Cornerstone of Southern California Drug and Alcohol Rehab
The Dangers of Snorting Molly (MDMA, Ecstasy) [2023]
Author: Cornerstone of Southern California
Published: July 26, 2022
The Dangers of Snorting Molly

What is MDMA?

 MDMA is a synthetic drug that when ingested, creates a stimulating and hallucinogenic effect in the brain. It can also make people have heightened sensory perception, intense feelings of pleasure, and increased empathy for others.

What Is Molly?

 There are various ways MDMA is ingested. The most common method of taking this drug is in the form of ecstasy pills, but sometimes it is taken as a crystallized powder. This crystal form is known as ‘molly’, an abbreviation of the word ‘molecular’. 

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How Is Molly Taken?

It can be swallowed or snorted. As it is in powder form, people are typically snorting molly. The negative effects of snorting MDMA are high. When a drug comes in powder form, it comes with a higher risk.

Why Do People Take MDMA?

MDMA, ecstasy, molly, and other drugs are taken due to the rewarding effects. Generally, MDMA increases feelings of happiness, self-awareness, and empathy for others. Increased sensory perception is one of its intense effects.

Generally, the first effects of MDMA are felt around forty-five minutes after taking the drug. Another fifteen to twenty minutes after this, the drug reaches an intense peak.

What Are The Negative Side Effects of MDMA?

After taking MDMA and other drugs, a person may experience withdrawal symptoms. One potential symptom of withdrawal is dehydration. This is due to the increased body temperature created by the drug, causing the person to sweat. Other drug withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling depressed
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling agitated
  • Poor nutrition
  • Elevated body temperature

In the case of substance use disorders, a person may experience serotonin syndrome. This is a severe drug reaction caused by a build-up of drugs that increase the amount of serotonin in the body. If not treated, serotonin syndrome can be fatal.

Molly and Mental Health Issues

It has been found that drug use increases the risk of mental health issues. People who frequently take drugs often report feelings of depression and hopelessness. Mental health problems and drug abuse are often like a vicious cycle.

Substances like MDMA offer the person a temporary feeling of happiness. This is generally followed by an intense low after the effects of the drug have worn off. While taking drugs like MDMA may provide temporary respite, the symptoms of the pre-existing mental health issues will be much worse the days after.

How Do I Know If Someone Is Taking MDMA?

If you suspect someone you know may be snorting molly, there are some visible signs. If a person takes high doses of MDMA, they may experience blurred vision. Other signs that a person has taken the drug include:

  • Elevated body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased energy
  • Muscle tension
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • Jaw clenching
  • Teeth grinding
  • Increased physical activity

What Are the Dangers of Snorting Molly?

One of the reasons snorting molly can be life-threatening is the issue of drug purity. Typically, those who use drugs don’t test their purity before snorting. The powder may contain other substances, such as fentanyl, which can be life-threatening.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is fifty to one hundred times stronger than morphine. This is why fentanyl is responsible for many overdose deaths in the US today. It is a white powder that is often mixed with other white-colored drugs like MDMA, ecstasy, and cocaine. A person may not even realize they’re taking it and share the same batch with others. This is how snorting MDMA can hugely increase the risk of accidental overdose.

In Florida, 2013, it was found that substances being sold as molly actually contained methylone. Methylone is a synthetic chemical that is commonly used in bath salts.

Other Negative Side Effects of Snorting

The most common way people ingest MDMA is through ecstasy pills, but molly is the crystallized powder version of the substance. The powder is usually snorted, though it is sometimes swallowed. Snorting a substance like molly creates unique issues in the body.

The Nasal Passages

When you snort drugs, it increases the risk of adverse effects. Snorting ecstasy or snorting MDMA primarily affects your respiratory system. As snorting consists of putting the drug up your nose, the delicate mucous membranes in the nasal passages can get damaged. In cases of prolonged substance abuse, people have even lost their sense of smell.

When there is existing damage to the mucous membranes, a person is much more likely to have a nose bleed from snorting MDMA. If a person suspects they have damaged these membranes, they should stop engaging in drug use.

Risk Of Illness

If people with damaged mucous membranes are sharing snorting paraphernalia, they have an increased risk of contracting illnesses such as Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is an illness that affects the liver and is transmitted from person to person through contact with infected blood.

Consistent substance abuse in the form of snorting can result in severe damage to the nasal septum. In cases of extreme substance abuse, it can even destroy the septum.

Can Taking MDMA Cause Health Problems?

Snorting MDMA and other drugs can cause increased pressure in the blood vessels. This could cause brain swelling, and in some cases, it could even cause a stroke.

Substance abuse is a major health problem that needs immediate treatment help. An overdose can sometimes cause cardiovascular failure or kidney failure.

For more information on the health effects of each drug, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has a drug fact sheet for each one. It is important to know the negative effects drugs can have on your body.

Can You Overdose On MDMA?

Ecstasy use could be fatal. It is possible to have an MDMA overdose, which is a medical emergency. If someone has overdosed, they may show symptoms such as:

  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Aggression

Can You Get Addicted To MDMA?

It is possible, after prolonged use, to become dependent on ecstasy. Data rates show that those who snort MDMA are more likely to develop or have an addiction to MDMA. This is likely because when you snort MDMA, you experience the positive effects much faster.

MDMA addiction can be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment help. However, data rates also show that long-term recovery from MDMA addiction is possible when a person finds a suitable treatment process.

Addiction Treatment

There are different types of addiction treatment. The National Institute on Drug Addiction highlights the most effective treatments for ecstasy addiction as cognitive behavioral therapy and recovery support groups.

The type of treatment a person chooses may depend on the severity of the addiction and the substance they are addicted to. It is important to discuss your experiences with a trained medical professional to find the right treatment for you.

Addiction can be incredibly distressing for the person affected and their family members. It is important not to lose hope and remember that people successfully recover from addiction every day.

Recovery Is Possible

It is possible to achieve long-term recovery, especially when you have a treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. If you think you or someone you love may need addiction treatment for ecstasy addiction, Cornerstone offers a full, free and confidential assessment. You can discuss the struggles you have been having with a treatment specialist and discuss a potential treatment placement.