Molly is the crystalline form of MDMA, also going by the name Ecstasy. The drug is becoming increasingly popular with party-goers, or those that enjoy music festivals or raves. It’s a powerful stimulant and is not a drug that should be taken carelessly but is, unfortunately, seeing a lot of use in the streets nowadays.
Even though Ecstasy is a drug that’s been on the market for a long time, Molly began to gain traction in the last decade. What made Molly so famous initially was dealers marketing the drug as pure MDMA crystal. The drug is so popular now there are several molly addiction treatment programs in Texas, like Stonegate Center, which is located just west of Fort Worth.
What is MDMA?
MDMA is a synthetic drug that serves as both a stimulant and a mild hallucinogen. It causes the user to feel energized while distorting their perception of time and senses. Users will also experience enhanced sensory enjoyment. Research states that MDMA also acts as an empathogen or entactogen that helps produce emotional community experiences within a group of users.
The History Of MDMA
The first potential form of MDMA came out in 1912 and was developed by a German pharmaceutical. Its initial name was Methylsafrylaminc, and its purpose was to serve as a parent compound in medication that helps control bleeding. Several researchers, however, think that the initial goal of the drug was to help control appetite, but that is incorrect.
MDMA started to gain traction among psychiatrists during the late 70s. It was being prescribed for use, even though the drug wasn’t put through formal clinical trials and didn’t receive approval from the U.S. FDA. The main reason for use was that the psychiatrists saw that it would improve communication with their patients during sessions and increase their chances of learning more about their problems. Around about the same time, MDMA started emerging on the streets.
The early 80s saw an explosion in the sale of MDMA as a street drug in the form of Ecstasy primarily. As a result, the DEA placed an emergency ban on MDMA in 1985; it was on the list of Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs are substances that do not have medical approval and have a high risk of abuse. It’s been on the list since then and briefly saw removal between 1987 and 1988.
Now widely available in different forms such as Ecstasy and Molly, MDMA underwent clinical trials in the early 90s. Trials would test whether MDMA could relieve pain in terminally ill patients and aid in psychotherapy.
However, no results of the study have been published. What these studies achieved was helping establish safety parameters for the administration of MDMA in humans. As a result, there are currently clinical trials to see how useful MDMA is in treating PTSD and Anxiety.
Effects of MDMA
MDMA or Molly will start working within 45 minutes of taking a single dose. The effects include a greater sense of well-being, extroversion, and empathy. Individuals that take Molly will feel a heightened need to communicate and empathize with one another. Another additional symptom that people might list is higher sensory perception. Users will experience everything on a different level than they would when they’re off the drug.
Those aren’t the only type of effects that MDMA induces. There are other significant health effects, as well. While a fatal MDMA overdose is rare, too much of the drug can be potentially life-threatening. Symptoms include hypertension, panic attacks, faintness, and in the severest cases, seizures.
Due to the stimulant nature of MDMA, it’s typically associated with high amounts of physical activity. Another potential risk is that MDMA is taken in typically warmer environments. The combination may lead to a case of a notable increase in body temperature; it’s a phenomenon known as hyperthermia. Results from trials will showcase that mice will experience a significant increase in their body temperature.
The study also indicates that moderate doses will disrupt the mouse’s ability to regulate its body temperature. Combine the increase in body temperature with a warm environment, and the result is potentially fatal.
Hyperthermia is a condition that requires immediate medical attention. It can cause a rapid breakdown in muscle or electrolyte imbalance, which can cause kidney failure or potentially fatal swelling in the brain. Another startling effect that occurs with a regular modest dosage of MDMA is decreased pumping efficiency of the heart. That becomes particularly alarming when most individuals take the drug to partake in rigorous physical activity afterward.
Research dictates that MDMA has other adverse health effects. These include involuntary jaw clenching, a lack of appetite, depersonalization, restless leg syndrome, nausea, headaches, excessive sweating, and joint stiffness. It’s also a drug that affects the individual for an extended amount of time.
In the later hours after taking a drug, MDMA causes a reduction in motion perception. It may cause a significant decrease in motor skills such as the ability to drive; one should avoid any technical activities under the influence of MDMA.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous and often ignored aspects of MDMA is that every dose interferes with the individual’s ability to metabolize the drug. The inability to metabolize will cause further doses of the drug to produce higher blood levels. Higher blood levels will significantly increase the toxic effects of the drug. Combining MDMA with other drugs will lead to an increase in the adverse health effects of MDMA use.
Effects of Regular Use
Users who regularly engage in MDMA use suffer from irregular sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, depression, and risk of heart disease. Constant use for two years may lead to a significant decrease in cognitive function. It’s difficult for researchers to pinpoint the side effects of extended MDMA use because users will often use other drugs in conjunction with MDMA. There’s an essential requirement for additional research on the subject matter to identify the long-term impacts of MDMA use better.
Is MDMA addictive?
Researchers have not been able to answer clearly whether MDMA is an addictive substance or not. However, they have been able to establish that it has a significant impact on the specific neurotransmitter systems in the brain as other established addictive drugs. Trials are showcasing that animals will self-administer MDMA.
Whether or not animals self-administer drugs is a crucial indicator of its addictive potential. Research indicates that the drug’s self-administration is significantly lower than other, more addictive drugs like cocaine.
Statistics showcase that regular MDMA use results in adaptations in both serotonin and dopamine systems. These are occurrences that have an association with substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors.
However, overall there hasn’t been an attempt to establish studies that assess MDMA addiction or dependency. Studies showcase a variety of results because of the use of different population samples and measures. Many MDMA users don’t report any symptoms of addictions or any potential withdrawals that may come from not taking the drug.
Molly Withdrawal Symptoms
Molly withdrawal symptoms typically occur as soon as the effects of the drug wear off. It usually takes between 4-7 hours, and the impact of withdrawal can last longer than a week in some instances. While these symptoms are life-threatening, they are uncomfortable and can cause a lot of stress. The impact and significance of molly withdrawal will increase with the use of other drugs.
Withdrawal symptoms of Molly include both physical and psychological effects. These effects may include increased aggression, anxiety, decreased libido, depression, concentration, fatigue, and impulsivity. The comedown period from Molly has several different variable factors. Among these factors include; the amount used, duration, other psychiatric or medical conditions, and the use of other drugs.
Identifying the withdrawal symptoms of MDMA is a difficult task. The task is made much more challenging because it’s difficult to find completely pure MDMA. Molly initially sold a lot because people thought it was the purest form of MDMA crystal. However, with the progression of time, the purity of MDMA went down significantly.
Instead of pure MDMA crystals, Molly pills are a combination of different substances. These substances include drugs like cocaine, ketamine, dextromethorphan, caffeine, and bath salts. Due to there being no official laboratories that regulate Molly’s roduction, consumers aren’t sure what additional substances might be present in the pill.
More significant psychological impacts of MDMA withdrawal include;
- High Levels Of Anxiety
Withdrawal from MDMA can lead to a significant increase in the number of Anxiety users suffer. As a result, users might also shift toward using other substances to reduce Anxiety.
- Increased Depression
People that suffer from MDMA withdrawal may experience sudden feelings of sadness. In extreme situations, individuals suffering from withdrawal symptoms may experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Decreased Appetite
Molly withdrawal might lead to a significant reduction in the user’s appetite. In some cases, the decrease might lead to unhealthy amounts of weight loss and temporary nutritional deficiency.
Regular use and then the withdrawal of MDMA will lead to a disturbance in the individual’s sleep cycle. In severe scenarios, withdrawal may even lead to the user developing insomnia, leaving them at higher risk of accident or injury.
Impact Of Molly On The Brain
Molly impacts the brain in three significant ways. It’ll increase the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These hormones are responsible for increasing an individual’s energy and level of activity.
Additionally, they also induce a feeling of euphoria, a higher heart rate, blood pressure, and sudden changes in mood. Once the effects of Molly start wearing off, the user’s brain suffers from a depletion of serotonin, which causes disturbance in mood, sleep, and appetite. Those suffering from withdrawal symptoms might fall into relapse because of these uncomfortable conditions.
How Long Do Molly Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
Due to the reasonably new nature of trials studying the impact of Molly addiction and withdrawal, there’s not a set timeline of how users will experience withdrawal symptoms. There are some variables that will impact the length of the withdrawal.
One of the most critical variables is the purity of MDMA. There’s no set withdrawal timeline for pure MDMA, but the use of other substances will cause an increase in the withdrawal symptoms.
Another variable that has a significant impact is the extent of MDMA use. Users that aren’t regular won’t experience any withdrawal symptoms and will have a much easier time quitting.
Pre-existing medical conditions and disorders might also lead to higher levels of withdrawal symptoms. Users that suffer from multiple mental health issues can influence the length and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
What’s The Best Way To Get Treatment For Molly Addiction?
Most of you might be familiar with the existence of medical detox for molly abuse in North Texas. Several facilities exist to cater to the needs of individuals suffering from molly addiction. These facilities are run by professional medical and psychiatric staff that monitor the safety of each person. The staff is responsible for identifying symptoms and provide support, treatment, and medication to all individual patients.
While there isn’t a set answer to whether or not Molly is an addictive substance, it’s evident that certain signs point towards it being addictive. However, there’s still a significant need for more research on the subject matter.
MDMA’s initial purpose was entirely medical, and there’s still an argument to be had about the safe administration of the drug as it might have a significant medical benefit.
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction & pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center to the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.