AKA: E, pills, doves, smarties

  • Pure ecstasy is called MDMA and is a formPhotograph of ecstacy of amphetamine. Usually it is not sold as pure powder but as a tablet made up of MDMA and speed or any other chalky white substance.
  • People build up tolerance to ecstasy so they end up taking more and more of it, which increases the health risks.

Why do people take it?
What class is it?
How does it affect the heart?
What are the other effects on the body?


What are illegal drugs?

Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Different drugs affect you in different ways and include different risks. Here you can find out more about them.

Class A, B or C?

The British government separate the different kinds of illegal drugs into three different categories. These classes (A, B and C) carry different levels of penalty for possession and dealing. Drugs classified ‘A’ have the strongest penalties, drugs classified ‘C’ have the lowest.

(These classes have nothing to do with how strong or dangerous a drug is – some class ‘C’ drugs can kill you.)

To find out more about the fines and prison sentences you can get for carrying drugs, go to talktofrank



Why do people take it?

E's give you a buzzy, happy, energetic feeling. They make you want to dance and chat.

What class is it?


How does it affect the heart?

  • The main risk to the heart is arrhythmia. There is also a risk of stroke because an ecstasy tablet is often made by mixing the MDMA with speed, it can come with all the risks of speed too.

What are the other effects on the body?

  • People that take ecstasy can suffer from depression, panic attacks, memory loss and paranoia – paranoia is where you get totally panicky and think that people are out to get you.
  • People who take ecstasy can suffer from psychosis – this is when you lose touch with reality and become very mentally unwell, needing urgent psychiatric help.
  • People have also died from drinking too much fluid while they are on ecstasy because when they overheat they can drink too much water. Their chemical balance then becomes disturbed and they can go into a coma and die. If you take ecstasy you can also become dehydrated by drinking too little fluid. It's suggested that you can reduce risk by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.


Useful links

Talk to Frank:  

0800 776600
24 hours a day, every day.

Textphone for people with hearing difficulties

0800 9178765


0845 4500 215

help and legal advice line
(open 11am-1pm for drug or legal advice. 2-4pm drugs advice only)




Talk to Frank
(drugs information service)

0800 776600

(drugs information service)

0845 4500 215

'Cocaine and the Heart'
New England Journal of Medicine 2003
Vol 348:487-488
Kloner.R, Rezkalla.S

Cocaine Abuse: Repolarisation Abnormalities and Ventricular Arrhythmias. The American Journal of Medical Science 2000
Vol 320 (1)
Gamouras.G et al