More than 18 million people in the United States have tried MDMA at least once in their lifetime. At first, the drug stimulates the mind, making you feel euphoric, energetic, and confident. MDMA also distorts your senses, seemingly making you more alert, self-aware, and empathetic. But in reality, MDMA is actually disrupting your brain’s chemical balance, dehydrating your body, stressing your heart, increasing your blood pressure, tightening your muscles, and even making you clench your teeth involuntarily. The longer and more frequently you use MDMA, the more the drug continues to affect your brain and body.
MDMA is a synthetic drug developed by German chemist Anton Kollöisch in 1912. The substance, also known as “Ecstasy,” “Molly,” “E,” “X,” “XTC,” and “Adam,” combines the effects of amphetamine, a stimulant, and mescaline, a hallucinogen. Even though MDMA was historically investigated as a potential cure for internal bleeding and as a synthetic version of adrenaline, the Food & Drug Administration has categorized the drug as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use.
Most people use MDMA in the form of a tablet or capsule, but the drug can also be a liquid or white powder. Ecstasy, the pill form of MDMA, usually comes in a small, colored tablet often imprinted with a brand logo or cartoon character. Despite the brightly colored tablets, MDMA tastes bitter. About 30 to 45 minutes after taking a tablet or capsule, you’ll begin to feel MDMA’s effects on your body. The effects peak 15 to 30 minutes after that and last for anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, even though you may still feel the effects days later. When the high ends, you’re left with the drug’s adverse effects.
MDMA works by overstimulating three of your brain's neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters help regulate your mood, energy, appetite, emotions, sexual activity, and sleep patterns. By escalating the activity of each neurotransmitter, MDMA produces a temporary high that’s followed by short-term effects on the brain and body.
As both a stimulant and a hallucinogen, the MDMA high is like a stimulating “out-of-body” experience. MDMA users tend to feel mentally alert, energetic, empathetic, and confident. At the same time, using MDMA can make you nauseous, sweaty, dehydrated, and agitated. In addition to that, when your brain releases excessive amounts of neurotransmitters, these chemical messengers become depleted, causing long-term negative effects on your brain and body.
Like most illegal drugs, MDMA has some considerable effects on the brain. In addition to altering your mental state, MDMA can:
MDMA’s effects don’t stop with the brain. The drug can also permanently affect the way your body functions. MDMA can become extremely dangerous when the drug is mixed with other substances such as caffeine, ketamine, LSD, cocaine, meth, or butylone, a psychedelic and stimulant psychoactive drug.
Using MDMA can cause physical side effects such as:
Using MDMA can start out as a seemingly harmless way to have fun, but regular use of the drug can negatively affect your brain and body. Luckily, we designed our comprehensive treatment programs to help restore your brain balance, physical strength, and spiritual health.
Here at Genesis Recovery, you’ll experience evidence-based clinical treatment and a supportive community rooted in the 12-step program and spiritual practices. Our mission is to restore lives broken and wounded by addiction. Let us help you get there. Call us today at 619-797-7319 if you or a loved one are grappling with substance use challenges.