What is Molly (MDMA)?

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Molly, MDMA, Ecstasy, or X, all nicknames for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a mood- and perception-altering synthetic illicit drug. 

Molly is chemically similar to hallucinogenic and stimulant drugs. All of these drugs produce an energy boost and feelings of pleasure and distorted perception.

Molly is best known as a “rave” or “club” drug. It was originally used primarily by young people wanting to stay up all night dancing and partying. 

Molly

The drug’s popularity has increased over the years. Today, MDMA and ecstasy use occurs among people from all walks of life and in a variety of circumstances.

How Long Does Molly Stay in Your System?

Like all drugs, Molly remains in your system after its initial effects wear off. Drug testing methods and detection times vary. For example:

Urine

Molly is detectable in urine tests for up to three days after ingestion. It takes about an hour or two for the drug to appear in urine after taking it.

Hair

Traces of molly remain in your hair for the longest amount of time after using the drug. Hair testing can detect the presence of the drug for up to three months after ingestion. 

It reaches hair follicles via the bloodstream and vessels that feed hair follicles. How long the drug remains in the hair is based on how fast a person’s hair grows, which is usually about 1 cm per month. 

Blood

Blood tests can detect traces of molly in a user’s system for up to two days after ingestion. After ingestion, it takes only 15 to 30 minutes to detect the presence of the drug using a blood test.

Saliva

The detection window when testing saliva samples is up to two days after ingestion. Saliva tests are the quickest way to detect the presence of molly because the drug is taken orally. It’s usually evident in saliva within 15 minutes and peaks in concentration within one to three hours after ingestion.

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Factors That Affect How Long Molly Stays in Your System

A variety of factors affects how long moly remains in your system. These factors include:

  • Size of dosage
  • Combining molly with other drugs or alcohol
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Liver and kidney health

How Long Does it Take for Molly to Work? 

Molly is a relatively fast-acting drug. Once ingested, it begins working within about 30 minutes. It reaches its peak within an hour or two. 

Within this time, people taking molly experience:

  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Feelings of openness and wanting to socialize
  • Increased sensory perception
  • Sexual arousal
  • Wakefulness
  • Muscle tension
  • Teeth grinding
  • Restlessness
  • Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of focus

Long-term use of molly leads to:

  • Memory impairment
  • Decision-making issues
  • Panic attacks
  • Lack of self-control
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Neurological lesions
  • Circulatory problems

How Long Does it Take for Molly to Wear Off? 

Although traces of the drug remain in the system for up to three months, its noticeable effects wear off much sooner. The drug’s effects peak about two hours after ingestion. After that, you’ll notice the effects of the drug gradually decreasing.

It takes about eight hours for half of the drug to clear your system. By this point, most of the effects have worn off. By 40 hours after use, at least 95 percent of the drug has left your system and you’ll feel no effects from the dose.

What is the Drug’s Half-Life?

Molly’s half-life is approximately 8 hours. At this time, half of the drug has left your system. It takes about 40 hours for the vast majority of the drug to leave your system

How Long is Molly Detectable in a Drug Test?

Molly is a drug that leaves the body fairly quickly. However, traces of the drug remain for several months based on what area of the body is drug tested. For example:

  • Blood: Up to 12 hours
  • Saliva: 1 to 3 days
  • Urine: 1 to 3 days
  • Hair: Up to 3 months

Keep in mind, these timeframes are only estimates. People’s bodies process drugs at different rates. Your body might reveal traces of the drug for longer than these estimates.

How to Get Molly Out of Your System 

There’s no way to metabolize molly faster. It must naturally make its way through and out of a person’s system according to how fast their liver breaks the drug down.  

You might feel better drinking a lot of water or by exercising after using molly, but not because you are clearing your body of the drug faster. 

Exercising might exacerbate dehydration, put your heart at risk, or lead to consuming too much water, which leads to hyponatremia or water toxicity.

Symptoms of Molly Addiction

Molly is most often used by young people, but anyone can develop an addiction to molly. 

Molly activates neurotransmitters in the brain that are the same as those triggered when taking other addictive drugs.

One of the most concerning effects of MDMA is the risk of developing a tolerance to the drug. This means you must take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effects. 

Signs of molly addiction include:

  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Neglecting responsibilities and obligations to use the drug
  • Taking a higher dose of the drug than intended
  • Spending increasing amounts of time recovering from use of the drug
  • Neglecting important relationships in favor of relationships with those who also use molly
  • Breaking the law or betraying the trust of loved ones to get money to buy the drug

Molly withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Focus problems
  • Fatigue

Over time, people addicted to molly experience:

  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Problems with reasoning and attention
  • Learning problems
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Chronic confusion and disorientation

Treatment Options for Molly Addiction 

Short-term users might be able to go “cold turkey” and get sober from Molly without professional healthcare assistance. However, anyone who has developed an addiction is better off working with addiction professionals or at least seeking medical advice regarding treatment.

People addicted to Molly have treatment options when they are ready to get sober. It’s best to begin any treatment program with a medically supervised detox to better manage withdrawal symptoms. 

The best treatment options offer customized options that suit the individual patient. In addition to being motivated to get clean, people must also receive support for any co-occurring conditions. 

Even if there is no diagnosed disorder, Molly users need to understand their motivation for their MDMA use. In treatment, they can learn new coping skills and understand how to manage triggers that cause their ecstasy use. 

Treatment can be on an inpatient or outpatient basis and include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group and/or family therapy
  • Medical assessment and care
  • Vocational, social, and legal support

People addicted to molly are often young, so family counseling is one of the most important factors in successful treatment. Visiting a treatment center helps the person deal with their substance use. It also helps teach their family how to support their loved one and make recovery and sober living easier. 

The best treatment programs for substance use offer:

  • Structured routine and environment without temptation
  • Support and guidance to help patients develop a healthy lifestyle, including information about nutrition and physical fitness
  • Education regarding the negative aspects of drug use
  • Peer support from other recovering molly-addicted individuals
  • Guidance from mental health professionals
  • Alternatives to a social environment away from people involved in drug use

Find Help For Your Addiction

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Resources +

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).” Drugabuse.gov, 31 Dec. 2017, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).” National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/mdma-ecstasymolly.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Club Drugs.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/club-drugs.

“Club Drugs.” Medlineplus.gov, National Library of Medicine, 2019, https://medlineplus.gov/clubdrugs.html.

“Word of the Day: Psychoactive Drugs.” Archives.drugabuse.gov, https://archives.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/word-day-psychoactive-drugs.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Hallucinogens.” Drugabuse.gov, 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.

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