Ecstasy MDMA Category: StimulantsPsychedlics
Also called: E, XTC, pills, yokes, MDMA, MD.
Ecstasy is a tem used to describe the drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine).
It is a stimulant drug (‘upper’) that also produces mild hallucinogenic/ psychedelic effects.
May 2021 update
See our update on the latest MDMA trends here
MDMA most commonly comes as pills known as Ecstasy that are identified by their logo, shapes and colours. It also comes as capsules, crystals or powder which could vary in colour.
How it’s used
MDMA Pills and powders are most commonly taken orally and by snorting. Powders can be 'dabbed' and swallowed.
The onset of effects may vary and can take around 20-70 minutes if not longer and can last for 2-6 hours.
Feel euphoric ‘coming up’. It can make music and colours more intense
Intense emotions and empathy for those around them
Body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate go up
Some people could hallucinate
Feel nausea or unwell
Loss of appetite
Sweating and feeling warm
A tight jaw, dry mouth and throa
Some people may feel anxious
You could feel extremely low or depressed for days after using in what is known as a ‘comedown’
- If used frequently; sleep problems, feeling low or bouts of depression. This is as a result of the impact of frequent effecting serotonin levels in your body.
- The amount of MDMA in pills has been increasing in Europe which has led to hospitalisations and deaths.Unknown contents emerging is also still a risk.
- People with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction
- Sone people can feel very low or affects on their mental health after using
- Using with alcohol, other drugs and prescription medication increases the risks. It is especially risky to mix MDMA with drugs that increase serotonin in the body such as some anti-depressants such as SSRI medication.
- MDMA can affect the levels of the chemical serotonin in the body. Upon use, too much serotonin can cause what is known as ‘serotonin syndrome’ which could be life threatening if left untreated
- Use of ecstasy has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems.
- MDMA affects the body's temperature control. Dancing in a hot environment like a club or festival can increase the chances of overheating and dehydration without people realising.
- MDMA use can make it difficult to urinate which can make people unsure of how hydrated they are. Drinking too much water can be dangerous and lead to what is known as ‘water intoxication’. People are recommended to sip a pint of water an hour.
- Woman may be at greater risk to adverse reactions to MDMA.
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 after use.
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 support is available?
Find a service here
It is always safer not to use at all, but if you do,follow harm reduction information. See our MDMA harm reduction information« Back to Types of Drugs page