Ecstasy is the most common club drug - it often makes you want to dance and hug your mates. It can have very different effects on different people though and there's also what's known as the 'comedown' to deal with the next day. Get clued-up about ecstasy here...
What is it?
E is the most common club drug. It comes as capsules or tablets of all different shapes, sizes and colours. Often they have a symbol embossed on them. Occasionally it comes as a white powder.
Ecstasy is the name given to a drug called MDMA. It is part of a group of related drugs that include MDEA, MDA and MBDB. They are all sold as E, but MDMA is the most common. Although they vary slightly, all are speedy and psychedelic.
How does it make you feel?
E usually comes on about an hour after you've taken it. It makes you feel energised, chatty and confident. The world seems to sparkle and colours look vivid. You'll want to dance and you'll love everyone.
But at its worst E can give you a really bad time. It has different effects on different people. Don't take E if you don't feel comfortable and safe with the crowd you're in. It can make you anxious, frightened and paranoid.
The effects of E usually peak at 2-3 hours and start to wear off after 4-5.
The day after an E night, you will probably feel flat, washed out and tired. Some people get a low that lasts several days.
What are the health effects?
There is no way of knowing what is actually in a tab of E. Clearly it is safest not to use at all. But, if you do go ahead, take half or a quarter of a tab at first to check for any bad reactions you may have. This way, you will get an idea of how strong it is as well. Too much E can give you full-blown hallucinations, which can be very scary.
There are quite a few E test kits around on the internet. They are meant to tell you the purity of the tabs. But, be careful, they are not at all reliable.
Dancing the night away in hot clubs will make you very dehydrated. You need to drink plenty of soft drinks. It is tempting to drink too much. Try not to drink more than about a pint every hour.
Long term use can cause you all sorts of health problems, from depression to heart disease, to liver and kidney damage. If you find yourself in a cycle of clubbing then feeling crap all week until the next club-night - it is time to cut down or stop.
E is an illegal class A drug. The maximum penalty for possession is 7 years in prison. For supply it's life in prison. You can get an unlimited fine for both.