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Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that produces intense euphoric feelings and moderate hallucinations. Ecstasy is the best-known “rave” or “party” drug.

Understanding Ecstasy

Ecstasy, or “E,” the common name for MDMA (MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine), is a synthetic drug known for its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects that produce extremely elevated feelings and sensations. Created in 1912 by a pharmaceutical company, it was originally used in psychotherapy in the 1960s. Later on, the drug was used in couples therapy. When the 1970s and 1980s rolled around, many became aware of its intense rush, creating a high illicit demand for the drug, which eventually led to it being banned. Ecstasy is now illegal, but it is very commonly used among college students and young adults at clubs and raves.

Being high on Ecstasy is referred to as “rolling” because the sensations the drug causes come in “waves.” It takes about an hour for the drug to kick in, and once it does, the drug will intensify quickly and stay at this state for hours, making it seem like there is no end, just like a snowball effect.

Molly is a very common form of MDMA. The difference between Ecstasy and Molly is that Ecstasy is bound into a pill where Molly is a powder that is put into an empty capsule or liquid, known as “Molly water.”

Ecstasy is frequently combined with other chemicals such as Ketamine, PCP, and MDA, meaning any pill may have a questionable makeup. Color largely determines the purity of the drug, along with the imprint, or “branding” on the surface.

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The Effects

Common effects of Ecstasy while it is active in the body include:

  • Heightened senses
  • Euphoria
  • Confusion
  • Unreal feelings
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Light-headed
  • Chills
  • Extreme relaxation
  • Blurred vision, especially regarding lights
  • Strong desire to touch others
  • Loss of personal inhibitions
  • Jaw-clenching
  • Sweating

As Ecstasy produces euphoric feelings, it simultaneously creates profoundly abnormal functioning within the brain. This leads to a fierce crash within the body after the drug has worn off. Its ability to produce these desirable euphoric effects is due to its capability of producing an overabundance of serotonin within the brain. Serotonin is sometimes called the happy chemical, as it contributes to joy and well-being. As the serotonin enraptures the brain, the brain produces less serotonin to compensate for the excess of the chemical already flooding the body.

As a result, there is a severe “comedown,” or “rebound effect,” once the serotonin that has been released is used up. Comedowns from th can be very uncomfortable and can cause you to feel sick and extremely depressed for days, or even a week. These effects are often the worst 1-2 days after use and use is most common on weekends. Because of this, many users feel the worst on Tuesdays. This has led to the term “Suicide Tuesday,” named after the large number of users who commit suicide on the Tuesday following use.

Ecstasy use causes chemical changes in the brain that increase with more usage. Eventually, the body becomes accustomed to the presence of Ecstasy, and it craves the substance in order to feel “normal.” Eventually, this dependence increases to the point where a full-blown addiction has developed.

Common Names

The most common nicknames for Ecstasy are E or X for obvious reasons. Many try to disguise names when searching around for Ecstasy as to avoid consequences of drug dealing or possession. Other names for Ecstasy include:

  • Adam
  • Bean
  • Cadillac
  • Essence
  • Love drug
  • Roll
  • Scooby Snacks
  • Snowball
  • XTC
  • The vowel

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Mixing Drugs With Ecstasy

Classified as a Schedule 1 drug, Ecstasy has been deemed a drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse. Unfortunately, many people like to mix Ecstasy with other drugs to achieve an even greater high. If alcohol or Cocaine is mixed with the drug, the results can be deadly.

“Candy flipping” (when Ecstasy and LSD are taken together) produces intense visuals and distortions of reality. You could become confused or lost, with an altered perception. You may see things that are not real, leaving risk for potential injury.

“Hippy flipping,” (when Ecstasy and Mushrooms are taken together), involves putting mood-changing drugs into your body, which produces a more intense experience than taking either alone. As the effects start to take control, there is a possibility there will be a loss of reality. In turn, you might feel more intense side effects from the mix of the drugs, such as anxiety.

It is never recommended to mix drugs, as each mixture affects everyone differently and each drug can interact with another drug in several ways. Mixing drugs, especially Ecstasy, can be very toxic to your body and can potentially result in death.

How to Determine If Someone Is on Ecstasy

Ecstasy takes longer than many other drugs to kick in, but it can intensify immediately. There are several ways to determine if someone is on Ecstasy, including:

  1. Checking pupils for abnormally large size
  2. Looking at posture (Someone on Ecstasy can be extremely relaxed and slouched.)
  3. Determining mood (Someone on Ecstasy will be very emotionally happy and want to physically feel their surroundings.)
  4. Look at their jaw (Ecstasy users are inclined to clench down on their teeth and frantically search for gum to help with their urges.)

Side effects of Molly are much the same as Ecstasy, except Molly produces high spurts of energy rather than relaxation.

If you see anyone experiencing these effects, they may be abusing a very harsh drug and should seek help.

Finding Treatment

Coming down from Ecstasy can produce very negative feelings, which can influence the user to take more of the drug. As the user keeps using Ecstasy to avoid the negative side effects, an addiction can quickly develop.

Ecstasy detox is the first step in overcoming an Ecstasy addiction. Many rehabilitation centers specialize in detox, whether it’s in an inpatient or outpatient program.

If you or someone you know needs guidance moving forward on your path towards recovery, contact a treatment provider today.

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Jasmine Bittar

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  • Jasmine is the Digital and Social Content Specialist for Recovery Worldwide. She has a deep passion for writing, especially on topics that educate the audience and encourage action towards a healthy life. She hopes her words inspire those in need of help to take that first step in finding the best treatment for their addiction so they can live the life they deserve.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional

Clinical Reviewer

Deborah Montross Nagel

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