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Ecstasy Leads to Brain Damage

More studies show negative, lasting side-effects of club drug

The drug ecstasy messes up your memory and can damage your brain, according to recent studies. That's true with even a single use, experts say. And, in some cases, the damage can last for years.

According to an article in The Detroit News, the studies were presented at a National Institute of Drug Abuse conference. The use of ecstasy has grown significantly since 1995, when a few hundred thousand pills were seized by drug agents. Last year, more than 11 million pills were confiscated.

One study from England showed that users of the popular club drug had memory problems that lasted for about 2½ years after they stopped taking it. Users of ecstasy were compared to users of marijuana and alcohol and those who took ecstasy had more memory impairment. Another study, by the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state, showed that users had decreased blood flow to their brains two weeks after taking a low dose of the drug.

"While we do know a lot about (ecstasy), there's still a lot we don't know," says Glen Hanson, chief of the institute's neuroscience research division. "In a way, we are conducting this huge experiment on hundreds of thousands of kids who are taking the drug at parties and thinking everything's OK, yet we don't know what the end result will be. That's very scary."

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ecstasy can cause other problems as well, including a sharp increase in body temperature that can lead to muscle breakdown, kidney failure and cardiovascular system failure. To find out more, you can read this information from the NIDA. To find out how taking ecstasy can affect your ability to have feelings of well-being and happiness, you can read this article from Scientific American.

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