What Does MDMA/Ecstasy Look Like?

MDMA/Ecstasy comes in a variety of forms, including pressed pills, capsules, powders, and even crystals. These can vary in shape and color, as the drug is largely marketed as a party drug.

MDMA is an illegal psychoactive drug that’s abused by young adults at raves and music festivals. Its chemical name is 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Also known as ecstasy, it’s available in pill, liquid, or powder form.

What MDMA/Ecstasy Pills Look Like

Ecstasy tablets come in many colors, designs, and potencies. There is usually something stamped on both sides of the pill, which might be round, square, triangular—or really any shape that makes it look fun.

Some ecstasy pills are stamped with an unbranded icon, such as a heart, star, or smiley face.

Others have logos of popular brand names, like:

  • Tesla (orange, blue, pink, green)
  • Snapchat (blue, purple, yellow)
  • Facebook (blue)
  • What’s App (green)
  • Bitcoin (yellow, blue, pink, green)
  • Apple (red, orange, blue)

Branded ecstasy pills come in many colors, not just those listed above. The companies represented have nothing to do with whether or not their logo appears on MDMA tablets. It’s drug manufacturers that choose the logos in the hopes of attracting a fan base.

What Does Pure MDMA Look Like?

Pure MDMA is a crystalline substance. Crystal MDMA is typically crushed into a powder that’s white, gray, yellow, purple, or light brown. The powder is often called “Molly” in the US, which is slang for “molecular.”

Most people snort MDMA powder, but it can also be put into a capsule and swallowed or dissolved into a solution to drink or inject. Ecstasy is available in liquid form, too.

Despite Molly’s reputation as the pure form of MDMA, it’s often laced with impurities like toxic cutting agents and other drugs. It’s easier to see impurities in the powder than in the liquid.

Ecstasy Pill Testing

Ecstasy pill testing is the practice of testing the content of ecstasy tablets before people use them. Some non-profit organizations or volunteers offer free pill testing at music festivals.

Before you enter the grounds for the festival, you go into a tent where they take one pill or a scoop of powder and test it to see what it contains. Some MDMA pills are found with no MDMA in them; others contain a lethal dose.

MDMA pill testing has also found pills that contain:

  • cement
  • chalk
  • sugar
  • caffeine
  • cocaine
  • fentanyl
  • bath salts (synthetic cathinones)
  • more MDMA than expected
  • less MDMA than expected

There is usually a surrender bin outside the pill testing tent that gives you a chance to get rid of your illegal drugs without criminal consequences.

Pill testing is controversial because it makes substance use safer, which some people view as encouraging drug use. But the goal is to save the lives of individuals who would use MDMA anyway.

Effects & Dangers Of MDMA/Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a club drug or party drug, like ketamine and LSD (lysergic acid). It has stimulant and hallucinogenic properties, so it lowers your inhibitions and enhances your senses.

You may see colors more brightly and hear sounds more intensely. You might feel an emotional connection with the people around you. And you’ll likely get a surge of energy that can help you dance all night.

An increase in serotonin is what causes MDMA’s pleasurable effects. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, sleep, and other behaviors.

But the effects of MDMA aren’t all pleasant. Side effects can include:

  • involuntary teeth clenching
  • high body temperature (overheating or hyperthermia)
  • raised blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • blurred vision
  • muscle cramps

The feeling of emotional closeness you get with ecstasy can lead you to make unsafe or unwise sexual decisions. These choices can affect your mental and physical health—diseases are often spread through risky sexual practices.

After moderate ecstasy use, you may have withdrawal symptoms for the next week or so, such as:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • aggression
  • depression
  • insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • memory problems
  • difficulty paying attention
  • decreased appetite
  • less interest in sex
  • intense drug cravings

Ecstasy pills tend to be much more potent in 2022 than they were a few decades ago. Since 1985, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and no medical use.

MDMA Addiction Treatment

While MDMA use rarely leads to addiction, regular abuse can damage your physical and mental health.

It can become a habit to use ecstasy whenever you party. Overlapping doses or mixing it with other drugs (including alcohol) can lead to an overdose that sends you to the emergency room.

Find Treatment Today

If you or a loved one have been abusing MDMA, we can help. Our behavioral health specialists at Northeast Addictions Treatment Center are always available to discuss personalized treatment options and help you find the best recovery program. Don’t wait—contact us today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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