When you think about ecstasy (MDMA) you are likely to conjure up pictures of the 90’s rave scene, thumping beats and people gurning so much they look scary. MDMA, however, is well and truly back on the scene, with UK usage reaching an all-time high (pardon the pun).
This year’s European Drug Report has shown a higher prevalence of MDMA usage. The report suggests that availability and marketing may be to blame.
The European Monitoring Centre For Drugs And Drug Addiction said: “High-dose powders, crystals, and tablets with a range of logos, colours, and shapes are available, with evidence of production to order and the use of sophisticated and targeted marketing.”
This does seem contradictory, given the fact that since the surge of ecstasy in the 90’s, MDMA pills are almost always designed with some kind of logo, be it Bart Simpson or Superman.
According to recent news sources, the most recent survey data indicates that 2.1 million of 15-34 year-olds have taken MDMA in the past year; the amount is up 300,000 from the previous year, 2015.
Of the 12 countries assessed in the report, 9 were found to have an increased use of ecstasy, with 3.5% of 15-34year-olds in the UK saying they took the drug in the last year, thus making Great Britain one of the highest. The data showed the greatest surge being in the Netherlands, followed by the Czech Republic.
This news comes out just as scientists discover the use of MDMA is likely to result in poorer cognitive function. In a test involving 20 people who had dabbled, and 20 participants who hadn’t, it was no surprise that the 20 risk-takers had ‘increased neuronal activation in the prefrontal cortex compared to non-users’.
Basically, they had to push their brains further, in order to finish the same tasks as the others. On the upside, the results indicated that if you abstain, the effects could eventually be reversible.