What is MDMA?

MDMA is an illegal psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy or molly. It’s a recreational stimulant that acts as a psychedelic. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. When taken, users experience an elevated mood, a greater sense of empathy toward others and the user, emotional closeness, and intensified sensory perception through feeling, touch, hearing, seeing, and tasting.

Users can experience the “feel-good” effects of the drug for up to six hours. Because of the release of serotonin in the brain, when MDMA wears off, it can cause extreme lows and depression. It can degenerate serotonin-producing neurons and dopamine transmitters over a long period of abuse, and the damage can be long-term. If you or a loved one are addicted to MDMA, Gratitude Lodge’s addiction treatment specialists can help.

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What does MDMA look like?

MDMA is a fine powder in a capsule or a pill. There may be a logo of an animal, a symbol, or a holiday design on each pill. The logos are to represent different brands of drug traffickers to set their “brand” of MDMA apart from the street competition.

How is MDMA taken?

MDMA is taken orally in the form of a capsule, gel tab, or a pill. It can be taken as a powder or smoked. It can be injected, but it is usually consumed orally. It can be taken rectally or it can be crushed up and taken in a napkin, also known as parachuting.

Why do people use MDMA?

People use MDMA to heighten their senses and their enjoyment of the environment. It’s commonly taken in nightclubs or at concerts. People take it to have a desirable tactile experience, increase sexual arousal and feel emotionally closer to others, often while dancing.

  • Molly
  • ADAM
  • Ecstasy
  • Scooby Snacks
  • X
  • Love Drug / Hug Drug
  • E
  • E-Tart

History of

MDMA was first created in Germany in 1912. It was meant to suppress appetite and stop uterine bleeding. In the 70s, U.S. therapists used it for psychotherapy and marriage counseling. It became illegal in 1988, and was used recreationally in the 80s and 90s. MDMA was popular to take while dancing at raves, nightclubs, concerts, and parties.

It hasn’t been used as a prescription drug or for medical treatments since it has become illegal. However, MDMA was used in a 2011 study for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which patients saw a reduction of their symptoms with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. MDMA has been used in multiple similar studies for its joyful and calming effects. The drug is still used illegally in clubs today by college students and those aged from 18-29 years old.

What are the Symptoms of MDMA Addiction?

MDMA is often taken while dancing or having intercourse. Because of this, it’s common for those who have taken MDMA to experience severe dehydration or exhaustion. They may have a high body temperature that can reach 108 degrees.

  • Unusual expressions of feelings
  • Impulsivity
  • Unusual expressions of love
  • Thirst
  • Increased empathy
  • More pleasure in touch and sight
  • Euphoria
  • Using a pacifier
  • Change in social circles
  • Menthol vapor rub for sensation
  • Surgical or dust mask
  • Menthol inhalers
  • Lollipops for teeth grinding
  • Glowsticks
  • Pacifiers
  • Glow-tip gloves
  • Candy bags to hide pills

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What are the Effects of MDMA Addiction?

While the emotional effects of MDMA might seem harmless at first, physical effects can quickly become life-threatening. What might begin with a feeling of euphoria and heightened, distorted senses might end in hallucinations, paranoia, and heat exhaustion. The effects of MDMA usually last for 6 hours. However, long-term addiction and chronic use can lead to a depletion of serotonin, since there is a sudden depression that follows the long “high.”

Short-Term Effects of
MDMA Addiction
  • Hallucinations
  • Heightened senses
  • Euphoria
  • Feeling faint
  • Teeth clenching
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Chills and sweats
  • Dehydration
Long-Term Effects of
MDMA Addiction
  • Critical thinking impairment
  • Memory impairment
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Severe anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depletion of serotonin
  • Death

Addiction Statistics


Of all adults aged 20-25 used MDMA (about 2.4 million).

2.6 million

Number of people that used MDMA in 2020.

18 million

Americans reported using MDMA in their lifetime.

How is MDMA Addiction Treated?

MDMA addiction is treated with antidepressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to help with the deficiency of serotonin in the brain from the drug. The SSRIs can also help with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks that are often associated with the withdrawal of MDMA. Recovering addicts are advised to stay away from clubs and raves because the drug scene could be a tempting trigger.

MDMA doesn’t have specific treatments because it’s a fairly new drug. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your life back on track. Staying in a residential rehabilitation center like Gratitude Lodge will help you with MDMA addiction recovery. Our MDMA addiction treatment program includes group therapy, individualized counseling, 12-step programs, and a safe, welcoming, and medically-monitored place to stay in Long Beach or Newport Beach, CA. You or your loved one can get your life back with us.

Common Drug Combinations with MDMA

Because of its use for increasing sexual desire, MDMA is often taken with Viagra. It can be taken with hallucinogens, psychedelics, sedatives, or uppers. Combining these drugs can produce an imaginary effect along with tactile sensation, or it can create a trance-like feeling. Some combinations can cause extreme exhaustion and can be deadly.

  • Viagra (“Sextasy,” or “Trail Mix”)
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Mushrooms
  • Ketamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Mescaline
  • Alcohol

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