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Signs & Symptoms of Molly, MDMA, Ecstasy Use

Posted in Ecstasy Addiction Treatment on January 31, 2017
Last modified on April 21st, 2019

Ecstasy, MDMA, and Molly are all names for the same drug, with the scientific name “3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine.” It’s a synthetic drug that’s been around for over 100 years. It was first produced in 1912 by a German pharmaceutical company but became popular in the 1980s and 1990s among people attending dance parties and raves.

The drug acts by increasing the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters regulate your mood, your energy and your brain’s reward system.

People take ecstasy for effects like euphoria, increased energy, reduced inhibitions and altered perception of light and sound. Although ecstasy is a popular drug for its perceived positive effects, there are many negative side effects of Molly use. The effects of the drug last for three to six hours, but residual effects can linger for a week or more.

Many Molly users take a second dose of the drug as the first wears off to extend their high. Some people take MDMA in combination with other drugs, such as alcohol or marijuana. This substance abuse combination may make the side effects of ecstasy worse and increase the risk of an overdose.

Signs and Symptoms of Molly Use

The effects of Molly are physical, psychological and emotional. All these stem from the massive increase in neurotransmitters in your brain when you take it. Initially, MDMA side effects are mostly pleasurable, including euphoria and feelings of love and empathy for others. As the brain’s levels of neurotransmitters return to normal, those feelings wear off. They’re replaced with ones that are much less enjoyable.

The negative effects of taking Molly include:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Impulsiveness
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Hyperthermia (rise in body temperature)
  • Involuntary teeth-clenching
  • Sleep disruption
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle aches or cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Arrhythmia
  • Loss of appetite or decreased appetite
  • Severe dehydration
  • Cognitive, memory and attention impairment
  • False feelings of affection or love
  • Decreased interest in and pleasure from sex

Long-Term Side Effects of Molly

In the long term, ecstasy use can lead to addiction and both physical and mental health problems. The physical damage can be especially severe because of the drug’s effects on several major organs.

  • Brain damage affecting the thought process
  • Memory loss
  • Damage to parts of the brain regulating learning, sleep and emotion
  • Damage to nerve branches and nerve endings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Liver, kidney and heart failure
  • Convulsions
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Death

Ecstasy Overdose Signs

Many of the side effects of ecstasy are minor, but some can be toxic, and even fatal in rare cases. One reason overdoses occur is that because Molly is a street drug, the dose per pill varies. This means people don’t always know exactly how much they’re taking. Another risk is that the drug is often mixed with other drugs or substances, which produce unexpected effects.

People take ecstasy for its pleasurable effects, but the effects of an MDMA overdose aren’t pleasant and can be fatal. These include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling faint or fainting
  • Severe dehydration and/or extremely high body temperature
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Behavioral Signs of Ecstasy Use

People who are using or abusing MDMA might show some or all of the following warning signs of Molly use:

  • Neglecting work, school or family responsibilities as a result of partying and using the drug
  • Neglecting old relationships in favor of new friendships, where the drug is the focus
  • Lying, cheating or stealing in connection with taking ecstasy
  • Concealing drug use
  • Spending more time trying to obtain Molly
  • Needing more time to recover from Molly’s side effects
  • Taking more MDMA than intended and suffering from negative consequences or an overdose

How Is Ecstasy Addiction Treated?

The most effective treatment option for ecstasy abuse and addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy. In this kind of therapy, you’ll learn how to identify harmful patterns in your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. Then you’ll learn to replace those harmful patterns with new, healthy ones that don’t involve drug use. Many people find that group therapy and recovery support groups also help them stay sober in the long term.

A treatment program at a rehab center can be an important part of successfully quitting Molly. After going through a detox process, inpatient treatment or an outpatient program can help you build a new life that doesn’t revolve around the drug.

Getting Help for Addiction to Molly

The intense high combined with the crashing after-effects makes ecstasy more psychologically than physically addictive, but it won’t be easy for either your mind or your body to give up. Ecstasy addiction is just as dangerous as any other drug abuse. Since long-term use carries a risk of damage to your brain, heart and other organs, it’s important to get treatment if you’re unable to quit on your own. Call The Right Step treatment center at 844-877-1781 for information on how you can get out of your Molly addiction, starting today.

Krisi Herron

Medically Reviewed by

Krisi Herron, LCDC

The Right Step