Nearly half a million people are believed to take the Class A drug ecstasy every year in Britain and the country was dubbed the 'drug-taking capital of Europe' in a recent EU Drugs Agency report.
Now, in a UK television first starting TONIGHT on Channel 4, two live programmes will follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study.
Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen, the programmes aim to cut through the emotional debate surrounding the issue and accurately inform the public about the effects and potential risks of MDMA.
The six-month long neuroscience study - designed by two of the world's leading experts on MDMA, psychopharmacologists Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London and Professor Val Curran of University College London - is using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how MDMA affects the resting brain in healthy volunteers for the first time.
The first programme unravels the mysteries of MDMA, revealing how the drug affects the brain.
Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London will reveal the results of the scientific trial and the programme follows some of the volunteers - who include actor Keith Allen, novelist Lionel Shriver, a vicar, a former MP and an ex-soldier - through the trial.
The programme also looks at the potential side-effects and dangers of taking MDMA and includes a discussion with an expert who disagrees with the study and is sceptical about its purpose.
Take part in the anonymous survey before the show - show starts at 10pm BST Channel 4.
Channel 4 website, 26th September 2012.
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