MDMA (“Ecstasy,” “Molly”) Facts

| September 25, 2014

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine — say that three times fast!), more commonly known as “ecstasy” and “molly,” is a synthetic drug that has both  hallucinogenic and  stimulant effects.

We’ve heard a lot about ecstasy and rave culture…but what exactly is the drug, and what are its effects?

It typically is in a tablet, and can be taken as a pill or crushed and snorted.  We have most recently heard from local law enforcement about people putting it in candy (known as “Ecstasy Candy“).  The effects produced by consuming MDMA can last for 4 to 6 hours, depending upon the potency of the tablet (or candy!). One of the biggest concerns about the drug is that it’s not regulated, therefore people who buy and use it don’t really know what they’re getting — or the dose.

What are the risks?

There are plenty of sites that cover the risks and effects of MDMA use, and some good places to go are the National Drug Intelligence Center’s fact sheet and the Above the Influence page on MDMA. Another great site for teens is from the NIDA for Teens website. Some of the key risks are:

  • confusion
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • sleeplessness
  • craving for the drug
  • paranoia
  • high heart rate and blood pressure
  • dehydration
  • very high fever
  • heart or kidney failure
  • death

So, do most teens use MDMA/ecstasy/molly?

Nope. While the rate of having used MDMA one time is as high as 20% in high school seniors, very few teens use the drug. In fact, less than one percent of 6th, 8th and 11th graders in Lane County (and Oregon) have use ecstasy within the last 30 days. Of illicit drugs, marijuana has the highest (pardon the pun) use, while alcohol continues to be the number one drug used by teens.

From the 2014 Oregon Student Wellness Survey. (

From the 2014 Oregon Student Wellness Survey. (



What should parents do?

Parents should be concerned about kids using MDMA, but keep in mind that the three most used drugs among our teens are alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. If you notice any of the above side effects of MDMA, talk with your kid and get help.

Also, this Halloween season, be sure to monitor your kids’ candy – check for opened or suspicious wrapping, and if it’s not clearly labeled then toss it!

Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or have a question about your child’s drug or alcohol use? Call our Parents Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

Other tips, find out how to “teen-proof” your home.

Category: Other Drugs, Young Adults - Other Drugs

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