It is a manmade drug that produces energizing effects similar to the stimulant class amphetamines as well as psychedelic effects, similar to the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is known as a “club drug” because of its popularity in the nightclub scene, at “raves” (all-night dance parties), and music festivals or concerts.
Most people who use MDMA take it in a pill, tablet, or capsule. The pills can be different colors and sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Some people take more than one pill at a time, called “bumping.” The popular term “Molly” (slang for “molecular”) refers to the pure crystalline powder form of MDMA, though one can never know for sure, and is usually sold in capsules.
Researchers have found that much of the Ecstasy used today contains other drugs in addition to MDMA, which themselves can be harmful. Makers of MDMA might add caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine to the pills, tablets, or capsules.
MDMA’s effects generally last from 3 to 6 hours. It is common for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. Some users may also take MDMA along with other drugs.
The severe aftereffects, “comedown”, are caused by the brain no longer having enough serotonin after the surge that was triggered by using MDMA. Days or even weeks after use, people can experience confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and anxiety.