Excerpt from the book “Drugs in Australia: Ecstasy” by Michael Shannon.

Ecstasy is a drug that has become very popular in recent years, particularly with people who go to dance clubs and raves. Unlike many other drugs, which originate from plants and other natural substances, ecstasy is entirely made from a chemical. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA for short, is known as an empathogen because it releases chemicals in the brain that create feelings of friendliness, love and euphoria. This is how it gained its name (although it has many other names, including “the love drug”). Ecstasy is usually sold as tablets, which can be a variety of colours and sizes. It is also available as powder and can be snorted (breathed in through the nose) or injected.

Ecstasy is illegal in Australia and in most other countries because it is related to amphetamines and hallucinogens which can be dangerous to people’s health.

Read the next part in this series: How Ecstasy Affects the Body