Also Called: 
MDMA, E, X, XTC, Molly, Mandy

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy (also known by its chemical name, MDMA) is an illegal, man-made party drug. People take ecstasy at raves, clubs and parties because it can give you a rush of energy and a feeling of happiness and confidence.  It can also heighten your sense of touch, make you feel turned on, and give you loving feelings for the people around you.

In its pill form, ecstasy is often mixed with other drugs like speed, caffeine and meth. Sometimes pills sold as ecstasy don’t even contain the main active ingredient—MDMA. This illegal substance is created in illegal labs— so it’s very difficult to know what you’re getting.  

MDMA is usually sold as powder and often doesn’t contain as many of the other ingredients.

MDMA has become more widely used than ecstasy in rave culture and often goes by the name “Molly.”

There are serious risks to using this drug.

Effects of Ecstasy

Ecstasy usually kicks in within half an hour to an hour of taking it, and the high lasts between four and six hours, but sometimes up to eight.

The peak happens somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours after taking it. You might feel like your body is much lighter, your sense of touch may be heightened. You might feel intensely happy, very awake, deeply relaxed, open, confident and very social. You might also feel paranoid and afraid of losing control of your body and thoughts.

After the peak, some of the drug’s effects may level out, but many of the same feelings and experiences can keep going for another few hours. You might feel thirsty, and you won’t need to pee. You won’t feel tired even though you may have been up for hours.

When the drug is leaving your system, you may feel very tired, sore, depressed, anxious, paranoid, and irritable and you might have a hard time falling asleep. The comedown will be more intense if you have taken other drugs, including alcohol.

Problems using Ecstasy

With ecstasy, you never know exactly what you are getting. Some people have died from taking a different drug called PMA being sold as ecstasy. People who take PMA thinking they are taking two ecstasy pills could actually be taking an extremely dangerous dose of PMA.

If you take ecstasy or MDMA in a warm place, like a dance party or club, it’s really easy to get dehydrated, especially if you are drinking alcohol. But it can also be dangerous to drink too much water while you’re on ecstasy because of what it does to your body. If you drink too much water, your body’s salt balance can get thrown off. It’s safest to sip about two glasses of water, or another non-alcoholic drink, for every hour you are on the drug.

Because it’s easy to lose track of time on ecstasy, you might not realize that you are very tired and need to rest, especially if you are dancing at a nightclub or a rave. Your body could heat up to levels that could cause your organs to fail, or breakdown and eventually your heart could stop. This is called hyperthermia.

In the days after taking ecstasy, many people feel a strong hangover type of depression that can last for days. You might feel really tired, antisocial and slow and get upset easily. You might also feel dizzy or lightheaded and have diarrhea or constipation. Many people also don’t feel like eating anything.

The risks of taking ecstasy are worse if you have heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, liver problems, hypertension, panic attacks or any sort of mental illness.

Over the long-term, you may find it harder to learn new things and to remember. You will also be more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, sleep problems, or even a total loss of touch with reality (psychosis). Taking ecstasy is hard on your body and is likely to cause organ damage long-term. Kidney failure and heart disease can be linked back to using this drug. 

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