MDMA - OldForensics 2012-2013

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Transcript MDMA - OldForensics 2012-2013

By: Evelyn Chavez
Common Name: Ecstasy
Chemical Name: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine
Chemical Formula: C11H15NO2
Some Street Names:
Structural Formula
Dancing Shoes
Disco Biscuits
Scooby Snacks
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
created MDMA.
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
$250 million.
The User
MDMA was first used by psychiatric patients and then by
college students.
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
Withdrawal effects
No medicinal value
Common Health Risks:
Muscle breakdown
Kidney failure
Cardiovascular system failure
In assorted rodents: 100-300
Estimation in humans: 10-20
Adverse Psychological and
Emotional Effects:
 Memory loss
 Damage to the area of the
brain responsible for thought
 Long-lasting mood disorders
 Severe anxiety
 Confusion
 Paranoia
MDMA is tested for in the body by using:
Urine Test
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
 Body size
 Metabolism
Hair Test
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:
 Cognitive-behavioral interventions
 Helps change the patient’s
expectancies, thinking, and
behaviors towards MDMA use.
 Helps users to better deal with their
life problems.
 Drug abuse recovery support groups
 Adds to the support of long-term,
drug-free recovery.
Legal Consequences For Possession of
 Fines
 Prison time
 Other penalties
 Penalties differ from state to state
and also on the amount of MDMA
that was fond on the individual.
Works Cited
Saferstein, R. (2001). Forensic Science An Introduction. Second Edition. Upper Saddle River:
Pearson Prentice Hall.
Bigelow, B. (2006). Ecstasy (MDMA). Retrieved December 15, 2012, from
Casa Palmera. (2009). Nicknames, Street Names and Slang for MDMA/Ecstasy. Retrieved
December 15, 2012, from
Erowid. (2003). Ecstasy Testing Kit FAQ. Retrieved December 15, 2012, from
Ecstasy Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation. (2001-2011). Retrieved December 15, 2012,
Ecstasy: An abridged FAQ for medical personnel and assorted science geeks. (n.d.). Retrieved
December 15, 2012, from
Ecstasy Drug tests. (2012). Retrieved December 15, 2012, from
DrugFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy). (2010). Retrieved December 15, 2012, from
MDMA Ecstasy. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2012, from