Street names: Pills, Es, XTC, Doves, Adam, Burgers, Disco Biscuits, MDMA Crystals, M & Ms

Similar drugs: Cocaine, Amphetamine, Mephedrone.

Drug type: Stimulant/Hallucinogen.

Is ecstasy illegal?

Legal status: Ecstasy is a class A drug. You could go to prison for seven years for possessing it and get life for dealing it, plus receive a hefty fine.

What is it? Ecstasy is a man-made drug that you usually take as a tablet. Tablets vary greatly in their size, colour and logo markings.

What are the effects of MDMA/Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is related to amphetamine, and has similar effects.

How it can make you feel: You'll feel a high at first, then a period of feeling more energetic while at the same time feeling calmer. You might feel more empathetic towards people, feel like you can talk to them more easily and appreciate your surroundings more.

The effects of Ecstasy & MDMA are an increase in your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. It will also make your pupils dilate and your jaw tighten. It will dry your mouth and throat. You could feel sick and lose your appetite.

When you 'come down', you can feel tired and emotionally drained, needing sleep to recover.

The risks: Some people have bad experiences on ecstasy, feeling panicked, anxious and confused. The drug can also cause overheating and dehydration, especially if it's used with alcohol. You could have an accident if you're disorientated.

Many drugs that are sold as ecstasy may be a totally different drug, such as ketamine, which pose even more risks.

What are the long term effects of MDMA?

MDMA/Ecstasy is a relatively new drug, so its long-term risks aren't clear yet. Some recent concerns however include brain damage, liver and kidney problems. The drug can also disturb your sleep patterns and weaken your immune system.

Ecstasy image courtesy of Talk to Frank, Crown Copyright.