Ecstasy/MDMA

Ecstasy (AKA MDMA, MDA, MDE, Adam, Molly, E, X, Rolls, Beans)


What it is:

An illegal recreational psychoactive drug, usually taken in the form of a tablet. Standard doses range from 60-120mg; higher doses carry increased risk of overdose or death.

What it does: 

  • Produces warm feelings of empathy and euphoria
  • Enhances or distorts sensory perception
  • Increases alertness and energy
  • Increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
  • Decreases appetite
  • Effects are felt 30-45 minutes after dose, peak 60-90 minutes after dose and hold for approximately 2 hours, then taper and disappear 4-6 hours after dose   

The risks:

  • Jitteriness, teeth-clenching, dry mouth, muscle cramping, nausea
  • Increased body temperature can lead to dehydration, muscle breakdown, or kidney failure that can be fatal. Exacerbated by hot environments with physical activity, such as raves or concerts.
  • Over-hydrating in response to high body temperature can lead to headache, nausea, vomiting, seizure, and brain-swelling, and can be fatal
  • Heart attack, stroke, or seizure
  • Psychological consequences after use may include depression, irritability, aggression, panic attacks, paranoia, and impaired memory
  • Possible permanent damage to dopamine or serotonin neurons in the brain
  • Ecstasy purchased on the street is frequently impure and may be laced with cocaine, heroin, PCP, or toxic chemicals

Effects of combining ecstasy with other drugs:

  • Alcohol:
    • Stimulant effects of ecstasy may mask sedative symptoms of alcohol intoxication, blocking the body's signals that too much alcohol has been consumed. This increases likelihood of alcohol overdose.
    • Alcohol exacerbates the dehydrating effects of ecstasy
  • Opiates (Oxycontin, Vicodin, heroin, etc.)
    • Similarly to alcohol, the sedative effects of opiates can be masked by the stimulant effects of ecstasy, making it more difficult to recognize symptoms of overdose
  • Amphetamines or Stimulants (ADHD medications or cocaine):
    • Highly increased risk of overdose
  • Marijuana:
    • May lead to cognitive decline, specifically memory impairment

Frequently Asked Questions

I heard that MDMA is pure and therefore less risky than Ecstasy. Is that true?MDMA and Ecstasy are one and the same. Nothing you buy on the street can be assumed to be what you hoped you were buying, and it most definitely is not "pure."