MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Molly) is a synthetic drug that induces both stimulating and hallucinogenic effects. Use typically results in increased energy, perceptional distortions, and heightened sensory experiences. It is commonly known by names including Ecstasy, E, and others depending on its form. For example, Molly often comes in a powdered crystalline form that can also be placed into capsules. In contrast, ecstasy often comes as a colorful pill.
Is Molly Addictive?
Researchers have yet to determine if MDMA is chemically addictive, and if so, to what level. However, we know that MDMA affects several of the same neurochemicals in the brain that are a target for other highly addictive drugs, including serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine (adrenaline).
For example, studies have shown that animals will self-administer MDMA—a critical sign of the drug’s potential for addiction. Of note, however, the rate of self-administration appears to be less than certain other addictive drugs, such as cocaine.
Indeed, some people who use MDMA have reported tell-tale symptoms of addiction, including continued use despite adverse consequences, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings.
Can You Smoke or Snort Molly?
In its powdered form, Molly, MDMA can be smoked or snorted, unlike the pill form of ecstasy. It can be laced into other drugs as well, among the most popular being marijuana and tobacco. Molly can also be combined with far more potent drugs, however, such as cocaine and heroin.
There are additional risks associated with smoking or snorting MDMA. Either delivery method will likely produce a faster, more intense high and result in increased side effects. When taken intranasally (via snorting) for a prolonged period, the user risks experiencing similar effects to those caused by snorting cocaine, including nasal infections and a damaged septum.
Sought-after Molly effects include increased energy, euphoria, and distorted or heightened sensory perceptions. Like any psychoactive substance, however, using MDMA can also result in a wealth of adverse side effects, including the following:
- Anxiety or depression
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Muscle tension and cramps
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Sweating or chills
- Blurry vision
- Heightened libido
From 2005-2011, the number of emergency room visits due to ecstasy use increased 128 percent. Of those visits related to ecstasy, more than one-third included alcohol consumption, in part because MDMA hides the effects of alcohol intoxication.
All forms of MDMA can induce dangerous side effects when used excessively. Users may take multiple tablets at once or disperse them throughout a brief period, a pattern of drug-using behavior that can substantially increase the likelihood of overdose. The presence of other substances may also increase this risk.
Signs and symptoms of MDMA abuse include the following:
- Uncontrollable body movements
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Headache and blurry vision
- Increased body temperature
- Increased blood pressure
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Chest pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Urinary retention
When an overdose of MDMA occurs, the following symptoms may start to onset:
- High blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Panic attacks
- Hyperthermia (overheating)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
The short-term symptoms of MDMA overdose abate around 3-6 hours after the last dose. Even modest use, however, can result in effects that continue for up to a week. These symptoms may include the following:
- Impaired memory
- Impaired concentration
- Lack of appetite
- Decreased libido (sex drive)
Many health providers and experts consider MDMA a relatively benign drug compared to harder substances, such as heroin. However, the truth is that this drug has been involved in emergency circumstances where injuries, overdoses, and even fatalities have occurred.
Getting Professional Help for Drug Addiction
Substance abuse is a potentially debilitating and severe life-long condition. Persons who are suffering from this condition are urged to seek professional treatment. Just Believe Recovery center offers customized, comprehensive programs in both residential and intensive outpatient formats.
Our approach to mental and physical wellness includes several therapeutic, evidence-based services, such as the following:
- Medical detox
- Behavioral therapy
- 12-step group support
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Relapse prevention
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Dual diagnosis
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning
- Alumni events