MDMA (AKA Ecstasy or Molly) is a synthetic drug (human-made) that acts as a hallucinogen and a stimulant (like methamphetamine). It produces an energizing effect, distortions in time and perception, and enhanced enjoyment from sensory experiences. It has also been described as an entactogen – a drug that can increase self-awareness and empathy. Additionally, MDMA is a Schedule I drug which means that the U.S. Government has determined that it has no medical benefit and a high potential for abuse.
Most people who use MDMA take it in a pill, tablet, or capsule, which is also referred to as Ecstasy. The pills can be different colors and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. When people take more than one pill at a time, it is known as “bumping”. “Molly” (slang for molecular) refers to the pure crystalline powder form of MDMA, which is usually sold in capsules. But this is mostly a marketing gimmick as testing on "Molly" seized by police shows a variety of other ingredients.
In fact, researchers and law enforcement have found that much of the Ecstasy sold today contains other harmful and possibly deadly drugs. In some recent cases, drugs sold as MDMA actually contain no MDMA at all. Frequently, MDMA is mixed with or replaced by synthetic cathinones, the chemicals in “bath salts". Some MDMA pills, tablets, and capsules have also been found to contain caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine.
When taken as a tablet or capsule, a person begins feeling the effects of MDMA approximately 45 minutes after ingesting the drug. On average, the effects of MDMA lasts three hours, though side effects could be experienced days later. Those who use MDMA may experience the following: enhanced sense of well-being, increased extroversion, emotional warmth, empathy towards others, and enhanced sensory perception. Unfortunately, due to the empathy-generating and sensual effects of MDMA, this drug is linked to sexual assault and is used as a ’date rape’ drug (Jansen, Theron). Furthermore, because of its stimulant properties, MDMA is often associated with vigorous physical activity for extended periods of time. Use of MDMA in warm environments, with periods of vigorous, extended physical activity, can dramatically increase body temperature (hyperthermia). Hyperthermia leads to kidney failure and/or fatal swelling of the brain, especially if the user is dehydrated.
Other adverse side-effects include: involuntary jaw clenching, lack of appetite, mild detachment from oneself, illogical or disorganized thoughts, restlessness, nausea, hot flashes or chills, headaches, sweating, muscle or joint stiffness, and significant reductions in perceiving and predicting motion.
MDMA/Ecstasy/Molly is becoming more popular among youth in Montana. Talk to your children about the dangers of MDMA today.
NIDA. 2020, October 7. MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly). Retrieved from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly
Teens Health. 2018, May 2018. MDMA (Ecstasy). Retrieved from: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/ecstasy.html?fbclid=IwAR2Fcugue_eMIFQ3btI_lRHxFjlRix1Wdr6Gf4d6QvzRGAy5k75o1MrggfY
Jansen KL, Theron L. Ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine, and date rape (drug-facilitated sexual assault): a consideration of the issues. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2006 Mar;38(1):1-12. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2006.10399822. PMID: 16681170.