MDMA is a psychoactive (mind-altering) drug that alters our thoughts and behaviors. The drug is also known as ecstasy and molly. MDMA is a stimulant that increases our heart rate, breathing rate, thoughts, and actions. However, because it can alter our senses and perceptions, it is sometimes classified as a hallucinogen.
MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a pharmaceutical company while working on a bleeding control drug. Today, it is manufactured in uncontrolled laboratories, and no one knows what is mixed into it. It is available in tablet, capsule, or powder form. It is usually ingested, but it can also be snorted (e.g., sniffed through a straw) or injected.
People have been using MDMA for a variety of reasons for decades. Before MDMA was declared illegal, some psychotherapists experimented with it as a tool to help people explore their emotions. Some people still use the drug for emotional insight today. Others use it to increase feelings of affection and empathy and to connect with others. Others use MDMA to have fun and stay active while out on the town or at a party. MDMA, like any other drug, can be dangerous.
Many people choose not to use MDMA or to use it in moderation because having less control over their behavior increases the likelihood of making poor decisions, such as having unsafe sex. (While only about 6% of BC residents have tried MDMA, it is more common in certain populations, such as urban club-goers.) While MDMA can make us feel more outgoing at a party, using it repeatedly to treat social anxiety can be harmful to our health and relationships.
The effects of MDMA last about 3 to 6 hours, but many users take a second dose as the effects of the first fade. A person may experience the following symptoms during the week following moderate drug use:
rashness and aggression
Memory and attention issues
decreased sexual interest and pleasure
Some of these effects could be attributed to the combination of MDMA and other drugs, particularly marijuana.