Ecstasy’s Health Risks Increase in Hot Environments

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journalneuroscienceA new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience that showed that even nonlethal amounts of MDMA can be fatal in crowded, higher temperature environments. The research was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Intramural Research Program (NIDA IRP).

“We know that high doses of MDMA can sharply increase body temperature to potentially lead to organ failure or even death. However, this current study opens the possibility that even moderate doses could be deadly in certain conditions,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

The study gives a glimpse as to what has caused ecstasy-related fatalities at places such as electronic music festivals and other similar events. In addition to the dangerous toxicity of the drug itself and what happens to the brain when taking it, the inability to regulate body temperature and thus overheat is particularly dangerous.

Dr. Eugene Kiyatkin, first author on the study and NIDA IRP scientist added, “These results demonstrate that the use of MDMA in certain warm, social settings could be more dangerous than commonly believed. Even with moderate doses, we saw drug-induced, fatal brain hyperthermia during conditions of social interaction and in warm environments.”

Ecstasy made a splash in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and was largely distributed in pill forms with various bright colors and designs stamped on them, luring younger people into thinking the pills weren’t very dangerous. Today’s resurgence of the drug, commonly called “Molly,” is a powdered form of MDMA.

MDMA is a combination drug made up of part amphetamine that also has hallucinogenic properties. If you know someone in need of help for a problem with ecstasy or any other drug, contact us today for more information about effective intervention and treatment strategies.

Mike Loverde

With firsthand experience with addiction, Mike Loverde is now a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), as accredited by the Association of Intervention Specialists and the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He founded Family First Intervention in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of families find intervention and addiction rehabilitation solutions.

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