MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) – colloquially known as ecstasy, often abbreviated as "E" or "X" – is an entactogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamineclass of drugs.
MDMA can induce euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others, and diminished anxiety. Many studies, particularly in the fields of psychology and cognitive therapy, have suggested that MDMA has therapeutic benefits and facilitates therapy sessions in certain individuals, a practice for which it had formally been used in the past. Clinical trials are now testing the therapeutic potential of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety associated with terminal cancer.
MDMA is criminalized in most countries under a United Nations (UN) agreement, and its possession, manufacture, or sale may result in criminal prosecution, although some limited exceptions exist for scientific and medical research. MDMA is one of the most widely usedrecreational drugs in the world and is taken in a variety of contexts far removed from its roots in psychotherapeutic settings. It is commonly associated with dance parties (or "raves") andelectronic dance music.
Regulatory authorities in several locations around the world have approved scientific studies administering MDMA to humans to examine its therapeutic potential and its effects.