About Ecstasy

Drug Classification: Hallucinogen & Stimulant      Drug Schedule: II

Modes of Administration:
Oral (aspirin-sized pill or clear capsule)
Intranasal (snorted into the nose)
Intravenous (injected)

Addiction Potential: Unknown

Onset of Drug Effect(s):
Onset is typically within an hour, depending on stomach contents. Initial effects last two to six hours, depending on potency/dosage. The “hangover” effect can last up to five days.

Drug Action(s):
The active chemical MDMA or MDA combines the effects of methylated amphetamines, which stimulate, with hallucinogenic effects of LSD. Ecstasy triggers neurons to release all stored serotonin and prohibits its re-absorption. This neurotransmitter promotes feelings of bliss, empathy, and perceived insight as well as affecting specific physiological changes.  Click here for a slideshow presentation on Ecstasy’s effects on the brain.

Acute effects on the mind and body include:

  • Euphoria, self confidence, hyperactivity
  • Sexual disinhibition & increased affection
  • Distortion of time, exaggerated sensory perception, paranoia, anxiety
  • Nystagmus (eye wiggles), creating blurred vision
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Involuntary teeth grinding, muscle tension
  • Increased body temperature, sweating, chills, fainting, dehydration
  • Depression and fatigue for days following use
  • Teeth clenching
  • Muscle cramping

The following effects have been reported for individuals who have used Ecstasy over a longer period of time:

  • Neurotoxicity – permanent damage to serotonin-releasing neurons with consequent memory and thought impairment
  • Elevated impulsivity
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease
  • Death has been reported in individuals, usually when a combination of other drugs is present or because of the dehydration

A Word on Molly

Molly is a white powder or crystal–like substance, while Ecstasy is the pill or capsule form of MDMA.

Molly is often considered the purer form of MDMA. That is, many users believe that molly contains more MDMA and less filler compared to ecstasy pills. Comparing the two forms of MDMA, however, is very difficult because there are no regulations or quality control over the actual content in these illegal substances.

Here are some additional things to consider when comparing Molly and Ecstasy:

  • Ecstasy usually refers to a drug that comes in pill form that has been cut with other ingredients and can range from the somewhat innocuous substances of sugar or caffeine to potentially more harmful drugs such as Ketamine or Methamphetamines.
  • Molly is described as a pure powder form that is often snorted through the nasal passages, making it more difficult to dose than the pill form of ecstasy.
  • Molly has developed a reputation as being of higher quality and more costly than Ecstasy pills — though this is not necessarily a deserved reputation because Molly can be also be cut with fillers or other potential drugs at any time in the process since it is in a powder form.
  • Ecstasy pills are not as easily tampered with after they have been made (at the beginning of the drug supply chain) because they are pressed into shapes and stamped. However, while some pills have a "good" reputation, there can be significant variations amongst pills with the same stamp based on region and time differences.

Wake Up Call, Villanova!

97% of Villanova students have NEVER used a club drug like Ecstasy; however, Villanova students report that they believe over 46% of their peers have used club drugs (National College Health Assessment 2013 survey data).