Better Addiction Care

Ecstasy Facts and Statistics


MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy, is the street name for the compound 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. Developed by Merck in the early 1900s, the compound was originally intended to be used as a diet aid but was never marketed. It was relatively obscure until the 1970s, when psychologists began using the drug without FDA approval during patient sessions as a therapy tool due to its ability to help patients empathize. Ecstasy began to appear on the streets during the mid-1970s and was officially banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1985. Its status as a Schedule I drug makes statistics and facts on Ecstasy difficult to come by.

Common Street Names for Ecstasy/MDMA

  • Molly
  • Disco biscuit
  • E
  • Peace
  • XTC
  • Beans

Interesting Facts About Ecstasy

  • MDMA is believed to primarily affect three neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
  • Ecstasy is known as the "hug drug" for its ability to elevate mood and allow users to empathize with others.
  • The high from MDMA typically occurs within 45 minutes of taking the drug and lasts four to six hours.
  • Ecstasy is most often used with other drugs, including marijuana and alcohol.
  • One of the more interesting facts about Ecstasy is that overdose deaths from acute toxicity are rare, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, and the drug is often not the primary cause of death. Instead, the drug affects the body's ability to regulate internal temperature, causing spikes in body temperature that contribute to multiple organ failure and death.

While Ecstasy affects users within an hour of taking the drug, the long-term effects of Ecstasy use can last for a week or longer. The release of massive amounts of neurotransmitters causes damage to the brain's reuptake ability and can cause cognitive degeneration with continued use. Ecstasy statistics show that the most common reported effects of taking MDMA are:

  • Sleep disturbances, including the inability to sleep and night terrors
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Increased aggression

These effects can last for a week or longer after the initial use of the drug and can increase in severity with continued use.

According to Ecstasy statistics, use of the drug is not common, with an estimated 0.8% of the population having tried the drug at least once in their lifetime. The highest concentration of Ecstasy abuse seems to be in young adults, with 3.8% of high school seniors reporting trying the drug in 2012 and the highest concentrations of users ranging in age from 18-25.

Though it is often seen as safe, Ecstasy use is still drug abuse. If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, BetterAddictionCare is here to help you find the right path to a drug-free life. Our nationwide recovery network is dedicated to helping you achieve sobriety and put your life back on track. Our affiliates offer services such as inpatient medically assisted detox, alternative rehab programs, and addiction counseling and are happy to work with private insurance carriers.

Recovering from addiction is not easy, and finding the proper treatment center can be overwhelming. But once you get the facts on Ecstasy and decide to get help, our personal pre-screening process can help you find the best treatment center for you. We believe that the best road to recovery is one that is customized to each person's individualized needs. The facilities we work with are comfortable, safe centers with highly trained staff who will help you get sober.

The best time to get help is now. Call today or fill out our contact form to speak with a counselor.


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