what is mdma

Developed in 1914 as an appetite suppressant, MDMA gained popularity in the 1980s with young adults at large music festivals and all-night dance parties or raves. Ecstasy was one of several drugs tested in a military context decades after. It was then re-synthesized, first by Gordon Alles, then by Alexander Shulgin, who tested it on himself, his wife, and his friends. MDMA was initially alcohol use disorder vs alcoholism developed in 1912 as a pharmaceutical compound that could be used in the preparation of other pharmaceuticals, and it was patented in 1914. But once the drug’s hallucinogenic properties were discovered, further development was stopped for several decades. Another significant danger is the fact that people who take ecstasy don’t really know what they are actually ingesting.

what is mdma

There are ongoing clinical studies to test how well this treatment might work. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a synthetic drug that was used legally in the 1970s for use in psychotherapy treatment, despite a lack of data to support its efficacy. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration placed MDMA on Schedule I, the list of strictly-banned drugs defined as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic psychoactive drug first developed and patented by the German pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912.

Addiction, Overdose, and Withdrawal

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration granted MDMA breakthrough therapy status due to the preliminary evidence of its efficacy in the treatment of PTSD. This status helps expedite the development and review of substances for the treatment of serious conditions. This does not mean that ecstasy is available as a treatment, but it may increase the speed at which the drug becomes gains approval and becomes available to treat certain conditions. Ongoing clinical trials suggest that ecstasy is a promising treatment for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Chronic users of ecstasy perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with ecstasy, among other factors.

Describes the science behind MDMA (ecstasy) abuse, including what it does to the brain, whether it is addictive, and the… MDMA is more likely to lead to a serious emergency, like an overdose, if it’s been cut with another drug. If someone is overdosing, it’s important to get them medical attention right away. MDMA is often called molly or ecstasy and is frequently taken in pill or capsule form. Mostly known as a ‘party drug,’ MDMA may also have use in therapy for PSTD, anxiety, eating disorders, and more. Long-term safety could not be guaranteed with this small group, and there is a risk of addiction and suicide in a population already at risk for these serious outcomes.

As a result, users may become more affectionate than usual, and feel a connection with complete strangers. A synthetic drug is one manufactured in a laboratory environment rather than coming from a natural source. Another survey published in the same year showed that 1 percent of people aged 19 to 28 years in the United States (U.S.) had used the drug within the last month. MDMA can also be addictive, and research suggests that long-term cognitive problems may develop in some users.

Current regulations have classed MDMA as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This means that it’s thought to have a high potential to be abused and that it’s not legally considered to have health benefits. Fentanyl can make drugs it’s mixed with, including MDMA, more dangerous. Often, people who purchase MDMA and other drugs are unaware those drugs have been cut with fentanyl.

Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Mar 2024) and others. Some people who use MDMA do report symptoms of addiction, including continued use despite negative consequences, tolerance, withdrawal, and craving, according to the NIH. Also, there is evidence that people who develop a rash that looks like acne after using this drug may be at risk of severe side effects, including liver damage, if they continue to use the drug.

Fast facts on MDMA

This myth may come from an experiment where researchersaccidentally gave methamphetamine (crystal meth) to laboratory monkeys instead of MDMA. There is a horribly toxic chemical with a four-letter acronym, MPTP, which does cause parkinsonism. Users may encounter problems similar to those experienced by amphetamine and cocaine users, including addiction. Research has shown that animals will self-administer MDMA, an indicator of a drug’s abuse potential. MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug with a chemical structure similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.

When used in a therapeutic setting, MDMA may enhance many aspects of talk therapy. Repeated studies show that MDMA can make it easier for someone to approach therapy with vulnerability and an open mind. It may be able to help those dealing with trauma to feel safe and capable of breaking out of harmful thought patterns.

  1. Ecstasy, also commonly known by its slang name “molly,” is a synthetic drug known primarily for its hallucinogenic and stimulant effects.
  2. The chemical name for ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).
  3. It was many years after this that MDMA eventually appeared on the streets as a recreational drug.
  4. These are the brain’s neurotransmitters, and they influence mood, sleep, and appetite.
  5. Other drugs in this chemical group include methamphetamine and cathinone.

Molly—slang for “molecular”—refers to the crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold as powder or in capsules. Some people mistakenly believe that Molly does not contain contaminants often found in ecstasy. In fact, chemical analyses of drugs sold as Molly and seized by the U.S. Ecstasy (MDMA, 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also commonly called Molly, is a synthetic (lab made), psychoactive drug chemically ambien and alcohol similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences. Ecstasy, also commonly known by its slang name “molly,” is a synthetic drug known primarily for its hallucinogenic and stimulant effects.

When users buy MDMA from dealers on the street, they do not know what they are taking. The effects last for 3 to 6 hours, but people who take a moderate amount may experience withdrawal-type side effects for a week after. An earlier version of ecstasy, MDMA became popular as a recreational drug during the 1960s and 1970s.

Sub-acute Effects

The DEA considers MDMA an illegal schedule I drug with no recognized medical uses. MDMA was first synthesized by a German company in 1912, possibly to be used as an appetite suppressant. It has been available as a street drug since the 1980s, and use escalated in the 1990s among college students and young adults. Then, it was most often distributed at late-night parties called “raves”, nightclubs, and rock concerts. Additionally, some researchers have suggested that MDMA might be useful as a treatment for some mental conditions, such as PTSD and disordered eating.

This myth probably comes from experiments where researchers measured breakdown products of serotonin in the spinal fluid of animals who had taken MDMA. See this article and this article about clinical research into medical uses for MDMA. MAPS aims to make MDMA a prescription treatment for PTSD meth withdrawal symptoms timeline & detox treatment by 2021. Dr Bronner’s has generously donated, though millions more in funding is needed. See this page for more info on side effects relative to other drugs. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records.

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MDMA is classed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance and is illegal in the United States. However, some researchers are studying ways that MDMA might be useful as a treatment for certain mental health conditions. It targets the serotonin system, a chemical pathway that is affected by other addictive drugs. Ingesting other substances, such as marijuana or cocaine, along with MDMA greatly increases the danger of adverse reactions. These harmful substances can be particularly dangerous when mixed with MDMA.