MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, also known as Molly, is a synthetic drug that has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. It usually comes in a crystalline white powder or capsule form that can be ingested, snorted or swallowed by users. Molly is considered to be the “pure” form of MDMA, as compared to its ecstasy counterpart. However, even powder and capsules sold as pure MDMA can contain cheaper substitutes, such as bath salts and other drugs, which can have additional negative consequences on a person’s health.
Once MDMA enters the body, it increases the activity of three main neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals:
- Dopamine plays a major role in the reward system; it is responsible for producing increased energy and euphoria in MDMA users.
- Norepinephrine is associated with the fight-or-flight response; MDMA users may experience increase in their heart rate and blood pressure.
- Studies show that MDMA increases serotonin, or 5-HT, release and inhibits its reuptake. Serotonin is associated with mood, appetite and sleep; increased activity of serotonin helps to explain why MDMA users report feeling elevated mood, empathy and emotionally close to other people around them.