Snorting Molly | The Dangers Of MDMA/Ecstasy Insufflation

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 14, 2020

Snorting drugs like MDMA is dangerous and may have negative side effects. Pursuing a treatment plan may be necessary to recover from addiction and prevent overdose due to MDMA abuse.

Snorting Ecstasy/MDMA/Molly

MDMA, also known as molly or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is a powerful hallucinogenic amphetamine. MDMA is the key ingredient in party drugs like Ecstasy — an illegal drug in pill form that often includes drugs like cocaine, caffeine, ketamine, opioids, or amphetamines.

MDMA can be snorted in crystal form, in powder form, or as crushed ecstasy pills. Snorting MDMA creates a fast, intense high, which is a feeling of euphoria, high energy, and general well-being.

Dangers Of Snorting Drugs

Snorting drugs like MDMA creates quickly felt effects because the drug reaches the brain more quickly through blood than with oral ingestion. The effects of MDMA come on intensely but last about half as long.

People that snort drugs may be prone to binging drugs because the effects don’t last as long. This drug use leads to a buildup of the drug in the system and an increased risk of negative side effects and overdose.

Side Effects Of Snorting MDMA

The desired effects produced from the use of MDMA include high energy and positive mood. People seek the feelings of heightened sensory perception from the hallucinogen’s effects and enjoy feelings of euphoria that come on when abusing the drug.

Snorting MDMA in combination with other drugs or in high doses can produce very unpleasant side effects, including:

  • excess sweating
  • chills
  • dry mouth
  • hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
  • dilated pupils
  • teeth grinding
  • blurred vision

In addition to the direct effects of MDMA, the act of snorting the drug can cause additional stress to delicate nasal tissue.

Snorting MDMA can cause:

  • nose bleeds
  • damaged voice
  • nasal septum damage
  • trouble swallowing
  • nasal irritation

The typical effects of MDMA will last around five to six hours. Ecstasy use through snorting may last one to two hours.

When people engage in prolonged MDMA substance use, they can experience more intense side effects, like:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • aggression
  • irritability
  • cognitive issues
  • insomnia
  • sexual dysfunction
  • lack of appetite
  • impulsive behavior

Risks Of MDMA Abuse

People with substance abuse issues including MDMA use are at a higher risk for adverse effects. The dopamine rush of MDMA complicates mental health issues and impacts withdrawal symptoms.

The risks of using MDMA include addiction, overdose, and dangerous serotonin syndrome.

MDMA Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction to MDMA may not take the form of physical dependency, where the body physically reacts to the drug’s absence.

Addiction and withdrawal symptoms manifest in other ways, such as:

  • not being able to stop using MDMA
  • taking more MDMA or for longer than you planned
  • MDMA interfering with everyday life
  • cravings for MDMA
  • anxiety and depression
  • cognitive defects and memory issues
  • using MDMA despite negative consequences in your life (loss of jobs, family problems, etc.)

MDMA Overdose

MDMA overdose does not only happen to people with MDMA addiction. Overdose can occur in anybody that takes too much of the drug for their body to handle. Because drug purity and sourcing varies, reactions cannot be fully anticipated.


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MDMA is most commonly taken in party or rave environments where people don’t take the best care of their immediate needs. Hours of dancing in hot environments without food or water can exacerbate overdose risks.

When people mix psychoactive drugs, don’t track their dosing, or ignore their body’s warning signs, dangerous effects may occur.

Symptoms of a molly overdose may include:

  • brain swelling
  • hyponatremia (low sodium from excess water intake)
  • liver failure
  • kidney failure
  • cardiovascular failure
  • high blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • stroke

Serotonin Syndrome

A very serious effect of heavy MDMA use is serotonin syndrome. When the brain becomes overwhelmed with serotonin, the body will react negatively.

Snorting MDMA increases the risk of some potentially lethal effects You can recognize serotonin syndrome by the following symptoms:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • tachycardia (elevated heart rate)
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • restlessness
  • poor coordination

Getting Treatment For MDMA Abuse and Addiction

If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with MDMA use and addiction, treatment can help. Talk to one of our treatment specialists to learn about the range of inpatient and outpatient treatment options available.

MDMA abuse is harmful to your health and may damage relationships. Life without addiction and substance use is within reach. Get started now.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on December 14, 2020


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