MDMA (Ecstasy)

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) was first synthesized and patented by the German pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912. Contrary to common claims, it was not developed as an appetite suppressant, nor was it used or tested on humans for decades. Its resurgence in the 1980s is widely credited to the late psychopharmacologist and psychedelic researcher Alexander Shulgin, who recognized its potential for use in psychotherapy and introduced it to psychologists specifically for that use. From there, it initially spread to the rave culture and club scene in the Pacific Northwest and Texas and became popularized as a recreational “club drug” because of its stimulant effects and its ability to repress inhibitions and induce feelings of empathy, openness, and connection to others. As the youth rave culture expanded to ...

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