According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information research paper, Ecstasy, also known as molly or MDMA, is believed to be the third most commonly used illicit drug, following marijuana and amphetamines. Ahead of cocaine, Ecstasy has an estimated consumption of over 28 million tablets yearly.
Popular and dangerous among club and party goers this illicit drug has contributed to a hazardous but increasingly reported practice where alcohol and ecstasy are mixed. Whether the individual makes this decision consciously or not, the two drugs mixed together can be the last choice one ever makes, as the effect on the body can be deadly.
The interaction of ecstasy and alcohol on the brain can create a false sense of alertness and well being which is the negative impact of the drug combination on decision-making and physical response times. This false sense of alertness also makes it difficult for others to assess how intoxicated someone is. These factors can lead to further consumption of drugs and alcohol and a delay in getting medical help, which can increase susceptibility to alcohol poisoning or overdose.
Ecstasy has a variety of side effects, but one of the most serious is the rise in body temperature. This causes dehydration in users, and in extreme cases can contribute to heat stroke.
Alcohol, however, is a diuretic, causing drinkers to urinate more frequently, which further dehydrates the body. In some cases of combined alcohol and ecstasy, neural compartment dehydration occurs, which is the body’s attempts to hydrate the dehydrated nerves by using fluid from the brain cells. This significantly impairs the brain’s ability to function, which can lead to heart and respiratory failure, or coma.
Ecstasy can also cause urinary retention, which when paired with the diuretic effect of alcohol can send serious mixed messages to the body. Essentially, the body overproduces urine, which in turn it hampers its process of elimination of urine. This can lead to urea poisoning, which can result in significant ill effects on the kidneys and bladder.
In addition, the combined effects of Ecstasy and alcohol on the nervous system can lead to an irregular heartbeat, called arrhythmia, which can disrupt blood circulation and cause significant organ damage.