ecstasy use

Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), a synthetic drug known for hallucinogenic properties and stimulant effects. Addictive and illegal, the drug can cause long-term effects on the brain. Some people use the drug to produce a high often resulting in addiction where an individual craves the drug and can lead to tolerance where the body needs more of the drug to feel the same high. Learn more about the properties of Ecstasy and how it is used.



A person who uses Ecstasy will experience an energizing effect in the central nervous system. Time and perception can become distorted in addition to tactile experiences being more enjoyable. MDMA is man-made and purity is questionable as many other things can be added to the drug including caffeine, amphetamines, PCP or cocaine. Historically, the drug was developed as an appetite suppressant. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labeled MDMA a Schedule I substance which means it is a drug with high abuse potential and no recognized medicinal use.  


Side Effects of Ecstasy

Taken orally, MDMA is administered in the form of a tablet, pill or capsule. Ecstasy effects last approximately 3-6 hours with most users taking a second dose as the first begins to fade. Short-term effects include a combination of positive and negative experiences as the drug wears off. Common side effects may include:

  • increased blood pressure
  • blurry vision
  • chills
  • dehydration
  • distortion of time, perception
  • faintness
  • increased energy
  • increased tactile experience
  • seizures
  • nausea
  • sharp increase in body temperature, hyperthermia, heatstroke


Ecstasy Overdose Risk

If an individual is suspected of suffering an MDMA overdose, the person may experience high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, loss of consciousness or seizures. Serious long term effects of continuous use of ecstasy can greatly impact overall mental and physical health. Dehydration can lead to liver and kidney failure. Confusion, depression, sleep problems and severe anxiety are a few of the other serious side effects which may occur. Serious brain damage or memory loss can also occur from long term use of the drug.


Challenges of Ecstasy Abuse

Teens and young adults take MDMA at all-night dance parties and night clubs. With popularity growing among this group over the years, the dangers to young people has increased due to its positive side effects of a sense of well-being, increased feelings of empathy and decreased levels of anxiety. Therapy can be helpful in treating MDMA addiction including the use of recovery support groups and behavioral intervention. Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments for the use of ecstasy.


If you or a loved one has trouble quitting MDMA or Ecstasy, Hired Power can help. We offer resources and support to walk you through recovery. Contact us for more information about our programs at 800-910-9299.