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The effects of any drug (including ecstasy) can vary from person to person. Because ecstasy is commonly taken prior to, or during, dance or ‘rave’ parties, the stimulant effects are likely to increase. Hence, the person taking the drug may be more prone to prolonged and vigorous dancing, further exacerbating some of the dangers listed below.
People having any of the following conditions put themselves at greater risk of physical and psychological harm by taking ecstasy: hypertension; heart disease; diabetes; liver problems; epilepsy; and a history of mental illness or panic attacks.
The effects of ecstasy usually begin within 20 minutes of taking the drug, and may last up to 6 hours. Some people have reported symptoms persisting for 32 hours after using ecstasy.
There are usually three phases:
- coming up: where the effects can be smooth and bumpy, and users may feel a rush;
- plateau: where the user may feel good, happy, relaxed; and
- coming down: where the user may feel physically exhausted, depressed, irritable.
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