Author: Alex Thompson

Ecstasy MDMA: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use

side effects of taking ecstasy

This synthetic drug affects the brain by increasing the activity of three or more neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). According to the review, there has been some evidence to suggest that MDMA may be beneficial for conditions like anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, several studies included in the review found that MDMA was able to produce long lasting reductions in severe PTSD symptoms. Even though MDMA doesn’t necessarily have addictive properties like some other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, there’s still the potential for substance misuse. And chronic, heavy use of MDMA may even have long-term effects — especially on serotonin in the brain.

side effects of taking ecstasy

This type of intervention helps change how people think and behave in order to support addiction recovery. CBT also teaches people coping skills so people can better manage the stress that contributes to substance use. Ecstasy overdose symptoms can include faintness, panic attacks or extreme anxiety, high blood pressure, and seizures.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is designated as Schedule I substance by the DEA. MDMA was initially developed in 1912 as a pharmaceutical compound that could be used in the preparation of other pharmaceuticals, and it was patented in 1914. But once the drug’s hallucinogenic properties were discovered, further development was stopped for several decades. Another significant danger is the fact that people who take ecstasy don’t really know what they are actually ingesting. It is important to note, however, that this research is still in the early stages.

Can You Get Addicted to Ecstasy?

More research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of medical MDMA. The medical use of MDMA is highly regulated and only administered by healthcare professionals in regulated settings.

The immediate impact of ecstasy begins within about 45 minutes of taking a dose. People typically experience an increased sense of well-being and emotional warmth. Other effects include feeling greater empathy toward others and enhanced sensory perception. Ecstasy, also commonly known by its slang name “molly,” is a synthetic drug known primarily for its hallucinogenic and stimulant effects.

What are the Long-Term Effects & Risks of Ecstacy?

In nearly 25% of the samples, the researchers were unable to identify what was actually in the tablets. Ecstasy was classified as a Schedule I drug in 1985, which means that the substance has a high potential for abuse and is not approved by law to treat medical conditions. However, in some cases, you may continue to feel the side effects of molly the day after you take it. The symptoms may persist for up to a week or more, especially if MDMA is mixed with other drugs such as marijuana. Health experts will need to see a significant amount of research on the benefits and risks of MDMA use for health conditions before it could become a treatment option.

When people buy recreational MDMA, they often believe that they’re buying the drug in its pure form. One thing to note, however, is that many of the studies included in this review were animal studies, not human studies. So, we can’t necessarily apply these results to humans without doing more research first. In human studies, researchers found that MDMA use could cause changes in verbal, visual, and short-term memory, reasoning, and recognition. Chronic MDMA use may even occasionally cause conditions like psychosis ― though other psychiatric conditions arising from using MDMA are rare. Before and during your time on ecstasy, drink one 16-ounce bottle of water for every hour that passes while on the drug.

This will stop you from getting dehydrated and possibly fainting or feeling lightheaded. People with heart problems can be at risk when using ecstasy and especially when taken in high doses. For street use, ecstasy is made illegally in labs with many ingredients, including isosafrole, amphetamine, and caffeine. Note that if a drug is sold as “ecstasy,” it still may not have any MDMA at all.

  1. According to the review, both animal and human studies found that MDMA can negatively affect the serotonergic systems in the brain.
  2. Reports also suggest that people who use ecstasy exhibit such symptoms as well as other markers of addiction including tolerance, drug cravings, and withdrawal.
  3. Chronic MDMA use may even occasionally cause conditions like psychosis ― though other psychiatric conditions arising from using MDMA are rare.
  4. If you notice your loved one showing the warning signs of a stimulant use disorder, advise them to find a treatment program.
  5. Just like other substances of use, ecstasy use induces a state of euphoria.

Overall, research on the effects of chronic MDMA use is limited, and more studies in humans are needed to determine the long-term effects of this drug. A later review found that MDMA may also affect other areas of the brain outside of the serotonergic systems, such as the dopaminergic and GABAergic systems. Like serotonin, the neurotransmitters dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) also play a role in mood, pleasure, and more. An early study published in 2000 explored the literature on long-term cognitive effects of recreational ecstasy use. Below, we’ll explore what the research says about the long-term effects of chronic MDMA use, both recreationally and medically. Reaching out for help from friends and family can be a great way to gain support.

In the 1980s, MDMA became fashionable as a party drug in the nightclub and rave scene and its use grew among college students, “yuppies,” and in the gay community. Ecstasy was one of several drugs tested in a military context decades after. It was then re-synthesized, first by Gordon Alles, then by Alexander Shulgin, who tested it on himself, his wife, and his friends. The main psychedelic effects of MDMA can last for an average of 3 hours.

What is MDMA (Molly/Ecstacy)?

Addictive ingredients are used to make ecstasy, causing you to crave more. As the effects begin to fade, people often take another dose of ecstasy to double the time it lasts. Ecstasy is an illegal substance typically made in a laboratory. A large observational study from 2022 found that MDMA use was connected to a lower risk of depression, and they advise further study to see if this is a true association. However, side effects and intensity may vary with larger doses. Heavy MDMA use has been shown to cause long-term effects on serotonin production, but researchers are trying to learn if long-term positive benefits exist as well.

Effects of Regular MDMA Use

If you do use it, take precautions to avoid any accidents such as an overdose. Elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine also play a role in a drug being addictive due to an increase in impulsivity. People have reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms like fatigue and loss of concentration.

It’s known to impart feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. Just like other drugs that affect sensory perception, ecstasy can be addictive. Symptoms of ecstasy use are similar to that of other stimulants. While there are no specific treatments for ecstasy addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective option.