Chemical composition: Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, while ecstasy is a synthetic drug chemically similar to amphetamines and hallucinogens.
Mechanism of action: Cocaine acts as a stimulant, blocking the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, while ecstasy increases serotonin release and inhibits its reuptake.
Onset of effects: Cocaine produces fast-acting effects that can be felt in seconds or minutes, while ecstasy takes longer to work and can take up to an hour to produce its full effects.
Duration of effects: The effects of cocaine generally last from 30 minutes to an hour, while the effects of ecstasy can last for several hours.
Physical effects: Cocaine can cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as dilated pupils and reduced appetite. Ecstasy can cause similar effects, as well as dehydration, jaw clenching and heightened sensitivity to touch.
Psychological effects: Cocaine can induce feelings of euphoria, confidence and energy, as well as anxiety, paranoia and restlessness. Ecstasy can produce similar effects, as well as feelings of empathy, openness and emotional warmth.
Dependence potential: Cocaine is highly addictive and dependence-prone, while ecstasy's addictive potential is less clear.
Risk of overdose: an overdose of cocaine can cause heart attack, stroke and respiratory failure, while an overdose of ecstasy can cause convulsions, hyperthermia and organ failure.
Drug testing: Cocaine can be detected in urine, blood and hair samples for several days or weeks after consumption, while ecstasy can be detected in urine up to four days after consumption.
Legal status: Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high abuse potential, but can also be used for legitimate medical purposes. Ecstasy is a Schedule I drug, which means it has no recognized medical use and a high potential for abuse.