properties of Ecstasy misleading the user about how intoxicated they really are.
Finally, some studies have shown that people who use Ecstasy are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors such as binge drinking, cigarette smoking, and having multiple sexual partners. The use of Ecstasy and other club drugs can also lead to unsafe sex, the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and unwanted pregnancy.
Other studies suggest that regular or heavy Ecstasy use has long-term negative effects on memory and brain function which go well beyond the last pill taken (and seem to continue to increase in spite of long-term abstinence from the drug). One study found that women are particularly vulnerable to damage to the serotonin system by MDMA.
- More frequent use
- Needing more and more to get the same effect
- Spending time thinking about using the drug
- Spending more money than you have on it
- Missing class or failing to finish assignments because of Ecstasy.
- Making new friends who do it and neglecting old friends who don't
- Finding it's hard to be happy without it.
If you find that you can't stop using Ecstasy, then remember, there's help available.
Student Health Outreach & Promotion (SHOP)831-459-3772
SHOP provides confidential appointments for drug or alcohol concerns. SHOP is located in the Student Health Center, across the street from Colleges 9 & 10. As you walk up the ramp to the Health Center, SHOP is located in the building on your left, next to the Pharmacy.
Student Health Services831-459-2500
Confidential walk-in or appointment health care
Counseling & Psychological Services831-459-2628
CPS staff provides the UCSC community with a wide range of mental health services, including short-term individual and couples counseling, group counseling, crisis assessment and intervention, and referral services.
Resources in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County's Alcohol and Drug Abuse help pages. If you think that you, a family member, or a friend has an alcohol or drug problem, you've come to the right place.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Narcotics Anonymous831-429-7436 HOTLINE (24 hour)
Call for current open meeting schedules. Disabled Accessibility.
P.O. Box 1481
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Self-help (non-religious) fellowship group for those who cannot control their marijuana use and are experiencing adverse effects in other areas of their life. No fee is charged.
Dance Safe is a harm-reduction web site centered on drugs found in nightclubs and raves. The site offers drug information, a risk assessment, ecstasy testing kits and e-news.
The Good Drugs Guide:http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com/
This British harm-reduction web site provides extensive information - including the basics, dangers and links.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)http://www.nida.nih.gov/
This site has statistics, drug information and recent research reports on ecstasy.