Ecstasy, or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), is a synthetic, illegal drug that alters mood and a person’s awareness of surrounding objects and conditions. It is chemically similar to stimulants and hallucinogens, producing a feeling of heightened energy, joy, emotional warmth and a distorted sense of time and physical sensations.

Ecstasy became popular in the night club scene, but its illegal use has since expanded to a much broader population. The drug is commonly referred to as “Molly,” but is also called beans, clarity, eve, hug drug, lover’s speed and MDMA. Ecstasy is typically ingested orally, but can also be taken in powder or crystal form and snorted, and occasionally smoked.

Ecstasy affects the body in the following ways:

  • Increased motor activity, alertness, heart rate, blood pressure
  • Muscle tension, tremors, teeth clenching, nausea, sweating
  • Euphoria, empathy, reduced inhibition
  • Chills, blurred vision
  • Confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, severe dehydration
  • Sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can lead to liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure and death