Ecstasy is a collective term for so-called designer drugs from the Methamphetamine and/or Amphetamine group of active substances, abr. "XTC drugs", whereby MDMA is the prefered active substance, followed by Amphetamine and MDE as mono preparations, more rarely than in combination preparations, usually in form of tablets with characteristic stamping offered (see pictures).
Recently also PMA emerges as active substance, which represents a not calculable risk by potential overdosing.
Ecstasy is taken by young persons because of its drive-increasing and tendency-lifting effect as "party drug" in order to be able to be longer times active , e.g. dancing whole nights long. Special dangers exist acutely in overheating the body (the body temperature can rise over 40 degrees Celsius), convulsions, heart stop or liver and kidney failure by dehydrogenation, with chronic use in a damage of the nerve and brain cells and thus causing long-term, partially irreversible concentration and memory disturbances.
The American neurologist G. Ricaurte (John Hopkins university, Baltimore) referred to in the magazine Science a further possible danger already with unique Ecstasy consumption in higher doses. Apart from the loss of the cells, which supply the brain with Serotonin, stimulated by Ecstasy, nerve cells could die, which produce the messenger material Dopamine.