Facts About MDMA, Ecstasy, or "Molly"

ecstasy pills

MDMA is the medical name for Ecstasy.  It often called X, E, XTC, Adam, Eve, Clarity, LoveDrug, Lover’s Speed, Molly, or Mandy

MDMA is a synthetic mind-altering drug that acts as both a stimulant and a hallucinogenic. 

It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and sensory distortions.

MDMA is taken orally, usually as a pill, capsule, tablet, or powder.  Pills can come in many colors and are typically stamped with an image.  The effect of the drug usually lasts 4-6 hours.

What happens to your body when you take MDMA?

MDMA causes your brain to increase the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  These are three chemicals in your brain that typically affect your mood, emotions, and feelings of pleasure and happiness.  After taking MDMA the brain will release a large, unnatural amount of these chemicals causing the individual to feel a sense of euphoria or enhanced pleasure.  While the drug is being processed in your body (3-6 hours) the brain is releasing large quantities of these chemicals and depleting itself, essentially leaving you in a diminished state.  The aftereffects of taking MDMA can be very negative.  In the days following feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, paranoia,  fatigue, and difficulty sleeping are very common.  It can take the brain several days for your brain to adjust and return back to its normal state of functioning.

Possible short-term effects of taking MDMA:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased perspiration and sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Pupil dilation and blurred vision
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tension, feeling rigid, tremors, and involuntary teeth clenching

What's really in MDMA?

MDMA is illegal. That means there is no regulation on how the drug is produced, or what is really being added to the drug.  It is typically manufactured in clandestine labs by criminal drug dealers, not by chemists in sterile lab facilities.   In some cases, a single dose of MDMA has several unbeknownst additives including: aspirin, caffeine, ephedra, talcum powder, glucose, ketamine, DXM (cough syrup).  The actual drug MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine) is  put into the drug, but it cannot be pressed into a pill or capsule form unless additives are included.

Some believe that taking “Molly” nicknamed for molecular MDMA is a more pure way of getting the mind altering chemicals without all the unknown additives. In some cases this may be true since “Molly” is thought to be a more pure form of MDMA.  It is typically sold in the form of powder or crystals. Despite this belief, there is really no telling what is mixed in with the drug, no matter what form it comes in. Drug dealers typically make more money when they dilute drugs with cheaper undetected additives. You will never know for sure what exactly you are taking. 

MDMA and the Law

In the United States, MDMA in any form is a Schedule I illicit drug with no accepted medical use or benefit. This makes it illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute. If you are caught with any amount of the drug you will be arrested for Felony Possession of an Illegal substance.   


National Institute of Drug Abuse