Party Drug: MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)

What is MDMA/Ecstasy

Common or street names: Adam, Beans, Clarity, Disco Biscuit, E, Eve, Go, Hug Drug, Lover’s Speed, Molly, Peace, STP, X, and XTC

Ecstasy or MDMA, methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is also commonly called Molly. It is a synthetic (lab made), psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.

What are the effects of Ecstasy/MDMA

Effects of MDMA are on neurons in the brain which use the chemicals  to communicate with other neurons. MDMA increases the activity of three brain chemicals:

  • Dopamine—produces increased energy/activity and acts in the reward system to reinforce behaviors
  • Norepinephrine—increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are particularly risky for people with heart and blood vessel problems
  • Serotonin—affects mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. It also triggers hormones that affect sexual arousal and trust. The release of large amounts of serotonin likely causes the emotional closeness, elevated mood, and empathy felt by those who use MDMA.

So Adolescents and young adults use it to reduce inhibitions and to promote feeling of euphoria, closeness, empathy, and sexuality. Ecstasy can also produce psychedelic effects, similar to the hallucinogens mescaline and LSD.

Ecstasy was first popular in the nightclub scene or at all-night dance parties known as “raves”, and at concerts or festivals, but is used by others, too.

How is MDMA/Ecstasy used?

  • Ecstasy in a tablet or capsule form is taken orally or crushed and snorted. It is also available as a powder and snorted, added to a liquid, and occasionally smoked but rarely injected. The drug’s effects generally last from 3 to 6 hours.
  • Ecstasy dealers consistently use brand names, bright colors and logos as marketing tools and to distinguish their product. Among the more popular logos are butterflies, lightning bolts, and four-leaf clovers.
  • Several tablets may be taken at one time or in succession over a period of time. Abusers may also use in conjunction with other psychoactive drugs like LSD. As with many other “party drugs”, ecstasy is rarely used alone. It is common for users to mix it with alcohol and marijuana.

How does it affect the persons health

Physical Effects:

  • In high doses, ecstasy interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. On rare but unpredictable occasions, Dehydration is possible and can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure, and death.
  • Because it can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short intervals.
  • Users face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension or cramps, involuntary teeth clenching, tremors, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

Psychological Effects:

  • Psychological effects can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur during and for days or weeks after taking ecstasy.


  • Research in animals links ecstasy exposure to long-term damage in neurons that are involved in mood, thinking, and judgment. A study in nonhuman primates showed that exposure to the compound for only 4 days caused damage to serotonin nerve terminals that was evident 6 to 7 years later.
  • While similar neurotoxicity has not been definitively shown in humans, the wealth of animal research on damaging properties suggests that the chemical is not a safe drug for human consumption.

Hidden Risks and Contaminants:

  • Other drugs chemically similar to ecstasy, such as MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine, the parent drug of ecstasy) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine, associated with fatalities in the U.S. and Australia) are sometimes sold as ecstasy. These drugs can be neurotoxic or create additional health risks to the user.
  • Ecstasy tablets may be further contaminated with other substances in addition to MDMA, such as: ketamine (an anesthetic used mostly by veterinarians that also has PCP-like effects), cathinones (for example: “bath salts“), caffeine, cocainefentanyl and methamphetamine (“speed”).
  • While the use of this agent by itself or with one or more of these drugs may be inherently dangerous, users might also unknowingly combine them with substances such as marijuana and alcohol, putting themselves at further physical risk.

Can I get addicted to Ecstasy?

A survey of young adult and adolescent users found that 43% met the accepted diagnostic criteria for dependence, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response), and 34% met the criteria for drug abuse.

Chronic users of ecstasy perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with ecstasy, among other factors. Research indicates heavy ecstasy use may cause persistent memory problems in humans, although studies are conflicting.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of MDMA/Ecstasy

Almost 60% of people who use ecstasy report withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • depressed feelings
  • trouble concentrating

Over the course of the week following moderate use of the drug, a person may experience:

  • irritability
  • impulsiveness and aggression
  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • anxiety
  • memory and attention problems
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased interest in and pleasure from sex
  • Side effects occurred with all doses, and included: anxiety, headache, fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), and suicidal thoughts.

How to stop using if one is addicted

More often than not, addiction comes with complicating factors such as depression, anxiety or trauma, also known as co-occurring disorders. With such complex conditions, destination therapy with the best rehabs in India is the most effective approach to care and integrates treatment for addiction and mental health so that both issues are addressed at the same time. With ZorbaWellness – Best rehabilitation centre in India, services are provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists and other mental health professionals and may include individual or group therapy, family therapy, diagnostic assessments or medication management. The type and frequency of care is determined by your initial and ongoing assessments. Zorbawellness drug and alcohol rehabs in Mumbai and Pune is the drug rehabilitation center to go to.

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