Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy / MDMA

Ecstasy is the street name for methylene-dioxy-methamphetamine or MDMA, a stimulant that can have hallucinogenic effects. MDMA is also called an entactogen because it can make people feel friendly and loving towards each other.

Ecstasy usually comes in the form of tablets which may be a variety of shapes, colours and sizes. The tablets are often stamped with images.

Be aware that drugs sold as ecstasy may not contain any MDMA. They can be a mix of amphetamine, paramethoxyamphetamine (pma), ketamine, or other substances.

Other names

Ecstasy, E, XTC, Eccy, the love drug, pills

Short- & Long-Term ecstasy MDMA side effects

Low to moderate doses

ecstasy MDMA Effects may include:

  • Increased energy
  • Feelings of wellbeing
  • Empathy
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Jaw clenching
  • Dilated pupils

Higher doses

ecstasy MDMA Effects may include:

  • Floating sensations
  • Vomiting
  • High body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Irrational or bizarre behaviour
  • Dehydration
  • Convulsions (fits)

Long term effects of ecstasy MDMA

There is some evidence that regular use of ecstasy may cause:

  • Damage to some parts of the brain
  • Depression
  • Not eating or sleeping enough, neglecting health
  • Reduced energy, feeling run down

Coming down

As the effect of ecstasy begins to wear off you may experience a range of symptoms which may last for several days:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Irritability and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty concentrating

Preventing and Reducing Harm

Ecstasy is commonly taken at dance or ‘rave’ parties or nightclubs where people are more likely to dance energetically and raise the body temperature to dangerous levels.

It is advisable to take regular breaks to cool down and to drink about 500 ml of water per hour.

Drinking too much water while taking ecstasy is also dangerous.  A person’s brain can swell from drinking too much water while taking ecstasy.  This can cause coma and death.

Legal Issues

Federal and state laws provide penalties for possessing, using, making or selling ecstasy, or driving under its influence.







Adapted from Drug Facts (Ecstasy), Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019.