What is MDMA?
3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions). It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception.
How does MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) affect the brain?
MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemicals serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to communicate with other neurons.
Serotonin is most likely responsible for the feelings of empathy, elevated mood, and emotional closeness experienced with this drug. Overall, these neurotransmitter systems play an important role in regulating:
energy/activity and the reward system
sensitivity to pain
heart rate, blood pressure.
How is MDMA used?
MDMA is most often available in tablet or capsule form and is usually ingested by mouth. Ecstasy traffickers consistently use brand names, colors and logos as marketing tools and to distinguish their product from that of competitors. The logos may be produced to coincide with holidays or special events. Among the more popular logos are butterflies, lightning bolts, and four-leaf clovers.
It is also available as a powder and is sometimes snorted, taken as a liquid, and it is occasionally smoked but rarely injected.