Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

What is it?

Short for methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA is a man-made assortment of chemicals. The main neurotransmitter affected is serotonin, which regulates mood, sexual activity and sleep.[1] By using MDMA, people experience stimulated energy levels and a feeling of being friend with everybody around them.  A concern with one main form of MDMA, ecstasy is that it is often mixed with other drugs or ingredients, making its purity questionable and effect on health even harder to determine.[2] Recently a “pure” powdered form of MDMA has been hitting the market, called Molly. People see it as safer than ecstasy since it is supposedly pure powder. However, the credibility of the claim should be considered because it might not actually be as pure as people say.[3]

Common names:

  • Ecstasy
  • Molly
  • Lover’s Speed
  • Beans

What health risks are there?

Short term:

  • Lower Appetite
  • Clouded thinking
  • Agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hyperthermia

Long term:

  • Hyperthermia
  • Cardiac Arryhthmia
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Renal Failure
  • Severe dehydration
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Panic attacks
  • Faintness[4][5]

How is it used?

MDMA is usually ingested in its pill form but it may be crushed into powder and smoked or snorted. It is rarely injected. [6]