Ecstasy or Molly also is known as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and is a psychoactive drug used for recreational purposes. Ecstasy was first developed in the 1900s, but it didn’t become popular until the 1970s. In the 1970s, MDMA was used by psychiatrists as an aid to therapy to treat depression, so MDMA was a legally prescribed medication until 1985. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) moved MDMA to a Schedule I drug, which means it is now illegal and has no medical use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes what ecstasy does:
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. MDMA was initially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties (“raves”), but the drug now affects a broader range of people who more commonly call the drug Ecstasy or Molly. (NIH)
Ecstasy or Molly is now used as a party drug and for recreational purposes only. Ecstasy and Molly or MDMA are essentially the same chemicals, but the two do have differences. Let’s go over what Molly or MDMA is and what it does in the body of a user.
The Difference Between Ecstasy and Molly (MDMA)
When people are talking about Ecstasy or Molly, which is slang for molecular, (MDMA), they are talking about the same drug, but there are differences.
MDMA is a pure white or off-white powder or crystal. This powder can either come in capsules as a “pure” form which is called Molly, or it can come in a pressed tablet, which is called ecstasy. For the crystalline powder to be put into a pill form (Ecstasy), fillers are added. These fillers are often other stimulants or substances, but no one can be certain what exactly the pills are cut with. Ecstasy has been found to often be cut with ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine, ephedrine, caffeine, dextromethorphan (cough medicine), 3, 4-Methoxyamphetamine (MDA), and/or para-Methoxyamphetamine (PMA).
Molly is supposed to be the more “pure” form of MDMA, however, it is very rarely pure. Molly has also been found to be cut with other stimulants or substances. Some of the substances Molly is often cut with are caffeine, bath salts, PMA, and/or MDA.
Both Molly and Ecstasy (MDMA) are very dangerous illicit drugs. Neither one of them are “pure”, and you don’t know what you are getting with either substance.
What Does MDMA Do in the Body?
MDMA affects dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain by increasing their activity. This produces increased energy, increased heart rate, and affects mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. MDMA causes large amounts of serotonin to be released which causes elevated mood, emotional closeness, and empathy. The effects of MDMA last about 3 to 6 hours.
Large doses of MDMA can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. High body temperatures for any period can result in liver, kidney, heart failure, or even death.
Is MDMA an Addictive Drug?
The research varies on whether MDMA is addictive. Some experiments with animals have shown them to self-administer the drug, but there is no definitive data. People have reported withdrawal symptoms from MDMA, which is a sign of addiction. Some of the withdrawal symptoms reported are fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, and trouble concentrating.
Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction
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