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Ecstasy and Its Effects

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An overview of Ecstasy and its effects
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  David McKernan Psychology 1010 Response Paper 1 Ecstasy and its Effects The article I chose for this response paper has to do with drugs and their mind altering effects on humans. It is evident that these false neurotransmitters can cause serious damage over time, leading to many unwanted and undesired permanent side effects that alter lives. Let’s establish a core purpose for substance abuse. What inclines a person to get high? First of all, altered perceptions of reality are usually what accompany the term of high. Why would a person want to alter their perception on reality? Hard truth has it that bad past experiences can cause depression, which in turn leads to substance abuse. Depression is believed to be caused by the lack of a natural neurotransmitter that occurs within a human called serotonin. As a result of the lack of serotonin, people will turn to a downer, or a drug that slows down time, so to speak, to feel better. Alcohol is the most readily available, with marijuana trailing closely behind. After extending use of these simple downers, people will tend to turn to more potent drugs to get a stringer high as they have become more resistant to the weaker drug. This leads us right into the topic drug, ecstasy. Ecstasy is a psychoactive amphetamine. Psychoactive amphetamines are stimulant based drugs that alter the minds perception of time and reality and cause alterations in mood and behavior. Through the study, ninety five ecstasy users were run through a series of tests including every day memory, reasoning, information processing speed, intelligence, and executive functioning. The results were no surprise to the experimenters. There was a large negative correlation found between prolonged use and loss of intelligence, everyday memory, and restlessness throughout the day. While a positive correlation was found with prolonged use  David McKernan Psychology 1010 Response Paper 1 and ecstasies opposite effects, it was no comparison to the devastating affect it had on the lives of the testis. As far as application in my life, I have seen many friends experiment with lesser drugs and move on to abuse the more serious mind altering drugs like ecstasy. The study goes hand in hand with what I saw and questioned in the lives of my own friends, particularly memory loss and a delayed response time when yielding to comments of humor, sadness, etc. For example, I was attempting to help one of my friends study for an astronomy test one Thursday night back in early 2009. Studying started to get a little frustrating to her as she was dealing with the negative correlated affects of ecstasy listed in the above summary. It wasn’t more than two minutes or so after I cracked a joke that she saw the humor in the joke itself, then, laughed out loud. This happened on more than one occasion throughout the study session, and my curiosity only increased with every passing time frame. By the end of the night, not only was delayed time response an issue, her mood was also among the obvious affects that stood out. She would go from being extremely bubbly, to what seemed like the wicked witch of the west. She could not maintain one personality for more than 5 minutes, and quite frankly, I was starting to get a little worried about her behavior. Since my curiosity had expired into worry, I decided to ask her about her use of mind altering drugs, finding out that she had been an ecstasy abuser for quite a while and had since just recently quit. As far as the experiment is concerned, one of the helpful factors that I believe could have  been added was the use of other mind altering substances. As far as the side effects listed above, surely some must have come from prolonged use of other drugs. Also, could the degree of any of the negative correlated affects be altered by the prolonged use of other drugs? Surely, the research could have been a bit more detailed in taking in account for other drugs. The main point  David McKernan Psychology 1010 Response Paper 1 of the research is clear, however. That ecstasy is not a safe alternative to treat depression with, and should in no case be taken for recreation or self medication as it’s known effects on the human body are extremely bad.
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