MDMA is a man-made stimulant that gives users a feeling of increased energy and euphoria. MDMA is commonly used at parties and clubs for its energizing, empathic, and euphoric effects as users attend “rave” parties that can last 24 hours.
MDMA’s effects generally last from 3 to 6 hours, and rave party goers put themselves at risk when taking ecstasy or mollies to maintain a certain level of high throughout the rave. The likelihood of an ecstasy overdose is heightened, and the health effects of an ecstasy overdose are even more extreme. Another effect of MDMA use is its suppression of basic physical needs such as eating, drinking, or sleeping. The effects of MDMA will elevate and have users in a transformed state as they dance to loud electronic music while lights are flashing on and off.
At its most extreme, ecstasy overdose may result in death by heat stroke and heart failure. Due to the fact that MDMA masks the need for food, water, and rest while increasing temperature and level of physical activity, this substance has also been linked to deaths by dehydration and exhaustion.
Short Term Effects
- A perceived boost in energy .
- A sense of happiness and excitement .
- Distorted perception of time.
- Increase desire for sex
- Elevated alertness.
MDMA produces its effects by increasing the production of three neurotransmitters (the chemicals that sends messages to the brain cells): serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Serotonin plays a role in controlling our emotions in regards to individual’s mood, aggression, sexual activity, feeling of being tired, and feelings of pain. The extra serotonin that is released by MDMA l causes mood-lifting effects in users. People who use MDMA may feel very alert or hype. Users will have an altered sense of time and other changes in perception, such as a more intense sense of touch. Serotonin also triggers the release of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which play a role in feelings of love, sexual arousal, and trust.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals to the brain controlling our emotions based on reward and pleasure. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it helps us to not only see rewards, but to take action to move towards whatever the reward may be.
Increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are particularly risky for people who have heart problems or issues with blood circulation.
Negative Short Term Side Effects
- Muscle cramping.
- Sweating and chills.
- Shaking and tremors.
- Blurred vision.
- Higher heart rate.
- Increase in blood pressure.
- Tension in mouth, face, and jaw.
- Feeling faint
Long Term Effects
Ecstasy long-term effects will vary depending on how much a person takes and how often.
Over a period of extended use, heavy MDMA users may suffer from damage to the serotonin system. Users who abuse or struggle with an addiction to Mollies or Ecstasy are more likely to suffer the more serious effects of extended use.
Researchers have not come with a conclusion regarding the long-term effects of MDMA, but effects may include:
- Severe depression.
- Brain damage in the neocortex.
- Decreased appetite.
- Lower sex drive.
- Sleep problems.
- Cognitive performance deficits, including some memory problems.
MDMA’s dangerous and life-threatening effects
- Extremely high body temperature (hyperpyrexia/hyperthermia).
- Liver failure.
- Kidney failure.
- Cardiovascular failure.
- Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis).
- Brain swelling (cerebral edema).
- Intense thirst and overconsumption of water (hyperdipsia).
- Abnormal heart rhythms.
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Sudden death.
After long term use, addiction becomes inevitable and it is a difficult process to quit. Depending on the circumstances, a rehab center may be the best environment in which to manage detoxification.
Many treatment centers will administer medications to offset the physical and mental discomfort that the withdrawal entails.
If you or someone you care for is misusing MDMA, it is important to take the steps necessary to help combat the addiction.