New scientific research suggests that MDMA is significantly more dangerous for women than men.
Women are two to three times more likely to seek emergency medical treatment after taking MDMA than men, according to this year's Global Drugs Survey. The independently researched report also found that the number of club-going British women seeking emergency medical treatment after taking MDMA has gone up 400% in the last three years.
Women are more susceptible to the drug's negative effects regardless of body weight. Asked for an explanation of this phenomenon in a video interview with The Guardian, GDS founder Dr. Adam Winstock said that the difference could have to do with hormones.
Ecstasy makes the body retain water, which can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, and cause brain damage when cells expand with excess water. While cells have pumps to help reduce this kind of swelling, estrogen inhibits their efficient functioning, which puts women or people with high estrogen levels at higher risk of suffering from hyponatremia.
Health issues such as dehydration or overheating can also arise when too much MDMA hits the brain at once. It is for this reason that organizations such as UK not-for-profit The Loop advocate drug testing as part of a harm reduction-focused approached to drug safety; in September, they issued a public warning about the strength orange "Tesla" pills.
Earlier this year, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction released a report revealing that European ecstasy is stronger than ever.
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