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Teaching children about ecstasy

How Can I Teach My Children About Ecstasy?

Talking to your kids about ecstasy may not be easy, but it may very well save their lives. Ecstasy is a slang name for the drug MDMA and has effects that are similar to stimulants. Ecstasy is a dangerous drug whose popularity among young people is only growing. Among other reported ecstasy dangers are the risks of potentially fatal heatstroke, extremely reduced inhibition which can place users in dangerous or physically risky situations, and permanent brain damage. While many online resources and some individuals claim the danger from ecstasy is overstated, federal officials disagree. This is why ecstasy has been banned from sale in the United States since 1988, except under the aegis of certain rigidly controlled and monitored medical studies and experiments.

What does Ecstasy do?

Ecstasy, or MDMA as it is known in scientific circles, is often classed with amphetamines because it functions as a powerful stimulant. Among its other effects, ecstasy causes the brain to release large amounts of an endorphin known as serotonin. Among its other effects are a sense of heightened well-being and a heightened perception of colors, sounds, and textures. Serotonin is toxic in large amounts in the human body, and one of the reasons heatstroke is commonly associated with ecstasy is because the body is attempting to literally burn the serotonin and the ecstasy out of the user’s system. This is often compounded by heavily active dancing such as might occur at a “rave” or other forms of physical exertion.

Because of Ecstasy’s neuroactive properties, it causes many users to feel relaxed or sexually aroused. Many cases of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases have been linked to ecstasy and other drug and alcohol use due to the lowered inhibitions and focus on physical sensations ecstasy causes. Ecstasy users are not in full control of their mental faculties, increasing the likelihood of having unprotected intercourse. According to the March of Dimes, there is evidence that ecstasy may contribute to congenital heart defects and skeletal disorders such as clubfoot, primary in females. However, these studies have been small and the findings are not conclusive at this time.

Ecstasy is known under a variety of slang and street names. Some of these include:

  • Skittles
  • Smartees
  • Vitamin E or X
  • X or E
  • Disco Biscuits
  • Happy Pills
  • Molly
  • Doves
  • Hug Drug
  • Love Drug
  • Candy
  • Dove

These names may sound innocuous, but they are all talking about the same dangerous drug. There is also a form of ecstasy that is becoming quite popular that goes by the street name molly. Molly is a pure form of ecstasy that is usually in a powder or capsule form, but is still just as dangerous as the other form.

It is important to let your children know about these street names, in case they are ever used by their peers to refer to ecstasy.

How To Talk To Kids About Ecstasy

The first step in teaching children about ecstasy is to know the facts yourself. This makes answering the inevitable questions your children will have about this drug easier. Because there are so many dangers of ecstasy use, it is hard to overstate them. One obvious approach is to reinforce the danger of accepting anything from strangers, particularly pills. Ecstasy commonly comes in pill form, in a number of colors which resemble candy, which makes younger people especially vulnerable to being given ecstasy without realizing it. Another is to ensure you know who your children’s friends are, where they hang out, and what they are doing.

Starting the conversation is the hardest part. Don’t act accusatory or angry, but concerned. You can use an opening such as “I heard a troubling news story about ecstasy use at your school” or “I hear they’re having a big dance party at one of your friend’s house.” These are good lead-ins because they approach the subject indirectly. Since school and parties are the venues where children are most likely to be exposed to ecstasy, these are the places to consider first. After you find a way to get on the subject, let them know about the drugs that they may be exposed to at a party or in other situations. Do not just end with ecstasy. Some children begin using drugs like alcohol or marijuana, and this leads to them making other reckless choices, such as choosing to abuse ecstasy.

Take Time to Educate Your Children

Many parents and guardians think their child would never use a drug, especially one with such a bad reputation as ecstasy; however, this is far from the reality. Ecstasy is showing up at parties and clubs, and becoming more and more available for the younger generations. When children see their peers using drugs like ecstasy, they perceive it at harmless. Also, if the child’s first impression of drugs is via their peers or other outside sources, it can distort their whole perception in regards to the negativity surrounding drug use in general. As a loved one, it is essential to take the time to be the first source of information your child gets about drugs.

Do your child a favor and take the time to talk to them about the dangers and risks associated with using ecstasy. While it may be uncomfortable, teaching your children about ecstasy and its dangers may be one of the best gifts you ever give them. Take the time to educate your children about drugs, before they learn about them from another source that could potentially be negative. As a parent, you cannot be there to make sure their every choice is the best one for their success and health, but you can give them the information they need to make the smartest choice.

Do not let your child be another sad statistic, be a resource for them to learn about drugs and a resource for them to go to if they have a drug abuse problem.

Sources

  1. March of Dimes: Ecstasy, Metahmphetamine and other amphetamines
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens: MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)

Flesch-Reading-Ease-Score: 49

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