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NIDA. (2001, July 19). Scientific Conference Focuses on Ecstasy (MDMA). Retrieved from

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International Experts Meet to Discuss the Latest Research and Emerging Trends

July 19, 2001

Scientists from around the world are meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, July 19 and 20, to discuss the latest research about the drug Ecstasy (MDMA--methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and its diverse effects on the brain and behavior.

"A number of the world's best monitoring mechanisms are detecting alarming increases in the popularity of Ecstasy among teens and young adults worldwide," said Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the NIH component that funds more than 85 percent of the world's research about the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. "The latest research shows that Ecstasy, despite its name, is not a harmless 'party' drug. In the short term, Ecstasy can cause dramatic changes in heart rate and blood pressure, dehydration, and a potentially life-threatening increase in body temperature. In the longer term, research shows that Ecstasy can cause lasting changes in the brain's chemical systems that control mood and memory. This conference provides us with an important opportunity to examine the latest scientific findings on Ecstasy and identify areas requiring additional research."

The conference will focus on Ecstasy-induced risk behaviors, long-term behavioral consequences, cardiovascular and brain toxicology, drug interactions, patterns of abuse, perceptions of risk, and implications for prevention and treatment research.