Ecstasy Abuse: Effects, Statistics, and Treatment

3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a drug that has both hallucinogenic and stimulant features. It is often referred to as Ecstasy or Molly. The drug’s effects can begin to take place in as little as 30 minutes and may last upwards of six hours. The desired effects of ecstasy are increased energy levels, a state of euphoria, increase pleasure from physical touch, as well as a higher level of sexuality and sexual arousal.

However, like other drugs the short term side effects of MDMA include potentially dangerous physical and psychological consequences including:

  • Nausea and cramping
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Higher heart rate and blood pressure
  • Hallucinations

Long term effects of Ecstasy include panic attacks, insomnia, out of body experiences, the inability to distinguish reality from fantasy, as well as paranoid delusions and depression. Abuse of MDMA can often lead to deadly consequences including seizures, organ damage, and extreme increases in body temperature.


  • A 2013 study showed that over 17 million people in the United States have reported using ecstasy at some point in their lives.
  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 are the most likely demographic to use ecstasy with nearly 1 out of every 8 young adults having tried the drug.
  • In 2011 there were almost 22,500 ecstasy related emergency room visits in the United States, a 220% increase from 2004.


Ecstasy abuse is a serious problem and should be addressed sooner rather than later. Inpatient rehabilitation is the best choice in most cases for treatment. Patients will go through a period of detoxification as well as counseling to give recovering users the best chance of successful rehabilitation.

Detoxification can be a difficult process where the patient will experience significant withdrawal. At Recovery Coast, our trained professionals with over 30 years of experience will do everything in our power to make sure that you or your loved one is as safe and comfortable as possible.