Ecstasy is a synthetic recreational drug that is made from amphetamine. It, as of today, has no medical importance but it is commonly used in clubs and raves that require energetic pace. Ecstasy goes by many names on the street and some of them include Molly, XTC, Snowball, Roll, Adams, Scooby snacks, to name a few.

Quick Facts about Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy is an effective hallucinogenic that comes with serious long-term side effects. It causes its users to experience a high that gives them pleasure and increased social and emotional character. In some people, empathy is increased. However, all of these are at the cost of depression, hyperthermia, nausea, and fever, in some simple cases.

When you read this article further, you will have information on how ecstasy is made, how it affects the human body, how long ecstasy stays in the body. You will also get to know the side effects of ecstasy and if there is any chance of its use in the medical field.

What is Ecstasy?

You could say it is the feeling of being in a positive and energetic emotional state, and you would be right. However, this is not just about the feeling, it is also about what brings about the ecstatic feeling you just described.

Ecstasy (Molly)

Ecstasy, which also goes by love pill, is a synthetic hallucinogen that is made from amphetamine. It is scientifically called Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, and it works by altering the mind and heightening the body’s senses.

Molly – another name for ecstasy – has been an illegal drug since 1985 when the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) listed it as a Schedule I drug. This means it cannot be legally used for any form of medical treatment due to its high abuse potential. However, to boycott the legal issues surrounding the use of MDMA, Benzylpiperazine, BZP, is now being used in its stead.

MDMA, Essence, Molly, whichever name you choose to call it. Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug that bears similarity to the stimulant, methamphetamine, and the hallucinogen, mescaline. It combines the effects of these two drug classes into one and drives the mind into a hyper-sensory and emotional mode.

In appearance, Molly is usually a small colored tablet that may have inscription such as the letter “X” on it, or sometimes, it has cartoon characters on it. Ecstasy is also available on the streets in capsules, as a liquid, and in powder form. It is not usually pure as it contains traces of cocaine, meth, or ketamine. In some cases, there is usually no molly in the tablets sold as ecstasy, it is majorly impurities.

How Does Ecstasy Work?

As a hallucinogen, ecstasy works by influencing the production of certain hormones in the body as controlled by the brain. From the accounts of volunteers in the effects of ecstasy on human behavior experiments, ecstasy causes an expected high but also makes them feel more sociable, likable, and friendly.

The observation from these volunteers points to the effect that MDMA has on the brain. According to studies, it affects the production of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and cortisol.

All hallucinogens have a relationship with serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone that dictates our mood. Low serotonin for a long period means depression while high serotonin means happiness. Ecstasy causes the brain to produce more serotonin than it normally would. An increase in serotonin level explains the reason music and light display are more appreciated under the influence of ecstasy.

Another neurochemical, norepinephrine, responsible for alleviating stress by increasing the level of blood glucose and blood flow to muscles. It also increases arousal. Ecstasy increases the production of this neurochemical. Ecstasy also influences the increased level of dopamine – a hormone known to be important in influencing mood.

Side Effects of Ecstasy

The effect of ecstasy on humans is felt from the moment its purpose is being fulfilled. These effects can range from physical to psychological. Because of its addictive nature, it causes health problems when a user decides to abstain from its use. Its effect can be felt even after short-term use. Here are some of the side effects of using ecstasy, also known as molly.

  • Muscle tension
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Impaired sense of judgment
  • Dizziness

The above side effects are peculiar with the short-term use of ecstasy. However, a continued and repeated use of MDMA can lead to more serious health issues. Some of them include:

  • Depression
  • Hyperthermia (increased body temperature)
  • Organ failure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep disorder and Insomnia
  • Disrupted metabolism
  • Addiction
  • Death

These effects of ecstasy are the reasons for the ban on this drug. It is not prescribed by any doctor for use by patients but is only illegally available and possession of ecstasy is punishable by law.

Potential for Ecstasy Use in Medicine

Due to the characteristic of ecstasy in altering the mind and giving its users a feeling of euphoria, it is being considered as a drug that could be useful in some fields of medicine. Researches are going on about the right dosages and regulation of the drug for medicinal use. Its application may soon be seen in medical fields such as:

  • Psychiatry
  • PTSD treatment

Success has been recorded in volunteers as 62% of the PTSD patients were cured of their disorder. However, most affected people are not convinced since the side effects, such as headache, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, muscle tension, and anxiety, of molly persist even under a controlled environment.


Ecstasy, also commonly called molly, is a synthetic hallucinogen that bears resemblance to methamphetamine. It is available on the streets as colored tablets, capsules, powders, and liquid. They are commonly used in social gatherings that require energy and friendly interactions such as parties, raves, and concerts.

Ecstasy is an illegal drug that has been banned by the DEA due to its addiction potential. It is therefore not available in any pharmacy and it is considered a crime to be in possession of this drug.

The use of ecstasy is linked to some serious side effects such as addiction, organ (kidney, heart, liver) failure, impaired sense of judgment, muscle rigidity, and many more. Headache, fatigue, insomnia, are some of the subtle side effects of the drug.

Considering all the complications that could arise from the use of ecstasy, it is advisable to stay away from it. If you have used it and find yourself needing to take some more, seek help.

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Ayomide is a fiction and non-fiction writer. A lover of science and everything mysterious that surrounds it, he seeks out new information to keep his interest alive.

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