MDMA - OldForensics 2012-2013
MDMA - OldForensics 2012-2013
By: Evelyn Chavez
Common Name: Ecstasy
Chemical Name: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
Chemical Formula: C11H15NO2
Some Street Names:
MDMA belongs under the classification of a
stimulant with hallucinogenic properties.
Belongs to the class of amines and it is considered
to be a secondary amine.
1985 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) named ecstasy a Schedule I drug according
to the Controlled Substances Act.
1910 - German scientists studying amphetamines
1914 - Merck (a German pharmaceutical company)
took out a patent on MDMA but the drug showed
very little usefulness for its intended purpose.
Its Intended purpose was to act like an appetite
1950’s – During the Cold War, the U.S. Army Office
of Strategic Services tested MDMA to use in
chemical warfare but it was useless because they
were looking for drugs that could produce psychotic
or violent behavior.
1960’s – Dr. Alexander T. “Sasha” Shulgin (an
American chemist) synthesized MDMA and made a
1960’s and 1970’s - Chemists made small batches
so that psychiatrists could use them on their patients.
Then, MDMA moved into recreational use but animal
testing suggested that it destroyed brain cells so
doctors decided to stop prescribing the drug.
MDMA is a synthetic drug because it
is created in secret underground
laboratories and does not occur in
These laboratories are mostly
found in Europe and smugglers
transport the pills to the United
Kingdom and the United States.
MDMA is created by a process
called “synthesis” and it is
inexpensive to make.
MDMA is made from chemicals such
as caffeine, dextromethorphan, or
PMA and other powerful
April 2005 - Australian authorities
found 5 million ecstasy tablets that
had a street value of more than
MDMA was first used by psychiatric patients and then by
1990s - Partygoers and rave attendees began to use
MDMA to enhance the pleasure of the party experience.
Many young people thought that taking MDMA was not
Other people were peer pressured to try MDMA.
MDMA pills are most often swallowed while some users sometimes crush the pill and snort it.
Experience enhancements of self-awareness and decreases in shyness.
Releases dopamine and norepinephrine which causes an individual’s heart rate and blood
pressure to increase.
Produces muscle tension, teeth grinding, nausea, and it can significantly increase body
temperature because of the drug’s stimulant affect and the very warm, crowded atmosphere
of club scenes.
MDMA attaches to the serotonin in the brain and excessively releases this neurotransmitter
which causes the user to become very happy.
Potential to experience mild hallucinations.
More research needs to be developed in order to conclude the drug’s potential for
psychological and physical addiction.
Some users do experience both types of symptoms such as:
Choosing to continue using the drug even though they are aware of the physical and psychological
No medicinal value
Common Health Risks:
Cardiovascular system failure
In assorted rodents: 100-300
Estimation in humans: 10-20
Adverse Psychological and
Damage to the area of the
brain responsible for thought
Long-lasting mood disorders
MDMA is tested for in the body by using:
MDMA is not specifically tested for.
Amphetamines show up in the test
since MDMA users test positive for it.
Can be detected within 24-74 hours
after MDMA has been used.
Factors that can change this
range for each person are:
How much MDMA was
How often it was used
MDMA can be tested for within 5-7
days after use.
Has a detection period of 90 days.
Kits can be used to identify MDMA which tests the chemical reaction between the
Marquis Reagent and some common chemicals in MDMA.
Treatment Programs For MDMA:
Helps change the patient’s
expectancies, thinking, and
behaviors towards MDMA use.
Helps users to better deal with their
Drug abuse recovery support groups
Adds to the support of long-term,
Legal Consequences For Possession of
Penalties differ from state to state
and also on the amount of MDMA
that was fond on the individual.
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