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What Does Molly Feel Like?

Molly, a crystalline form of the psychoactive drug MDMA, has become a staple in the party scene, from nightclubs to music festivals. Despite its reputation for purity, Molly is not without its dangers and impurities.

In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the sensations, risks, and long-term effects associated with Molly use, shedding light on the reality behind this potent stimulant.

What is Molly?

Molly is often touted as a purer form of Ecstasy, but in reality, it is simply another name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). This synthetic drug is known for its ability to produce feelings of euphoria, warmth, and emotional closeness.

It is particularly popular in environments that emphasize sensory stimulation, such as raves and concerts. However, the quest for purity is frequently in vain, as tests have revealed that Molly can contain a range of other substances, sometimes including no MDMA at all.

The Experience of Taking Molly

The experience of taking Molly can be described as a wave of overwhelming well-being. Users often report a surge of energy and an irresistible desire to dance, accompanied by a sense of heightened sociability. This powerful combination makes it a go-to choice for partygoers seeking to enhance their social interactions and overall sensory experience.

The high from Molly typically lasts between four to six hours, with many users choosing to prolong the effects by taking additional doses, known as “bumps,” or consuming multiple doses at once, a practice referred to as “stacking.” This can lead to an intensified experience but also increases the risk of adverse reactions.

Physiological Effects of Molly on the Brain

At the core of Molly’s effects is its impact on the brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mood, sleep, pain, and appetite.

Molly triggers a flood of serotonin and hampers its reabsorption, leading to the drug’s prolonged euphoric effects. This alteration in brain chemistry can result in users experiencing dramatically altered perceptions, particularly in response to music and lights, which are staples of the environments where Molly is commonly consumed.

Long-term, the impact on serotonin levels can be dire. Studies have shown that even after two years of cessation, former users’ brains may still exhibit abnormal function, with greater abnormalities observed in those who consumed larger quantities of MDMA.

Physical Symptoms and Sensations

The immediate physical effects of Molly include a range of sensations that contribute to its allure. The drug can cause a noticeable increase in heart rate, a decrease in pain awareness, and involuntary teeth clenching. Users often report an enhanced attraction to tactile sensations and auditory experiences, which can make the music and atmosphere of a party feel more immersive.

However, these pleasurable sensations come with a risk. One of the most serious dangers associated with Molly is hyperthermia, a condition where the body overheats to extreme temperatures, sometimes reaching as high as 108 degrees. This can lead to organ failure and, in severe cases, death, particularly in hot environments where users may not be aware of their rising body temperatures.

Psychological and Emotional Effects

The psychological and emotional effects of Molly are often described in glowing terms by those who use it. The drug can create a feeling of intense emotional connection and unity with others, blurring the lines between oneself and the surrounding crowd. However, this entactogenic effect can also pave the way for less desirable outcomes, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and disorganized thinking.

While the euphoria is temporary, the aftermath can be long-lasting. The comedown from Molly can involve feelings of agitation, sweating, and headaches, and in some cases, users may experience severe panic attacks and muscle spasms.

Adverse Short-Term Effects

The short-term adverse effects of Molly are not to be underestimated. The drug can induce a range of negative symptoms, from nausea and headaches to more severe conditions like seizures. The risk of collapsing and subsequent death is a stark reality, particularly at hot, outdoor events where the combination of physical exertion, high temperatures, and Molly’s effects can be fatal.

Long-Term Consequences of Molly Use

Beyond the immediate high, Molly’s long-term consequences can be profound. Chronic use has been linked to depression, memory impairment, and a decline in cognitive function.

A 2011 study highlighted a troubling association between MDMA use and an increased risk of suicide among teens, underscoring the potential for long-term psychological damage.

Signs of Molly Use

Identifying signs of Molly use can be crucial for recognizing when someone may be in danger. These signs include altered sleep patterns, an unusual lack of pain awareness, excessive friendliness, and a distorted sense of time. Observing these behaviors can be the first step in providing help or intervening in a potentially dangerous situation.

The Risk of Addiction

Despite common beliefs that Molly is a harmless party drug, it carries a significant risk of addiction. Regular users may develop a tolerance, requiring larger doses to achieve the same effects, and severe cravings can make quitting a challenging endeavor.

Withdrawal symptoms, such as loss of appetite, depression, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, can make the process even more daunting. Addiction is not defined merely by physical dependence but also by the continued use of the drug despite the negative consequences it brings to one’s life.

Safety and Legal Considerations

The legal status of Molly is clear: it is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, making its use and distribution illegal. Those caught with the drug can face serious legal penalties. For those who choose to use Molly, harm reduction strategies, such as staying hydrated, avoiding mixing substances, and knowing one’s limits, are crucial. However, the best way to reduce harm is to avoid use altogether.

For individuals struggling with Molly use, there are resources available for addiction help and support. It’s essential to seek professional guidance for treatment options, which may include therapy, support groups, and in some cases, medication.


Understanding what Molly feels like is about recognizing both the allure and the risks. The drug’s ability to produce intense feelings of happiness and connection can quickly be overshadowed by the potential for addiction, harmful physical effects, and long-term psychological damage.

Education and awareness are key in preventing misuse and providing support for those who need it. By spreading knowledge about the true nature of Molly, we can help reduce the harm associated with this drug and encourage safer choices within our communities.


The Intricate Dance of Molly (MDMA) in the Brain: A Deep Dive into Euphoria and Risk

Molly, a term that evokes images of music festivals and vibrant nightclubs, is more than just a party drug. It’s a substance that has danced on the edges of legality, therapy, and danger.

In the wake of an alarming incident at Wesleyan University, where 12 students suffered from poisoning, the conversation around Molly, or MDMA, has become ever more urgent. This article delves into the complex effects of Molly on the brain, exploring its potential for both harm and healing.

What is Molly?

Molly, scientifically known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It’s closely related to other amphetamines but is distinguished by its ability to produce feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. Historically, MDMA was used by the US military for psychological warfare tests, and in the 1970s, it found brief use in psychotherapy settings, often enhancing communication during sessions.

The Euphoric Effects of Molly on Users

When Molly enters the system, users often report a rush of euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others, and a feeling of mental clarity. The drug achieves this by shifting attention towards positive experiences while minimizing negative feelings. It’s known for its “prosocial” effects, making users feel exceptionally friendly, loving, and connected to those around them.

However, Molly’s effects are not purely positive. The drug also impairs the recognition of negative emotions and the perception of social rejection. This altered state can lead to risky behaviors, as users may not accurately process hostility or danger in their environment.

Scientific Studies on Molly’s Psychological Effects

Research has sought to quantify and understand these anecdotal experiences. A 2012 study by Cedric Hysek found that MDMA users showed improved recognition of positive emotions but a decline in recognizing negative ones when using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). Further, studies by Kirkpatrick and colleagues in 2014, using the Morphed Facial Expression Task (mFER), found that MDMA reduced accuracy in identifying angry and fearful faces, but not happy ones. Another 2014 study demonstrated that MDMA users felt less bothered by social rejection, employing a virtual game known as “Cyberball” to measure these effects.

Functional MRI experiments have supported these findings, showing that MDMA activates the ventral striatum—an area of the brain associated with the process of reward and pleasure—and decreases the amygdala’s response to angry faces, which may explain the reduced perception of negative emotions.

Neurotransmitter and Hormone Alterations Due to Molly

The euphoric and emotional effects of Molly can be attributed to its influence on several neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain. Serotonin levels are known to surge, increasing sensitivity to music and lights, a common feature of the MDMA experience. Additionally, norepinephrine and dopamine contribute to the feelings of euphoria and heightened energy.

Another hormone, cortisol, is also affected; it decreases fatigue, allowing users to dance and socialize for extended periods. Perhaps most intriguing is the role of oxytocin, a hormone controversially linked to the desire to socialize and bond with others. While Kirkpatrick’s group found that MDMA increased blood oxytocin levels, it’s still unclear whether oxytocin alone is responsible for the prosocial effects of MDMA.

The Oxytocin Connection

The relationship between oxytocin and MDMA’s social effects is an area of active research. Although increased blood levels of oxytocin have been observed, it’s yet to be definitively proven that this hormone alone can produce the same effects as MDMA. This distinction is crucial as researchers explore the potential for oxytocin to mimic some of MDMA’s therapeutic effects without the associated risks.

MDMA as a Tool for Psychotherapy

Despite its controversial status, there’s a growing body of research suggesting MDMA could be a valuable tool in psychotherapy, particularly for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MDMA’s ability to make bad memories seem less vivid and increase feelings of safety and trust could help patients process traumatic events more effectively. Studies using functional MRI have shown that MDMA made patients’ favorite memories more vivid and their worst memories less negative, offering a glimpse into how MDMA could reshape traumatic memories.

Risks and Adulteration Concerns

The incident at Wesleyan University is a stark reminder of the dangers associated with Molly. The possibility of a “bad batch,” which may contain too high a dose or be adulterated with other substances, is a real and present danger. According to a testing service, only 39 percent of the pills tested were pure MDMA, and shockingly, half contained no MDMA at all. This unpredictability can lead to overdose and poisoning, as users may unknowingly consume substances far more dangerous than MDMA itself.

Personal Accounts and Direct Quotes

Users’ experiences with Molly can be illuminating. One user described the altered state as feeling more positive and ‘loving’ because of an impaired ability to process hostility. Another recounted that when reaching back for bad memories, they did not seem as severe, instead appearing as “fatalistic necessities for the occurrence of later good events.” These personal accounts highlight the profound impact MDMA can have on one’s perception of past and present experiences.

Testing and Safety

Given the risks of adulteration, testing Molly pills becomes a crucial step for harm reduction. Organizations and services offer a marquis reagent or testing kits and resources to ensure the substance’s purity, potentially saving lives by preventing the consumption of contaminated or dangerous products. Users are strongly advised to seek out such services to minimize the risks associated with MDMA use.

Legal Status and DEA Information

The legal status of MDMA remains clear—it is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), indicating a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. The DEA has published extensive information on Molly, underscoring the risks and the legal ramifications of its use, possession, or distribution.


Molly’s effects on the brain are a complex interplay of euphoria, altered perception, and potential therapeutic benefits. However, these effects come with significant risks, including the possibility of consuming adulterated substances and the legal consequences of engaging with an illegal drug. As research continues to unfold, it is crucial to weigh the potential for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy against the backdrop of these risks. The future of MDMA, whether as a therapeutic tool or a recreational substance, will be shaped by ongoing scientific inquiry, legal debates, and the shared responsibility of communities to prioritize safety and informed use.

In the end, the story of Molly is one of duality—where the potential for healing resides alongside the potential for harm. It is a reminder that the substances we engage with can profoundly affect our brains and our lives. As we navigate the complexities of MDMA, let us do so with caution, curiosity, and a commitment to understanding the full scope of its impact on our minds and society.


MDA vs MDMA: Unraveling the Complexities of Molly and Sally

In the intricate tapestry of psychoactive substances, two threads that have increasingly captured public attention are MDA (commonly known as Sally) and MDMA (often referred to as Molly). These substances have not only been a part of the recreational drug scene but have also sparked curiosity due to high-profile incidents like the tragic accidental overdose of Scott Weiland, former lead singer of The Stone Temple Pilots, which involved MDA.

This article aims to demystify these two closely related drugs, comparing their effects, risks, and key differences to provide a comprehensive understanding of both substances.

Understanding MDA and MDMA

MDA and MDMA are more than just street names; they belong to the broader class of drugs known as amphetamines, which are known for their stimulant and psychoactive effects. The history of these substances is as intriguing as their effects. MDA was first synthesized in the 1910s for medical use, while MDMA emerged in the 1960s with the initial interest in its potential as an appetite suppressant. Despite their medical origins, both drugs have predominantly found their place in recreational use due to their potent effects on mood and perception.

Chemical Composition and Synthesis

At their core, MDA and MDMA are similar in structure, yet distinct in their chemical composition. MDA stands for Methylenedioxyamphetamine, and MDMA for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. MDA’s synthesis is notably linked to safrole oil, derived from the sassafras plant, which has contributed to its street name, “sass” or “Sally.” The synthesis process of these drugs is complex, and while they are structurally similar, the slight chemical differences lead to notably different effects on their users.

Effects on the Brain and Body

Both MDA and MDMA act upon the brain by triggering the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for the regulation of mood, empathy, and affection, which is why users often experience a heightened sense of wellbeing and emotional closeness with others. However, the aftermath of using these drugs can lead to a depletion of serotonin, which can result in feelings of depression and a sense of emotional hollowness.

Short-term and Long-term Side Effects

The short-term side effects of MDA and MDMA can be both pleasurable and distressing. Users often report feelings of euphoria, a strong sense of wellbeing, and an extreme energy boost. However, these can be accompanied by less desirable effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse sweating. The jaw clenching and decrease in appetite are also common experiences shared by users of both substances.

In the long-term, the side effects become more concerning. MDA has been linked to issues such as erectile dysfunction, muscle tension, memory loss, and headaches, in addition to anxiety and depression. MDMA, while similar, has been associated with a slightly different profile of long-term effects, including insomnia, decreased appetite, and feelings of irritability, along with anxiety and depression.

Potency, Duration, and Neurotoxicity

When comparing the potency and duration of effects between MDA and MDMA, MDA is often considered to be more potent by weight and has a longer-lasting impact. The peak effects of MDA can last from 6 to 8 hours, with the overall experience potentially lasting up to 12 hours. On the other hand, MDMA’s effects tend to peak for about 1.5 hours, with the total duration ranging from 4 to 6 hours.

A critical concern with the use of both MDA and MDMA is their potential for neurotoxicity. MDA is particularly notorious for being more neurotoxic, posing a risk of damaging serotonin neurons, which can lead to long-term serotonin depletion. While MDMA is considered to be less directly neurotoxic than MDA, it still carries significant neurotoxic risks, especially at high doses or with frequent use.

Differences in Classification

Despite their similarities, MDA and MDMA are classified slightly differently due to their distinct effects. MDA is considered more of a psychedelic or hallucinogen than a stimulant, although it exhibits qualities of both. This classification stems from its pronounced psychedelic properties, such as causing hallucinations and altered perception. MDMA, while also having psychedelic qualities, is typically associated with a “loving” high and is thus considered more of a psychedelic than a stimulant.

MDMA Variants: Ecstasy and Molly

The terms Ecstasy and Molly are often used interchangeably with MDMA, but there are differences worth noting. Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA when it comes in tablet form, which often contains additional substances. Molly is marketed as a purer form of MDMA, typically found as a crystalline or powdered substance. However, the assumption that Molly is always pure is a misconception, as it can also be laced with other substances.

Overdose Symptoms and Risks

The risk of overdose is a grim reality with the use of psychoactive substances like MDMA. Overdose symptoms can be severe and life-threatening, including elevated body temperature, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations. Users may also experience panic attacks, profuse sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Recognizing these signs is crucial, as immediate medical attention can be the difference between life and death.

Detection in the Body

For those concerned with the detectability of MDMA in the system, it’s important to understand the drug’s lifespan in various biological matrices. MDMA can be detected in urine for 1-3 days, in blood for 1-2 days, in hair for up to 90 days, and in saliva for 24-48 hours. These time frames can vary based on several factors, including the user’s metabolism, the purity of the substance, and the frequency of use.

MDMA and MDA in Medical Settings

While both MDMA and MDA are not FDA-approved for any medical condition, there has been a growing interest in the therapeutic potential of MDMA. In December 2019, the FDA agreed to a MAPS application for an expanded access program to study MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. This research represents a significant step towards understanding and potentially legitimizing the medical benefits of MDMA under controlled conditions.


MDA and MDMA are complex substances with a range of effects, risks, and potential uses. MDA, with its more pronounced psychedelic properties, longer-lasting effects, and greater neurotoxicity, offers a different experience compared to MDMA, which is less potent and has a shorter duration of effects but still carries significant risks. Understanding these key differences is essential for anyone considering the use of these substances, whether for recreational or therapeutic purposes.

The use of MDA and MDMA is not without consequences, and it is vital to approach these drugs with caution and awareness. The allure of their euphoric and empathogenic effects can be overshadowed by the potential for addiction, neurotoxicity, and the unknown dangers of laced substances. As research continues, particularly into the therapeutic uses of MDMA, it is crucial to stay informed and prioritize safety above all else.

In conclusion, MDA and MDMA are more than just party drugs; they are substances with a rich history, complex pharmacology, and a potential future in medicine. As we navigate the evolving landscape of psychoactive substances, let us do so with knowledge, respect for the science, and a commitment to harm reduction.


MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms: Understanding the Challenges and Navigating Detox

MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly, is a synthetic drug that has gained notoriety for its euphoric effects and is frequently associated with the nightclub scene and music festivals. Despite its reputation for being a “party drug,” MDMA is highly psychologically addictive, and users may face a challenging withdrawal process when they decide to quit.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the nature of MDMA withdrawal, the symptoms one might experience, and the best practices for detoxification and treatment.

What is MDMA Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is a series of symptoms that occur when a person who is dependent on a substance stops taking it. In the case of MDMA, the brain has to relearn how to function normally without the drug’s presence. MDMA works by significantly increasing the activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which leads to the drug’s mood-enhancing effects. However, this also results in depletion of these neurotransmitters, leading to dependence and, eventually, withdrawal symptoms when usage ceases.

Factors Influencing MDMA Withdrawal

The withdrawal experience can vary greatly from one individual to another due to several factors. These include:

  • Tolerance: How much and how often a person has taken MDMA can affect the severity of withdrawal.
  • Frequency and duration of use: Longer and more frequent periods of use typically lead to more intense withdrawal symptoms.
  • Metabolism and overall health: A person’s physical health and how quickly their body processes substances can influence withdrawal.
  • Age and gender: These demographic factors can play a role in how withdrawal symptoms manifest.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to addiction and may experience more severe withdrawal.
  • Polydrug use and mental health: Those who use other substances in conjunction with MDMA or have co-occurring mental health disorders may face a more complex and intense withdrawal process.

Symptoms of MDMA Withdrawal

MDMA withdrawal symptoms are primarily psychological, but they can also include physical effects. Common symptoms include:

  • Depression: A profound sense of sadness or emptiness is common after the cessation of MDMA use.
  • Confusion: Users may feel disoriented or have trouble making decisions.
  • Anxiety: Feelings of nervousness or worry may arise during withdrawal.
  • Cravings: A strong desire to use MDMA again can be one of the most challenging symptoms to overcome.
  • Agitation: Users may experience irritability or restlessness.
  • Paranoia: Some individuals may become suspicious or feel like they are in danger.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common issue during withdrawal.
  • Fatigue: A general sense of tiredness or lack of energy can occur.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Users might find it hard to focus on tasks.
  • Loss of appetite: Many experience a decrease in their desire to eat.
  • Memory problems: Short-term memory loss or difficulties can be a side effect.
  • Changes in self-perception: Users may struggle with their sense of identity or self-worth.

Given that MDMA is often cut with other substances or taken alongside drugs like marijuana, cocaine, or LSD, withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable and may vary significantly from person to person. This unpredictability underscores the danger of relapse during withdrawal, as decreased tolerance can lead to an increased risk of overdose.

The management of withdrawal symptoms is often best conducted in a medical detox facility or inpatient rehab, where professionals can monitor and support the individual through the process.

MDMA Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline for MDMA withdrawal can differ, but symptoms generally follow a pattern:

Days 1-3: Initial symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and insomnia may surface, along with difficulty concentrating and paranoia.

Days 4-10: Depression and cravings may become more pronounced, and sleep difficulties and memory fog may continue.

Days 11-28: While most symptoms tend to subside by the two-week mark, some individuals may experience lingering effects for several weeks.

Treatment for MDMA Withdrawal

Seeking professional help through a medical detox program is highly recommended for those undergoing MDMA withdrawal. Medically assisted detox may include the use of medications like antidepressants to help manage symptoms. Due to the unpredictable nature of MDMA withdrawal, stemming from the possibility of the drug being cut with other substances, medical detox is considered the safest way to begin the journey to sobriety.

Drug treatment centers offer individualized care, providing plans tailored to each person’s needs, whether in an inpatient or outpatient setting. These centers focus on addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction, ensuring a comprehensive approach to recovery.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

Successfully managing MDMA withdrawal symptoms requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological challenges:

  • Coping strategies: Learning stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness, can help alleviate psychological symptoms.
  • Support system: Having a strong network of friends, family, or support groups can provide the emotional backing needed during withdrawal.
  • Nutrition and lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help the body recover and ease some withdrawal symptoms.
  • Therapeutic interventions: Many treatment centers incorporate therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or contingency management to help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and behaviors.

Risks of Untreated MDMA Withdrawal

While MDMA withdrawal is not typically life-threatening, untreated withdrawal can lead to significant psychological distress and health complications. The risks include:

  • Severe depression: Without proper support, depression can become deep-seated, leading to suicidal ideation or attempts.
  • Relapse: The discomfort of withdrawal symptoms can increase the likelihood of returning to MDMA use, which carries the risk of overdose, especially if tolerance has decreased.
  • Social and occupational impairment: Withdrawal symptoms can interfere with daily functioning, impacting relationships and job performance.

Resources and Support

For those seeking help with MDMA addiction and withdrawal, there are numerous resources available. Treatment centers specializing in substance abuse can be found through directories and referral services. Additionally, contacting a treatment provider can offer immediate assistance and guidance on the next steps to take.


Recognizing and treating MDMA withdrawal is a critical step in the journey towards recovery. Understanding the symptoms, timeline, and treatment options available can empower individuals to seek the help they need. With professional support, coping strategies, and a commitment to sobriety, overcoming MDMA withdrawal is an attainable goal.