A new study by the National Institutes of Health found that rats were more likely to overdose on MDMA in hot environments and crowded social settings.
The investigation was conducted by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Intramural Research Program, and will be published in the journal Neuroscience. It suggests that mammals lose their ability to naturally cool off on the drug.
MDMA, the chemical abbreviation for the street drug Ecstasy or Molly, is known to cause an increase in body temperature when taken in high doses. This gets dangerous when the body gets so overheated that it shuts down. When taken in moderate doses it is supposed to be less risky, but researchers have recently discovered otherwise.
Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of NIDA, stated, “We know that high doses of MDMA can sharply increase body temperature to potentially lead to organ failure or even death.” She continued, “However, this current study opens the possibility that even moderate doses could be deadly in certain conditions.”
Rats were given a moderate dose of MDMA for their size, and monitored for body temperature. Rats on a low to moderate dose of Ecstasy lost some of their ability to cool themselves through blood vessel dilation. When another rat was introduced to the cage, or if the room temperature increased from another factor, some of the rats died MDMA-related deaths. The introduction of MDMA into their system seems to have been instrumental in their inability to eliminate excessive heat.
Dr. Eugene Kiyatkin, first author of the new study, explained, “These results demonstrate that the use of MDMA in certain warm, social settings could be more dangerous than commonly believed.” He went on, “Even with moderate doses, we saw drug-induced, fatal brain hyperthermia during conditions of social interaction and in warm environments.”
The concern here is that humans are more likely to die from the side effects of ingesting MDMA, especially in social settings. Even a moderate dose of Ecstasy could cause the body to lose its natural ability to shed excessive heat, especially if you’re up in the club.
How to Avoid MDMA Overdose
- The best way to avoid overdose is not to ingest any MDMA.
- Stay hydrated, but don’t drink more than two gallons.
- Don’t combine MDMA with dehydrating substances like alcohol.
- Try to avoid strenuous activities that could overheat the body.
- Remain in a cool, dimly lit environment with cushions and soft music.
If you or someone you care about needs help with MDMA drug abuse, we can help find out what services are available on our toll-free helpline at 1-800-928-9139.
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