Signs & Symptoms of MDMA (Ecstasy & Molly) Addiction

Sections: Stages of Addiction | The Signs | Withdrawal Symptoms | How You Can Help | Self-Screening Questions | Getting Treatment

Signs of MDMA Addiction

MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, is a popular mood-altering drug taken for its many pleasurable effects, including an increased enjoyment of music and lighting effects, intense euphoria, and an artificial sense of closeness with others. Over the decades, MDMA has been used by club, party, festival, and concert attendees to enhance their experiences and give them a boost of energy that allows them to dance and have fun for hours on end.

A 2016 national survey found that roughly 6.9% of Americans aged 12 or older had taken MDMA in some form during their lifetime. Despite the real potential dangers posed by MDMA, many still view the drug as “harmless,” and popular figures like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West continue to casually reference its recreational use in popular media.


Stages of MDMA Addiction

A dependency on MDMA may begin with a seemingly harmless test at the urging of friends at a party or spiritual group meeting, but its pleasurable effects can lead to further stages of addiction. With regular use, taking MDMA becomes a normal part of partying, then a common “enhancer” of almost any activity. Eventually, people find themselves relying on the drug every day to make them feel happy, fulfilled, or spiritually connected.

Even if you aren’t acutely aware of a friend or loved one’s MDMA problem, you may notice some early signs of addiction:

  • An increase in partying
  • New or intensifying spirituality (MDMA is sometimes used to achieve spiritual feelings)
  • Unusual changes in personality or behavior
  • Shirking responsibilities
  • Financial troubles, disappearing money
  • Difficulty with relationships or jobs


Look Out for These MDMA Addiction Signs

While an MDMA addiction may not be as visibly noticeable as an addiction to drugs like cocaine or heroin, it still creates a variety of physical and behavioral symptoms that you can watch for. A dose of Molly lasts around 4 to 6 hours, so you may even notice signs that the person is high in your presence.¹

Physical Signs of MDMA Addiction May Include: Behavioral Signs of MDMA Addiction May Include:
» Overwhelming (extremely dangerous)
» Increased heart rate, high blood pressure
» Nausea
» Sweating, chills
» Distorted senses
» Jaw clenching
» Dilated pupils
» Increased energy
» Sensitivity to light and sound
» Euphoria
» Excessively friendly behavior (quickly becoming “close” to strangers)
» A sense of enhanced spirituality or “connectedness”
» Ignoring risks
» Anxiety, depression
» Not sleeping for days at a time

MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms

As with any drug, the symptoms of withdrawal can be intensely uncomfortable. If a person is taking MDMA with other drugs (or if the drug has been cut with something else unknown to the user), he or she may suffer the symptoms of withdrawal from these drugs as well. Depending on their overall health, the dosage they’ve been taking, and the frequency of use, certain withdrawal symptoms may even be life-threatening.

Common signs of withdrawal from MDMA include the following:

  • Cravings
  • Anxiety, paranoia
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced appetite
  • Inability to sleep
  • Fatigue


How You Can Help: Identifying Signs and Offering Support

In order to help someone struggling with an addiction to MDMA, you first need to be able to recognize and identify the signs. If you are worried that a friend or family member may be at risk of developing an addiction, be on the lookout for telltale physical changes and behaviors. Keep in mind, however, that an inability to recognize an addiction is not a failure on your part; addicted individuals work hard to hide their dependencies from others.

Once you’ve identified signs of an MDMA addiction, talk to the person about it. Provide information and resources, and let him or her know that they have your love and full support. When it seems appropriate, you can refer the person to a professional drug rehab facility like Yellowstone Recovery.


Self-Screening Questions

When talking to loved ones about your concerns, you may find that they will downplay the issue or deny that they have a legitimate addiction. If this is the case, have them answer the following self-screening questions. Answering these questions aloud may provide the insight necessary for the person to recognize the MDMA addiction for what it is.

  1. Have you used MDMA/Molly/Ecstasy in the last month?
  2. Do you feel like you are not truly happy or spiritually fulfilled unless you take MDMA?
  3. Do you start to feel ill or uncomfortable when you haven’t taken MDMA?
  4. Do you find yourself thinking about MDMA often throughout the day (taking it, finding money to buy it, worrying whether you have enough)?
  5. Have you canceled plans, missed work, or forgotten to do something important because you were buying, using, or thinking about obtaining MDMA?
  6. Other than the purchase of the drug itself, have you done anything illegal or immoral (e.g., stealing money, lying about serious issues, committing a violent act) to obtain MDMA? What about as a result of taking it?

If the person answers “yes” to even a couple of these questions, he or she may indeed be dealing with an addiction to MDMA. Hopefully, going through these questions and talking about their answers will help your loved ones see the issue more clearly and admit that their use has become problematic. Once he or she is open to this line of discussion, you can start to talk about treatment options.

Seeking Professional Treatment for Your Loved One

Yellowstone Recovery in beautiful southern California provides expert MDMA addiction treatment through our convenient residential program. Upon arrival, clients have the opportunity safely detox with appropriate medical support. Then, through group and individual counseling and other therapies, clients work on the underlying issues that affect their addictions and learn to support their own sobriety with valuable coping skills.

If you have a loved one who is addicted to MDMA and you want to help him or her get compassionate, effective treatment, call our professional rehabilitation specialists today at (888) 418-4188.



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