Ecstasy Category: HallucinogensStimulants
Also called: E, disco biscuits, hug drug, mitsubishi, rolex, dolphins, XTC, yokes, love doves, MDMA, brownies, M and Ms, sweeties, tulips, X.
How it’s used
Ecstasy is a stimulant drug (‘upper’) that also produces mild hallucinogenic effects. Ecstasy tablets come in a variety of colours and shapes and often have a logo or design.
- Effects can start after 20 to 60 minutes and last for several hours
- Your pupils dilate and your jaw tightens
- You may have nausea, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth and throat
- You can have epileptic fits and paranoia for the first time
- Your body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate go up
- You may feel intense emotions and love for people around you
- Anxiety, panic attacks and confusion
- Weight loss
- Loss of interest in work
- You may get flashbacks
- Sleep problems, lack of energy and dietary problems
- Bouts of depression, personality change and memory loss
- Danger of collapse, vomiting and burst blood vessels
- Anxiety, psychosis, panic attacks, hallucinations, insomnia and paranoia
- Liver, kidney and heart problems
- Women may get more frequent urinary tract infections
- Heart failure
- The ‘loved up’ feeling can lead to unsafe sex, with the risk of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV
- Heatstroke, dehydration
- Drinking too much fluid too fast can be dangerous – best to sip 1 pint of water per hour
- Death by overdose is rare
- Increased potency of MDMA in pills reported in EU since 2014 (Source: EMCDDA, World Drug Report 2016)
If you are pregnant
Do not use ecstasy if you are pregnant as we don’t know enough about the risks to your baby.
Not physically addictive but there is a risk of psychological addiction, when you feel you can’t enjoy yourself without it. You may build tolerance to it so you might have to keep taking more to get the same effect.
If you use regularly, you may feel tired and depressed when you withdraw from ecstasy.
How long does it stay in your system?
Ecstasy shows up in urine tests for 3-8 days. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only)
What help is available?
- Self-help support such as Narcotics Anonymous
- Counselling or psychotherapy
- Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture
- Your doctor
- Residential treatment programmes (clinics)
- One to one or group family support
- Contact the Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459 to find out about options in your area
It is always safer not to use at all, but if you do,follow harm reduction information. See our MDMA campaign« Back to Types of Drugs page