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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
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Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy
    #13661208 - 12/20/10 04:52 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy
December 20, 2010 - Time

Ecstasy (MDMA) is known as the "love drug," because it prompts cuddles, hugs and, often, a sense of deep understanding between people. Methamphetamine, meanwhile, has a much darker reputation for producing paranoid, obsessive and antisocial behavior.

But a new study suggests that — at least in low, oral doses — the effects of methamphetamine may be much more like those of ecstasy than previously believed, increasing sociability and playfulness, and belying its bad name. What's more, the study finds that the empathetic behavior exhibited by ecstasy users may result from a reduced ability to read certain social cues, rather than any enhancement in sharing other people's feelings.

Published in Biological Psychiatry, the research examined the effects of MDMA, methamphetamine and placebo in four sessions with 21 healthy volunteers who were regular ecstasy users but had not previously taken methamphetamine. They reported on their experiences during each session and were also tested on their ability to read emotions in faces and voices in several tasks.

"It's a really cool idea for a study," says Iain McGregor, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Sydney, who was not associated with the research. "It was surprising inasmuch as [the researchers] expected to show quite a big difference between ecstasy and methamphetamine in terms of the warm, huggy, cuddly effect."

Instead, however, says lead author Gillinder Bedi, who conducted the research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, "We found that [methamphetamine] increased sociability and feelings of playfulness." People taking ecstasy did not report any increase in feelings of sociability, but they said they felt more "friendly." They also reported an increase in "loving" feelings, but methamphetamine users did too — just not as much. "It just didn't reach statistical significance," says Bedi. "But it was pretty close."

(Also, since the participants were alone in a lab during the study — and not in a big loved-up rave party — MDMA users also reported feeling lonely.)

The surprisingly benign effects of methamphetamine were probably related to dose and to the fact that it was orally administered in a safe laboratory setting, rather than taken in a less predictable environment. In fact, methamphetamine is available by prescription for use in the treatment of ADHD; when used as prescribed, it rarely produces the effects associated with street use of crystal meth.

"I really want to emphasize this," says Bedi, "The thing with our study and with all research on [these types of drugs] is that it is highly controlled.  No one is suggesting that it's good idea for anyone to go take ecstasy or methamphetamine [on their own] to help anything."

Dose is a key part of drug effects. "If you think about it, alcohol has different effects at different doses," Bedi says, "You may be friendly after a couple of glasses of champagne, but at other end, you might be more likely to get into a fight when you have drunk a lot." She adds, "At low oral doses, we saw a social enhancing effect [of methamphetamine] that doesn't really speak to the effects of drug seen in the way that it's typically abused."

Methamphetamine did not affect users' ability to read emotions in other people's faces or voices, but MDMA did, resulting in its unexpected effect of reducing one aspect of empathy. "We found that the drug actually decreased the capacity to read negative emotion, specifically fear," says Bedi. Reducing the detection of fearful faces might increase "empathetic" behavior — even while reducing the ability to accurately read feelings — by making people more likely to get closer to strangers, rather than maintaining distance because of fear.

"Probably part of what ecstasy does is subtly bias people towards happy faces, removing social anxiety. That all contributes towards increasing prosocial behavior and attraction to others," says McGregor. For someone who may be prone to seeing minor negative signals of fear and anxiety in others and interpreting them as rejection, MDMA would clearly facilitate social closeness if it changed that negative bias into a positive one.

This could be useful in treatments for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, where people have increased sensitivity to fear and rejection, respectively. "If people are less sensitive to subtle signs of negative emotion, for instance, from a therapist, that might allow you to better go into some of difficult [issues] that you didn't want to deal with before," says Bedi.


Related post: MDMA produces friendliness, playfulness, and loving feelings in laboratory setting


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InvisibleSociety
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Registered: 07/03/04
Posts: 14,164
Loc: Flag
Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: veggie]
    #13661305 - 12/20/10 05:15 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Interesting, but not particularly surprising.


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Offlineidunno
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: Society]
    #13661322 - 12/20/10 05:19 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Want the Key is that they were regular MDMA users- Psycadelic amphetamine, verse regular amphetamine- Your body was tricked maybe? Anybody on speed is usually friendly at first- Keep them up for a couple days


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The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic..  Josef Stalin


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Invisibledrr
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Registered: 05/20/09
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: idunno]
    #13661351 - 12/20/10 05:26 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

idunno said:
Want the Key is that they were regular MDMA users- Psycadelic amphetamine, verse regular amphetamine- Your body was tricked maybe? Anybody on speed is usually friendly at first- Keep them up for a couple days



I'd be interested in a comparison between binge users...A group of people up for three days on MDMA vs meth


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InvisibleSociety
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: drr]
    #13661392 - 12/20/10 05:37 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Exactly, this seems to be a study mainly on a single low oral dose.  Binging on both drugs entails horrible consequences in different ways, IMO.


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Offlinecrokms
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: drr]
    #13661475 - 12/20/10 05:57 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

:smile:
Quote:

drr said:
I'd be interested in a comparison between binge users...A group of people up for three days on MDMA vs meth



id like to see that test too.....from the other side of the glass


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Its not always about the harvest
Sometimes, the hunt is just as good
:shroompick:


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InvisibleScudreloaded
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Registered: 03/15/09
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: crokms]
    #13663542 - 12/21/10 01:39 AM (10 years, 4 months ago)

interesting read.would like to see  the effects aswell. though i've tried both in binge situations.
on meth we were really talkative and open to each other. never got angery really. except once we were on the come down. still nice to each other but started becoming frustrated and tense towards each other. edgy is a good term now that i think about it.
whereas with mdma (pressie experience only) after a few days of use we'd feel really close to each other. more so wanting it to end and return to reality. we always already felt to close to one another but it was just as if the bond grew..
on a side note i've often thought the body peaks felt very similar.mdma did generate more of the touchey feely sensations and urges.never had many urges for massages on meth. but when i had the body surges off of either i found them very similar. with mdma generally being not as intense. with meth the body surges got soo heavy a few times i felt like i had had too much or something along those lines.
last time i did meth was in august. before that i had taken a break for 2 years. and i only did it again 2 nights in a row. very open and talkative to everyone i was with. but they were new people and the one guy didnt like that. he thought i talked too much. ended up getting the shit beat outta me...still blows my mind. i'll never take that substance again around complete strangers. the time before that was a very friendly experience where i had been surrounded with friends and was the next day for the come down. where i got really angery for the first time off it.
my pressie use i've never felt i had much of a problem with. ive done it every so often but i usualy have long breaks inbetween. it helps make the experience magical. the last time i wish i had had more but the time before i had too much and had been up for days. live and learn i guess...
oh well..nice read...


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We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. - Hunter S. Thompson

- believe what you may but take the internet with a grain of salt


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Offlinewhitelight7
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: Scudreloaded]
    #13663983 - 12/21/10 04:03 AM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Instead, however, says lead author Gillinder Bedi, who conducted the research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, "We found that [methamphetamine] increased sociability and feelings of playfulness." People taking ecstasy did not report any increase in feelings of sociability, but they said they felt more "friendly." They also reported an increase in "loving" feelings, but methamphetamine users did too — just not as much. "It just didn't reach statistical significance," says Bedi. "But it was pretty close."
Quote:



Wonder what that SS was set at? 5%?  Anyway, it was close, meaning with a higher sample size there very well may have been a SS hit.  Either way, the study deserves a few follow ups and better analyses of the degree to which a feeling is felt.


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OfflineBeanhead
IS IRONIC PARADOX
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: whitelight7]
    #13664009 - 12/21/10 04:12 AM (10 years, 4 months ago)

My first speed experience (levo/dex) was as euphoric as MDMA :shrug: . I always thought that about meth... Just makes sense because it's more serotogenic that regular amphetamine :lol:


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InvisibleSophistic Radiance
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Registered: 07/11/06
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Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: Beanhead]
    #13665539 - 12/21/10 02:17 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

MDMA and meth have more in common than most people around here are willing to admit.

I'd almost be brave enough to say that the differences between ecstasy users and meth users are better explained by culture than pharmacology.

Don't get me wrong, I still think MDMA is better. :rave:


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InvisibleSociety
Mmmm... pizza


Registered: 07/03/04
Posts: 14,164
Loc: Flag
Re: Drug Surprise: Meth Makes You Feel Almost As Cuddly as Ecstasy [Re: Sophistic Radiance]
    #13665553 - 12/21/10 02:20 PM (10 years, 4 months ago)

Culture plays the largest role in how drugs are perceived and used.  People like to believe that drugs "stigmatize themselves" by being good or bad substances.  Hence why so many people seem to almost worship psychedelics.


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