Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a common party drug, with over 20 million Americans reporting MDMA use in their lifetime. Read more about the risks of MDMA.
Evidence Based
check icon
We're here to help you or your loved one.
855.217.2693

Jump to topic

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug classified as a stimulant. Its main ingredient is MDMA, scientifically known as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It has amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. Ecstasy typically comes in pills that users swallow, although it can be crushed and snorted as well. It gives the user an intense high and keeps them awake for hours, which is why it’s such a popular party drug.

COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Stop You From Getting Help

Rehab facilities are open and accepting new patients

(855) 217-2693

Ecstasy is illegal in nearly all countries. In the United States, it is classified as a Schedule I drug. This means that it has a high potential for abuse, there is no accepted medical use in treatment, and it is considered dangerous even under medical supervision. No doctors can prescribe any Schedule I drug.

  • MDMA
  • Molly
  • E
  • X
  • Beans
  • Mandy
  • Adam
  • MD
  • Lovedrug
  • Dizzle
  • Xtc
  • Superman
  • Rolexs
  • Mitsubishis
  • Dolphins
Venn diagram icon

Ecstasy vs. Molly

Molly is a name used to describe pure MDMA, whereas ecstasy is a combination of MDMA and other substances such as methamphetamine, caffeine, opiates, or painkillers. Molly can come in capsules, tablets, or powder, but ecstasy is almost always a pill form.

Because MDMA is illegal, it is very difficult to determine the purity level or added ingredients in molly and ecstasy pills. Pure molly is very difficult for users to obtain; it is nearly always a mixture of substances.

Icon of a dizzy person

Ecstasy Effects

Ecstasy triggers the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in your brain. This floods the user’s mind and body with intense feelings of happiness, feeling social, increased empathy, and the inability to sleep. This is why it’s so popular as a party drug.

The ecstasy high typically lasts three to eight hours, although many users “re-dose,” or consume more of the drug to draw out its euphoric effects.

Icon of pill with warning sign

Risks of Ecstasy

There are many risks involved in taking ecstasy. Since the drug is illegal, it’s virtually impossible to know the strength of a dose. This increases the chance of overdose.

Ecstasy pills often are contaminated with other substances, increasing the dangers of adverse reactions to drug mixtures. Besides the dangers of taking bad pills, there are several risks involved in the use of MDMA.

Ecstasy Abuse

Over seven percent of the US population above the age of 12 has tried MDMA or ecstasy, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is over 20 million people.

Ecstasy Side Effects

Since the user’s brain overproduces serotonin and other neurotransmitters, their body also works to destroy more serotonin than usual. At the end of the high, the body is left with little to no serotonin to bind to your receptors and make you feel “good” or “normal.”

This type of severe hangover is commonly referred to as the “comedown.” It causes users to experience negative moods, spouts of depression, irritability, and intense fatigue. In addition to the comedown, ecstasy users may experience a variety of adverse health effects.

Short-term side effects of ecstasy include:

  • Confusion
  • Teeth clenching
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Overheating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating

Long-term side effects of ecstasy include:

  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Addiction and withdrawal

Overdose

Since the strength and mixture of substances are difficult to determine, ecstasy users are at a higher risk of overdose compared to many other drugs. An ecstasy overdose is characterized by:

  • Hyperthermia (dangerous overheating of the body)
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Panic attacks
  • Liver, kidney, or heart failure
  • Death

Pill bottle and skull

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

Though research is inconclusive, the consensus is that ecstasy is habit-forming. In experiments, animals will self-administer MDMA, often an indicator that the substance is addictive. Also, many users report withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug.

Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating

Addiction Symptoms

The main symptom of an addiction is a pattern of use, which leads to physical, mental, or social problems. Here are some common signs of substance addictions:

  • Changes in friends and social circles
  • Sudden difficulty in meeting work, school, family, or social responsibilities
  • Reluctance to attend social events without the drug
  • Lying or secretive behavior
  • Financial or legal difficulties
  • Inability to quit even though the substance causes serious problems
Icon of health center building

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Currently, there is no medical treatment available for ecstasy addiction. However, behavioral therapy has shown to have positive effects. This is a part of many types of treatment programs including:

Find Help For Your Addiction

You don’t have to overcome your addiction alone. Professional guidance and support is available. Begin a life of recovery by reaching out to a specialist today.

CALL NOW

(855) 217-2693

Resources

NIDA. "MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)." National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/mdma-ecstasymolly

NIDA. "MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 6 Jun. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly.

calendar icon
Updated on: June 24, 2020
Author
Michael Bayba
About
calendar icon
Medically Reviewed
AnnaMarie Picture
Annamarie Coy,
BA, CADACII/ICADC, ICPR, MATS
About
addiction group logo
WE'RE HERE TO HELP

Find Treatment Today

Are you struggling with substance abuse? You aren’t alone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about addiction and treatment:
What is the difference between physical dependence and addiction?How effective is addiction treatment?How long is addiction rehab?
Depending on your unique situation, there are many addiction treatment options available. Compare the most effective types of treatment options here:
Inpatient RehabPartial Hospitalization ProgramsOutpatient Rehab
addiction group logo white text green logo
All unique content created by the Addiction Group team is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert before publication. However, the information provided by Addiction Group is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. Read more in out About Us.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

© 2020 by TREATMENT PATHWAY, LLC. All right reserved.