What is Ecstasy Used For?

What is Ecstasy Used For?

Ecstasy goes by other names including Molly, MDMA (a synthetic psychoactive drug) and other street names, known for its stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. It is illegal, potentially addictive and may cause long-term effects on the brain. Learn what some of the primary uses for ecstasy are and how it works for people.

What is Ecstasy

MDMA is an illegal drug which acts as a stimulant and psychoactive drug which has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and hallucinogenic drug mescaline. Ecstasy energizes the central nervous system and may trigger distortions in time and perception as well as provide enhanced tactile experiences. MDMA is man-made and manufacturers can add anything to the drug including caffeine, dextromethorphan, amphetamines, PCP or cocaine, among other drugs so purity is always questionable.

History of Ecstasy Use

Ecstasy was developed and patented as an appetite suppressant. In the United States, it was used originally for as a possible aid to psychotherapy but it was used without support of clinical trial research or FDA approval. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration labeled MDMA as a Schedule I substance, or a drug with high abuse potential and no recognized medicinal use. Lots of researchers remain interested in the therapeutic uses of the drug so clinical trials are running to look into it as a possible pharmacotherapy aid to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety in terminal cancer patients.

Ecstasy Use and Side Effects

Typical use of MDMA is orally, in tablet, pill or capsule form. The effects of ecstasy last approximately 3 to 6 hours whereas most users take a second dose of the drug as effects of the first dose begin to fade. Short-term effects are a combination of positive and negative experiences manifested during and after the drug wears off. Common effects include:

Blood pressure increases

Blurred vision


Day-after depression


Distorts time and perception

Faint feelings

Inability to regulate body temperature

Increased energy

Liver, kidney and cardiovascular system problems

Muscle tension


Severe sweating

The most common indicators of MDMA overdose are loss of consciousness or seizures. Serious long term effects of continual use of the drug may include the following:

Dehydration which may lead to liver and kidney failure

Disturbing emotional reactions which may develop into confusion, depression, sleep issues, drug craving or severe anxiety

Some of the effects on the brain directly related to amount and frequency of use, ecstasy can deplete the amount of serotonin in the brain and block uptake, cause serious brain damage or trigger memory loss.

Illegal Use

Ecstasy is used as a recreational drug, among teenagers and young adults, often at all-night dance parties and nightclubs. MDMA has gained in popularity which has grown over the years due to the positive effects within the first hour post dose. Some of those effects include: mental stimulation, emotional warmth, a sense of well-being, empathy and decrease in anxiety. Ecstasy is illegal to use in the United States and may lead to legal or judicial problems.

Blueprints for Recovery understands young people face different challenges to others facing addiction. We provide a small community in a setting relevant for young people that is tailored to approach addiction and recovery with young adults’ individual needs in mind. Contact us to find out more information on our program.


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