Herbal Ecstasy

Know the facts about herbal ecstasy and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some brand names?
Herbal Ecstasy, Cloud 9, Rave Energy, Ultimate Xphoria

What is it?
Herbal Ecstasy is a term used to describe a combination of herbs that are legal, inexpensive, and marketed as a “natural high.” Herbal Ecstasy can be purchased over the counter in drug stores, music stores, and shops around the country. The key ingredient is ephedrine.

What does it look like?
Herbal Ecstasy is sold as pills in colorful packaging.

How is it used?
It is swallowed, snorted, or smoked.

What do young people hear about it?
The packaging on these products promises “increased energy,” “inner visions,” “sexual sensations,” and “cosmic consciousness.”

What are the risks?
Ephedrine (the key ingredient in Herbal Ecstasy) stimulates the cardiovascular and central nervous system. It may cause harmful reactions in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. People with vulnerabilities to ephedrine can suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and seizures when taking the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra (ephedrine alkaloids) due to concerns over their cardiovascular effects, including increased blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. The final rule became effective on April 12, 2004. The rule does not pertain to drugs that contain chemically synthesized ephedrine, or to traditional Chinese herbal remedies and herbal teas.

What are signs of use?

  • Heart attack, stroke or seizure in people vulnerable to ephedrine
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

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