Can You Build a Tolerance to Ecstasy?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

A Tolerance to Ecstasy Explained

Ecstasy, also referred to as MDMA or Molly, is a drug that was first made popular in the club and rave scene. It creates a heightened sense of awareness while stimulating a euphoric mood due to its chemical combination of hallucinogens and stimulants. But soon after a person starts to abuse this dangerous drug, they begin to realize that it doesn’t have as great of an effect as it did before. A tolerance to ecstasy, as with most other drugs, is a natural response to the invasion of chemicals.

Ecstasy dependence and the development of tolerance will be discussed in this article.

A Tolerance to Ecstasy Explained

The development of a tolerance to ecstasy starts with repeated use. When a person first takes ecstasy, their body is unprepared for the toxins and as a result, a person experiences the full effect of the drug. With repeated use, the body begins to adjust in order to reduce the impact that the toxins has.

In essence, a drug abuser’s body is fighting the drug. Your body seeks to find a normal balance, but ecstasy abuse upsets the body’s natural function, and as such, the body counters the presence of the substance by adjusting its normal processes.

The adjusted state that a drug abuser’s body is in can be considered the physical changes that lead to ecstasy dependence. Once this dependence forms, a person will have withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop, causing several hard-to-deal-with and sometime dangerous side effects.

How Long Does a Tolerance to Ecstasy Take?

As with many studies into the mechanisms of the brain, the exact science is still unclear, but researchers suggest that the frequency of dosing plays a major role. A tolerance is especially prominent when a person “stacks” doses – taking more than one dose in a day to stave off withdrawal. The more a person “stacks”, that faster their tolerance will build.

A user just starting to abuse ecstasy may have 1-3 tablets in a session, but as their tolerance builds, they may take between 10 and 25 just to get an effect.

Dangers of Building an Ecstasy Tolerance

A tolerance to ecstasy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an addiction – although the two are very closely linked. As such, one of the main dangers of forming a tolerance is developing an addiction. Once such an addiction has taken hold, all of the other dangers involved with substance abuse multiply.

Ecstasy is also known to have a detrimental effect on a person’s cognitive function. People who abuse MDMA frequently are at risk of getting ecstasy addiction symptoms such as panic attacks, flashbacks at inopportune moments, poor memory, depersonalization and psychosis among other side effects. The effects of MDMA have been studied on animals and have shown that serotonin axonal degeneration occurs, which is believed to be behind some of the damage caused.


If you have ecstasy addiction symptoms, then it is strongly recommended that you speak to an addiction specialist to better understand your options. Rehab centers are able to assist in isolating behavioral problems and then providing healthy alternative behaviors.

A rehab can also assist with another major part of quitting ecstasy: withdrawal symptoms. These are often what drive people to abuse drugs even though they want to quit.

Before finishing with the a rehab program, an addiction specialist will teach you how to cope with the various triggers that would drive you to abuse drugs before, helping you to overcome addiction in the long term.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.