Record MDMA User Took "40,000 Ecstasy Tablets"
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A man from the UK has been identified as the world record-setting user of ecstasy, having consumed up to 25 tablets a day—and 40,000 tablets total over nine years. Thirty-seven year-old "Mr. A" now suffers short-term memory loss, seven years after stopping use of the drug, and experts say his case may serve as an example of the long-term effects of heavy MDMA use. “This is probably an extreme case so we should not blow any observations out of proportion,” says Dr. Christos Kouimtsidis, the doctor in charge of treating and documenting Mr A's case at a London hospital. “But if this is what is happening to very heavy users, it might be an indication that daily use of ecstasy over a long period of time can lead to irreversible memory problems and other cognitive defects.” Mr A used ecstasy (the street name for MDMA) every day between ages 21 and 30, starting off at two tablets every weekend and topping off at 25 a day for the last two years. After “collapsing” three times at parties, he quit the drug entirely. His initial withdrawal period led to "several episodes of 'tunnel vision,'” says Kouimstidis, “He eventually developed severe panic attacks, recurrent anxiety, depression, muscle rigidity (particularly at the neck and jaw levels).” Today, Mr A reportedly often forgets things like time of day, or items he has already loaded in his grocery cart, causing him to repeat actions multiple times. Although initial brain scans show no physical changes or damage in the brain, Kouimtsdis says the scans are not sensitive enough to detect the drug's lasting impact. A study from last year suggested even short-term use of the drug may cause memory loss.