According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are millions of people in the United States who use hallucinogens like molly every year.
While hallucinogenic drugs are not known to be highly addictive, they can be abused for their mind-altering effects and may become addictive in some people. Abusing drugs like molly can also cause serious side effects, especially when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.
Treatment for molly abuse may be recommended if you’re unable to stop taking molly, or have experienced significant disruption to your life due to your drug use.
Here, you’ll find information about molly, signs of molly abuse, dangers of taking molly, and treatment options.
What Is Molly?
“Molly” is a nickname commonly used to refer to the drug, MDMA or ecstasy. This acronym stands for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, a synthetic drug. All forms of MDMA are illegal to buy, possess, and sell in the United States.
Molly belongs to a class of drugs known as hallucinogens. Taking hallucinogens like Molly or ketamine can dramatically alter your sense of reality and perception.
This drug can cause hallucinations, a sense of pleasure, impaired judgment, and alter your perception of time.
Molly is generally sold in powder form or as a capsule. Bath salts are sometimes sold to people who may be told that the bath salts are actually molly.
How Does Molly Work?
When taken, molly interacts with certain neurotransmitters in the brain that control things such as mood, physical movement, and perception. Molly is known to interact with three brain chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Taking Molly boosts the amount of these chemicals in your brain. Depending on how much of the drug you take, molly’s effects may last between three to six hours.
Side effects of MDMA/molly may include:
- increased energy
- increased blood pressure
- fast heart rate
- elevated mood
- distorted perception of time
- impaired judgment
- emotional closeness
- increased sexual arousal
Some negative side effects can also occur after taking molly. Molly, or ecstasy, may cause blurred vision, nausea, muscle cramping, sweating, and chills.
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Additional side effects may also emerge in the week after taking molly, such as negative effects on mood, appetite, and sleep.
Molly Abuse: Signs And Symptoms
Although molly is often used recreationally as a “party drug” at raves, it’s possible for some people to develop a regular pattern of molly use.
If you or someone you know regularly takes molly, it can be helpful to know common signs and symptoms of molly abuse. This refers to a pattern of drug use that can negatively affect mental health, physical health, and general wellbeing.
Signs of molly abuse and addiction may include:
- frequent use of molly
- mixing molly with other drugs to enhance its effects (e.g. marijuana, alcohol)
- continuing to take molly despite negative effects on physical or mental health
- hiding or lying about your drug use
- experiencing drug cravings
- mood swings
- increased depression, anxiety, or psychosis
- increased paranoia
- having difficulty sleeping
- preoccupation with taking or getting more molly
Drug abuse and addiction are behavioral health conditions. For this reason, some of the primary signs of molly abuse can be how a person’s drug use affects their behavior.
People with substance use disorders may withdraw from loved ones, neglect their health, engage in criminal activity, and shirk other responsibilities that disrupt their ability to use drugs.
Is Molly Addictive?
Research on the addictive potential of molly is mixed. Generally, MDMA/Molly/ecstasy is not believed to be as addictive as some other illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin.
However, it does affect brain chemicals associated with addiction, such as dopamine. Boosting the amount of dopamine in your body can signal to your brain that you want to take more of the drug. In this way, molly can become psychologically addictive.
Why Do People Abuse Molly?
Not everyone abuses hallucinogenic drugs for the same reasons. Some people may take molly to escape their current reality, to cope with stress, or simply because they’re curious of its effects.
Drug abuse can be influenced by a range of factors, including:
- poor mental health
- family history of drug abuse
- peer pressure
Dangers Of Molly Abuse
Molly can have major effects on perception and mental state. While effects generally last no more than six hours, some people experience longer-lasting or more severe effects.
Molly can also be dangerous when taken with other drugs, including alcohol. Mixing Molly with other drugs can risk dangers such as overdose and organ damage.
Short-term dangers of molly abuse may include:
- decreased coordination
- reduced inhibition
- sense of panic
- extreme paranoia
- liver, kidney, or heart failure (as a result of very high body temperature)
Long-term dangers of molly abuse can include:
- suicidal thoughts
- panic attacks
- memory problems
- organ damage
Taking molly frequently may cause drug dependence. If you’ve become dependent on molly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms with reduced or stopped use of the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- loss of appetite
- difficulty concentrating
Personal factors such as body size, polysubstance abuse, and a previous history of drug withdrawal can influence the types of symptoms you experience.
If you’re addicted to more than one drug, seeking professional detox services may be recommended for safety.
Molly Abuse And Addiction Treatment Programs
Treatment options for molly abuse and addiction is the subject of ongoing research. Because it’s not a common drug of abuse, drug issues involving Molly are likely to be treated similarly to the abuse of other drugs.
Based on the severity of your drug problem, inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment may be recommended. Inpatient treatment is the most effective form of treatment for drug addiction because it offers a safe and supervised environment for you to receive around-the-clock care.
Behavioral therapy is also used to treat hallucinogen drug abuse. This type of treatment promotes greater self-reflection on your drug use and can help you replace your MDMA use with more supportive coping mechanisms.
If you or someone you know is abusing Molly, call our helpline today to find treatment options near you.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
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.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Key Substance Abuse and Mental Health Indicators 2019 NSDUH
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) DrugFacts