Ecstasy: History notes

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 2:09 pm

Ecstasy was created accidentally by a German pharmaceutical company in 1912 and was patented in 1914. Some reports state its intended use as an appetite suppressant, although such reports appear unfounded. Ecstasy was used in the 1950s in experiments being performed by the United States Army, which considered using the drug as a truth serum in psychological warfare. A decade later ecstasy use became recreational, as people used the drug to feel good and open their minds while some psychotherapists recommended it to their patients as “penicillin for the soul” to aid therapy. It was not until recreational use began that the drug MDMA, now know as ecstasy, got its name from the Greek ekstasis, meaning “flight of soul from body.” Recreational use continued within certain subcultures of the population, and as it became apparent that availability was more widespread, the Drug Enforcement Agency made ecstasy illegal by placing it in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In 1985 ecstasy was placed in Schedule I on an emergency basis, meaning without any hearings on the topic. After hearing evidence for and against scheduling ecstasy, it was declared to be permanently on Schedule I in 1988. All ecstasy use since that time is therefore illegal in the United States.

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