Ecstasy is a popular drug with teenagers, typically used at dance clubs and in the underground party scene. Widely known as MDMA or molly, Ecstasy creates mind-altering effects that heighten perception and enhance mood.
What Is Ecstasy Abuse?
Ecstasy is a synthetic drug known in the scientific community as MDMA, the official acronym for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. Chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, Ecstasy produces feelings of emotional acceptance while increasing energy. Additionally, MDMA abuse also distorts sensory and time perception. Moreover, ecstasy abuse is highly dangerous, often resulting in medical interventions due to dehydration and chills.
MDMA abuse increases the activity of three neurotransmitters in the brain: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Molly, slang for “molecular,” refers to the “pure,” crystalline powder form of MDMA. Therefore, the effects of molly are purported to be stronger than “normal” Ecstasy pills. The majority of molly capsules tested, however, contain dangerous adulterants, including methamphetamine, ketamine, and synthetic cathinones (“bath salts“).
Such drug adulteration also is common with Ecstasy pills, and dosages are hard to estimate. High doses of MDMA hinder the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Consequently, spikes in body temperature can result in liver, kidney, or heart failure. Behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for Ecstasy addiction.
Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration