MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is a synthetic amphetamine derivative with stimulant and mildly hallucinogenic effects. It is assigned to the pharmacological substance class of entactogens. This refers to psychoactive substances under the influence of which one’s own emotions are perceived more intensively and differently. it was first synthesized by Merck in 1912; from the mid-1970s it was used in psychotherapy.
How MDMA is Used
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, usually sold in capsules. But this is mostly a marketing gimmick—testing on “Molly” seized by police shows a variety of other ingredients.
In fact, researchers and law enforcement have found that much of the Ecstasy sold today contains other harmful and possibly deadly drugs. In some recent cases, drugs sold as MDMA actually contain no MDMA at all. Frequently, its mixed with or replaced by synthetic cathinones, the chemicals in “bath salts”. Some it pills, tablets, and capsules have also been found to contain caffeine, dextromethorphan (found in some cough syrups), amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine.
What are other health effects of MDMA?
High doses of MDMA can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a spike in body temperature that can occasionally result in liver, kidney, or heart failure or even death.
In addition, because MDMA can promote trust and closeness, its use—especially combined with sildenafil (Viagra)—may encourage unsafe sexual behavior. This increases people’s risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
effects last about 3 to 6 hours, although many users take a second dose as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. Over the course of the week following moderate use of the drug, a person may experience: