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MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

Classification: Club drug, entactogen (substance with properties of a stimulant and a hallucinogen).

Street names: Molly, E, XTC, X, Adam, hug, beans, love drug.

Method of use: Most commonly ingested as pills or powder.

Short-term effects: MDMA acts as a stimulant and a psychedelic. Short-term effects may include increased feelings of wellbeing and empathy; distorted sense of time; heightened sense of touch and sensation; increased heart rate and blood pressure; appetite suppression; nausea; chills; dehydration; muscle cramping and blurred vision; involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding; restlessness, irritability, and impulsiveness.

High doses of MDMA can cause increased body temperatures (hyperthermia) which may lead to potentially fatal liver, kidney, and/or cardiovascular failure. Signs of MDMA overdose include high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, loss of consciousness and seizures.

Long-term effects: Many of the above short-term effects are seen up to a week after taking MDMA. Additional long-term effects may include serotonin depletion, leading to depression; sleep disturbances; reduced sexual interest and pleasure; elevated anxiety; reduction in memory and learning abilities; arrhythmia and heart failure; kidney failure.

Dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal: MDMA can be addictive for some people, indicated by the development of tolerance, continued use despite negative consequences and withdrawal symptoms. Signs of withdrawal include fatigue, loss of appetite, depression and difficulty concentrating.

Additional risks: Despite claims of purity, substances sold as Ecstasy or Molly are likely to contain other drugs instead of or in addition to MDMA. Common additives include ephedrine (a stimulant), dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), ketamine, caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine and psychoactive “bath salts.” The effects of these unknown ingredients (often taken in combination with additional substances such as marijuana and alcohol) increase the risk of serious harm.

Other drugs with this classification: GHB (liquid X, easy lay, soap, vita-G, Georgia Home Boy); Ketamine (special K, cat valium, vitamin K); Rohypnol (rophies, roofies, roach, rope, date rape drug); LSD (acid, trip, dots, sugar, window glass, Zen, paper acid, blotter).

More about Molly/Ecstasy