MDMA_ Molly

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Can You Die From Molly Days Later?

Individuals can die from using molly/ecstasy days after using the drug.

The cause of death is usually suicide due to depression. [1]

Accidental death because of molly/ecstasy use is due to:

Hyperthermia (body temperature too high) [2]

  • The body’s temperature becomes too high
  • The brain, heart, muscles,liver and kidneys are damaged
  • The individual becomes dehydrated, which leads him or her to drink more water, making the next symptom worse

 

Hyponatraemia (water intoxication) [3]:

  • Feeling overheated, the individual drinks too much water
  • Molly/MDMA makes the person not feel like peeing (antidiuretic effect)
  • Water intoxication happens (cells swell with too much water)

 

Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) [4]

  • Which can cause a sudden heart attack

Hypertension (high blood pressure) [4]

Cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) [4]

Unusual risk-taking behaviour caused by using the drug [4]

In the UK, there are recent reports of ecstasy use in music venues and festivals.

Sadly, ecstasy use has been connected to several deaths in these events [3].

In the US, ecstasy, often called “molly” is popular in raves.

Rave parties are organised dance parties where electronic dance music is played by DJs.

 

It is said that using ecstasy can heighten the experience of raves, particularly the trance-like feel evoked by the lights and sounds

Some individuals also use ecstasy in music events because the drug reportedly: [4]

  • Makes the party-goer more energetic
  • Boosts stamina and endurance to dance and stay up late
  • Helps a person overcome shyness, so the person socialises more
  • Enhances sexual arousal by increasing touch sensations

 

When its illicit use first became popular, it was widely hailed as a “love drug”.

Apparently, using ecstasy could make a person more empathic [5].

Having a greater sense of empathy is usually associated with being more demonstrative, “sweet”, and “cuddly”.

 

Ecstasy’s after-effects 2 to 5 days later is sometimes referred to as “suicide Tuesday” [1].

The feel-good effects of the drug wear off after six hours typically.

During this “crash” or low period, individuals describe their feelings as sad, depressed and blue.

Some refer to this state as being “E-tarded”.

These after-effects can be considered withdrawal symptoms ecstasy addiction.

 

Scientists pinpoint how ecstasy targets parts of the brain affecting memory and concentration.

In fact, brain changes of individuals who use ecstasy for a long time mimic those of individuals who are ageing and/or have age-related dementia [4].

 

The reason why it takes 2 to 5 days before the negative effects show is because of ecstasy’s slow half-life.

The half-life of ecstasy is 8 hours [4].

In contrast, the half-life of paracetamol (Panadol or Calpol) is 4 hours [6].

Half-life means the time it would take for a drug to show half of its effects in the human body.

Ecstasy/MDMA needs 5 half-lives to be totally eliminated by the body.

Consequently, it would take about the body about 40 hours to remove 95% of ecstasy from the system [4].

Abbeycare Clinic has a structured programme to help individuals who want to remove ecstasy from their system safely.

 

How Long Do The After Effects Of Molly Last?

The short-term after-effects of Molly, last 2 to 5 days. For long-term after-effects, these can be prolonged over a month or more.

Molly/ecstasy affects parts of the brain that control [7]:

  • Affection
  • Sex
  • Aggression or anger
  • Sleep
  • Management of pain

 

Individuals who use ecstasy, use the drug because of its reported feel-good effects.

However, the negative after-effects can be more than what the user bargained for.

 

The negative short-term effects connected with ecstasy use are [4]:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscles become tense
  • Teeth grinding
  • Restless movements of the legs
  • In some cases, epileptic-like seizures
  • Increase in body temperature and increased thirst
  • Headaches up to 2 days later
  • Stomach upsets
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure

 

 

There are also negative short-term psychological effects, which often feel like drug withdrawal symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Feeling of having too many thoughts/ thinking too fast
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High level of anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Irresponsible reckless behaviour
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Mild hallucinations (seeing/sensing things that do not exist in reality)
  • Feeling separated from self (depersonalisation)

 

 

In addition to these, depression is common 2 to 3 days after ecstasy use, as well as increased moodiness [8]

Individuals who use ecstasy for the first few times do not usually mind the negative short-term effects.

But persons who use ecstasy regularly have expressed how the negative feelings outweigh the positive effects [4].

Because of these negative effects, some individuals choose to detox in a rehab clinic such as Abbeycare.

 

For the negative long-term physical effects connected with ecstasy use, these are [4]:

  • Liver toxicity – jaundice (yellowing of the skin), liver injury, and hepatitis
  • Teeth get worn due to teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • Muscle aches, spasms, pains and tremors
  • Heart problems especially if there is already an existing heart condition
  • Increased chances of stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Slowness of movement, rigidity, and unstable posture (parkinsonism)
  • Bilateral abducens paralysis (eye problem, usually resulting in being permanently cross-eyed)
  • Serotonin toxicity or serotonin syndrome [9]

 

Documented long-term mental/psychologically-related problems of ecstasy use are: [4]

  • Impairment of memory (difficulty remembering what was seen or said)
  • Impairment of the decision-making making process
  • Difficulties completing logical thinking and problem-solving tasks
  • Tendency to be impulsive
  • Tendency to lack of self-control
  • Increased number of panic attacks months of use has stopped
  • Paranoia (feeling someone is “out to get me”)
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalization
  • Flashbacks
  • Psychotic episodes (a break from reality where the person does something that can be described as weird or out-of-touch with reality)

 

Safely stopping the use of ecstasy can be done through professionally-assisted ecstasy detox and treatment at a drug rehab clinic, such as Abbeycare Scotland or Abbeycare Gloucester.

 

Is MDMA Used For Therapy?

MDMA is used in a clinical trial or testing capacity, in the United States.

The use of MDMA is now in Clinical Trials, Phase 3 [10].

After completing Phase 3, MDMA will be forwarded for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Foreseeably, the drug can be approved for use with persons being treated with PTSD in an out-patient setting while the person also has psychotherapy.

 

Ecstasy is popular recreational drug that is that has 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) [8].

But it is important to know that MDMA is NOT ecstasy/molly.

The MDMA used in the clinical trials is clinical-grade or pharmaceutical grade.

This kind of standard of purity makes MDMA suitable for use as medicine.

Meanwhile, ecstasy, which is produced illegally and with varying amounts of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is not suitable for the treatment of diseases [8].

 

In a controlled setting such as a laboratory, researchers have been able to prove that MDMA can help PTSD patients by:

  • Helping them relax while recalling traumatic events
  • Helping the patient feel secure while talking about the trauma
  • Helping the individual develop self-empathy while reflecting on the events

 

The rigorous process of drug approval by the FDA is to help assure that the potential benefits of MDMA outweigh its negative side-effects.

MDMA has a potential for abuse by persons who, because of the feel-good effects of the drug, become dependent on it.

Persons who become addicted or dependent on ecstasy/MDMA/molly are usually referred to a rehab clinic for professional help.

 

Is MDMA Good For PTSD?

MDMA can have potential benefits for those suffering with PTSD which is currently being treated with psychotherapy.

But MDMA used together with psychotherapy in an outpatient setting is still being tested in a clinical trial [10].

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved of MDMA use outside the clinical trial.

In the UK, MDMA is a Class A drug. Using it, carrying it and selling it are acts punishable by law [11].

 

The MDMA used in the US clinical trials is also NOT ecstasy.

Clinically-graded MDMA has a specific dosage, and is manufactured in controlled laboratories.

Whereas ecstasy sold illegally is manufactured with different dosages of the active component.

A study has shown that street-grade ecstasy can have 67%–100% MDMA as the active ingredient [8].

Some pills can also contain less than 67%, and in some cases, there was no MDMA contained in the pills.

 

Recently, some ecstasy pills seized by authorities were described as “fast releasing”; while some were dubbed “double dose” types. [11]

The varying dosage in illegally produced MDMA means a person can take a high dose and sometimes a low dose, with little to no precaution.

This uncertainty and instability can lead to accidental overdose, and in worse case scenarios even death.

In raves and music festivals ecstasy is usually combined with alcohol.

Because alcohol has a diuretic effect, it can increase the toxic effects of ecstasy, causing dehydration and overheating.

 

In addition, unwise judgments from alcohol and ecstasy use can sometimes cause accidents to happen [12].

Persons who become dependent on the use of alcohol can detox safely by participating in an alcohol detox programme.

In a clinic such as Abbeycare, persons who have issues with alcohol and ecstasy can securely discuss their options for treatment.

Recovering from ecstasy addiction can be challenging because it means dealing with withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings for the drug.

Provided proper care and professional support, a person can learn specific techniques to overcome these challenges.

 

References

  1.   Kim, J. Fan, B. Lui, X. & Wu, P. (2011). Ecstasy Use and Suicidal Behavior Among Adolescents: Findings from a National Survey. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152632/
  2.   The Conversation. (2019). How does MDMA kill? Available at: https://theconversation.com/how-does-mdma-kill-109506
  3.   Chalk, W. (2017). This is what happens if you take too much MDMA. BBC UK. Avilable at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40403970/this-is-what-happens-if-you-take-too-much-mdma
  4.   Kalat, H. (2001). The pharmacology and toxicology of “ecstasy” (MDMA) and related drugs. CMAJ, 16597), 917-928. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC81503/
  5.   Smothers, H. (2016). This Is What Sex on Ecstasy Is Like. Cosmopolitan. Available at: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a62989/sex-on-mdma/
  6.   Medicines.org. (2010). Paracetamol 500mg. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/4199/smpc
  7.   National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA). Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/neurobiology-ecstasy/section-iii/1-short-term-effects-after-ecstasy-gone-body/
  8.   Meyer, J. (2013). 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): current perspectives. Subst Abuse Rehabil. 4, 83–99. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931692/
  9.   Soloway, R. (2015). Ecstasy Summary of Harmful Effects. Available at: https://www.poison.org/articles/2012-apr/ecstasy-a-summary-of-harmful-effects
  10.   Multidisciplinary Association for psychedelic Studies. (2017). A Phase 3 Program of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Available at: https://maps.org/research/mdma/ptsd/phase3
  11.   BBC. (1 May 2019). MDMA: Why it’s ‘impossible’ to know how the drug affects you. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-48120198
  12.   SAMSHA. (2013). Ecstasy-Related Emergency Department Visits by Young People Increased between 2005 and 2011; Alcohol Involvement Remains a Concern. Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/spot127-youth-ecstasy-2013/spot127-youth-ecstasy-2013.pdf

About the author

Melany Heger

Registered Psychologist and Freelance Writer, Jinjin Melany passionately writes about mental health issues, addiction, eating disorders and parenting since 2015. Read more about Melany on LinkedIn. Content reviewed by Dr Khan.


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