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An Exploration of the History of the Controversies Surrounding MDMA and MDA (2001)

An Exploration of the History of the Controversies Surrounding MDMA and MDA (2001)

  1. Jatelka
    Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2001 Jul-Sep;33(3):213-21.

    An exploration of the history and controversies surrounding MDMA and MDA

    Pentney AR.

    Department of Pharmacology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


    In existence for nearly a century, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") have gained quite a reputation. Perceived by some as dangerous neurotoxins, and by others as potential psychotherapeutics, these compounds have become a center of controversy among academics and law enforcement officials, and in the process have gained extensive media exposure. The classification of these drugs as illicit, controlled substances in the United States has not prevented their use, and MDMA, or Ecstasy, is currently one of the most popular substances used recreationally in North America. The scheduling of MDMA and MDA has, however, led to the distribution of contaminated, or falsely represented, Ecstasy tablets, and prevented responsible research into the detrimental and therapeutic effects of these drugs. A look at the history of these compounds suggests that they have the potential to be used safely as psychotherapeutic tools, and that the legal status of MDMA and MDA may be worth reconsidering.

    [re-uploaded 23rd January 2011]