MDMA (3,4 - methylenedioxymethamphetamine) in ecstasy tablets.

Pilatluck Srisawas, Prapatsorn Tipparat, Chaipat Thitacharee,
Kanyarat Chonlasit and Jalernsri Khounvong
Drug section, Regional Medical Sciences Center Chiangmai.

     Ecstasy is the most popular of the illicit "club drugs," primarily synthetic, that are commonly encountered at nightclubs and raves. The abuse of ecstasy is found to have been worsening in Thailand over the past decade. The drug has gained popularity primarily due to the false perception that produces profoundly positive feelings, empathy for others and elimination of anxiety. The main active ingredient in ecstasy tablets is MDMA, a psychoactive drug possessing stimulant and mild hallucinogenic properties. The objective of this study was to determine the quantity of MDMA in ecstasy tablets seized in Chiangmai from October 1997 to September 2001. Variations in tablets, such as color, size and logos, were also investigated. Among 29 samples, the MDMA contents ranged from 1.64 to 190.24 mg/tablet. Diameter, thickness and weight of tablets ranged from 0.80-0.85 cm, 0.35-0.55 cm and 0.2501 - 0.3455 gm, respectively. Color and logos were highly varied. Other stimulants, such as methamphetamine, amphetamine and caffeine, were present in some samples.

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