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Ecstasy : The Complete Guide : A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA Paperback – August 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0892818570 ISBN-10: 0892818573 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892818573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892818570
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Holland, an attending psychiatrist at New York's Bellevue Hospital and an authority on street drugs, here compiles articles from numerous experts on Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (also known as MDMA, Adam, and Ecstasy). She succeeds admirably in her twofold goal of providing complete, reliable information to recreational users and educating the public about potential clinical uses for the drug. MDMA was used as an adjunct to psychotherapy for over a decade until the Drug Enforcement Administration classified it as a Schedule I drug in 1985. It then went underground and is today increasingly popular as a party drug. After looking at MDMA's history, pharmacology, and legal status, the text discusses its potential clinical uses in the treatment of such psychiatric conditions as depression, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress syndrome. Various chapters also address MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, current international research, and political issues. Finally, risks of recreational use and ways to mitigate them are discussed. Well researched yet written in very understandable language, this volume makes a strong case for studying and legalizing MDMA for therapeutic purposes, without minimizing the potential dangers of abuse. An important contribution to the literature on illegal drugs; highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. Eris Weaver, Redwood Health Lib., Petaluma, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"MDMA is a unique compound with great potential for positive use. This is the most complete book about it, with much information to help people realize that potential as well as reduce any possible harm." (Andrew Weil, M.D., author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing)

"Ecstasy: The Complete Guide offers a thoroughly engaging, multifaceted look at a very controversial substance. Well done." (Spalding Gray, actor, performer, and author of Morning, Noon, and Night and Impossible Vacation)

"This is the best contemporary overview of MDMA, one which simultaneously succeeds for popular and scientific audiences. Encyclopedic in its scope, it is at the same time most readable." (Lester Grinspoon, M.D., professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School and author of Marijuana: The Forb)

". . . this volume makes a strong case for studying and legalizing MDMA for therapeutic purposes, without minimizing the potential dangers of abuse. An important contribution to the literature on illegal drugs." (Eris Weaver, Library Journal, September 15, 2001)

"In an important addition to the literature, a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital who is an expert on street drugs has gathered papers from numerous experts that discuss hazards of the drug and ways to mitigate them." (Library Journal, May 1, 2002)

"A comprehensive tome, this book offers something for nearly anyone interested in substance use and abuse, regardless of their perspective. Overall, a good addition to a comprehensive collection on psychoactive drugs that appear to have both therapeutic and abuse potentials." (T.D. DeLapp, Choice, May 2002)

"The most thorough book about MDMA around, with contributions from a host of physicians, chemists and research scientists. A marvelous, original book undertaken with great care and with a precise scientific appreciation of what chemicals can do when used under the proper conditions and by the proper, sympathetic professionals." (The Book Reader, Spring/Summer 2002)

"It's heartening to read such a thorough and balanced book." (Jon Hanna, High Times, February 2002 v)

"The audience that the author is targeting is mostly those in the expert medical field and even users of MDMA/Ecstasy. She states that she doesn't encourage people to use it, but would rather promote its use for mental and physical safety. She feels as if it should be used as a prescription medicine. However, for those that are recreational users, she wants to inform them of the danger from the drug Ecstasy sold in clubs and raves where the buyer doesn't know what is truly being ingested." (Mercede's Blog, Feb 2009)

More About the Author

Julie Holland, M.D., is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology. An assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, she spent her weekends running the psychiatric emergency room at Bellevue Hospital for nine years. She is the editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide-A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA. She lectures widely and has been quoted in Time, Harper's, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Holland has appeared as a medical expert regarding mental illness and drug use on numerous television shows, including Today and Good Morning America. She runs a private practice in New York City and lives with her husband and two children in the Hudson Valley.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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1 star protests really *!?!
Mouldy carrots
I don't think I would ever look at the emergency Psych ward the same, and know how much the people working there care, work, love, and are human like the rest of us.
James A. Price
Possible risks of MDMA use as well as the possible benefits are discussed in detail.
"ashpaykher"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "ashpaykher" on January 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent.
It is very well written and can be easily read by lay persons as well as being a great source of information for health professionals (researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists,and all MDs.)
All of the important people in the field of MDMA research and history (Sasha and Ann Shulgin, Rick Doblin, among others) are either interviewed or have written chapters in the book.
The book is very informative and gives the extreme potential of this unique chemical. It is written by one of the most respected experts on MDMA.
This book is as objective as can be. Possible risks of MDMA use as well as the possible benefits are discussed in detail.
It is a must read for anyone interested in the topic of MDMA/ecstasy.
All royalties from the sale of this book will go toward funding clinical MDMA research.
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76 of 86 people found the following review helpful By rhynchosaur on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
 One should start by putting things in perspective. The following background is necessary not only for all studies of psychoactive drugs, but for all studies of human behavior.

 There were about 400,000 USA deaths due to tobacco, 100,000 each to alcohol and prescription drugs and about 7600 to aspirin and other OTC painkillers. Worldwide we can expect that the figures will be about 10 million for tobacco, 2.5 million each for others and about 200,000 for aspirin and OTC painkillers. There may be 1 million people in the world with fetal alcohol syndrome(severe brain damage due to maternal drinking) and it is the leading cause of mental retardation in most countries.  There are also at least 15 million people who have fetal alcohol effect(lesser degrees of brain damage) with about 200,000 born every year. I suspect this is a gross underestimate.

 None of the psychedelics nor cannabis are known to produce fetal injury when taken in normal amounts.  All things considered, if you calculated the lifetime risks of death or injury from taking ecstasy, it is probably comparable to that of driving ten km and significantly less than that of putting on a pair of skis.

In addition, the young people who comprise the vast majority of the users are heavy risk takers, a very percentage of whom have personality disorders.  There are about 60 million schizophrenics and the same number of manic depressives in the world.  When you add the depressives, schizotypal disorders, anorexics, alcoholics etc it is clear that perhaps a billion people have major mental problems, nearly half of all those are in the prime drug taking ages. In addition nearly all of us have periodic mood swings, medical problems and personal crises.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is by far the best info/guide on MDMA. Julie Holland does an amazing job with going in-depth analysis over MDMA. I have heard others bashing her and saying that this book promotes MDMA use.. it does not. It simply states what it is all about and it actually lists everything that you could ever want to know about this popular drug. I sincerely hope that every MDMA user will read this book before getting into this.
Thanks Julie!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mouldy carrots on January 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I agree with the other user who put a 5 star rating to counter the blatant "I'm giving this 1 star (twice) because it doesn't absolutely condemn everyone who even thinks about using drugs" review. If, as other readers' comments imply, this includes some positive stuff about E then so be it. It's to be expected - I have used it a few times (not before some serious and surprising research into getting all the benefits at the lowest cost) and will use it again. I'd therefore encourage anyone interested in the topic to read up on it online or through books like these that are written by real experts rather than Government sources whose only interests are in scaremongering and getting people to use more destructive but legal drugs like booze and cigs in order to rake in as much tax as possible. No I have not read this particular book but in reading other reviews you can tell who is talking crap and who has approached the topic with an open mind. 1 star protests really *!?! me off. <rant over>
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr. Holland does a very solid job of editing this compendum of essays, studies and overviews of MDMA. I have not read another review that feels that this book is poorly written yet it receives 1 star ratings b/c it somehow doesn't demonize the use of ecstasy enough? Let's get real. Dr. Holland is in no way an advocate for the unregulated use of ecstasy but rather makes a very compelling argument that it should be studied in greater detail, including "gasp" possible clinical trials for treating certain psychiatric conditions. Let's not forget that the most popular illegal drug today, maurijuana, was only made illegal after intense pressure put on the FDR administration by the paper and tobacco lobbies. Despite the fact that hemp has none of the drugs pyschoactive ingredients and could be used to make paper at a lower cost and more environmentally friendly means than wood pulp it remains illegal in this country today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. calvi on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains so much interesting information about the recreational drug MDMA (ecstasy). It is very easy to read and many sections are in interview format. There are sections that are heavy on the chemical and neurotoxicity of the drug, but the author does a great job making it comprehensible to the average layman like myself. I believe this is a very unbiased look at the benefits of this drug and its clinical psychiatric use. It may be the prozac for the new millenia!
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