Also known as methlenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), E, X, XTC, ecstasy was initially seen as a “safe drug.” Brain imaging scans indicate function deteriation in cognitive, behavioral and mood areas. Sold in tablet and capsule form, they are difficult to identify as they are available in hundreds of colors, sizes and logos.

A synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is an abbreviation of the scientific name 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. For more information, see the MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse Research Report.

Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken DEA Schedule
Adam, Clarity, Eve, Lover's Speed, Peace, Uppers
No commercial uses
Colorful tablets with imprinted logos, capsules, powder, liquid Swallowed, snorted I**
Possible Health Effects
Short-term Lowered inhibition; enhanced sensory perception; confusion; depression; sleep problems; anxiety; increased heart rate and blood pressure; muscle tension; teeth clenching; nausea; blurred vision; faintness; chills or sweating; sharp rise in body temperature leading to liver, kidney, or heart failure and death.
Long-term Long-lasting confusion, depression, problems with attention, memory, and sleep; increased anxiety, impulsiveness, aggression; loss of appetite; less interest in sex.
Other Health-related Issues Unknown.
In Combination with Alcohol May increase the risk of cell and organ damage.
Withdrawal Symptoms Fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, trouble concentrating.
Treatment Options
Medications There is conflicting evidence about whether MDMA is addictive. There are no FDA-approved medications to treat MDMA addiction.
Behavioral Therapies More research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat MDMA addiction.

How can you tell if a friend is using?

Potential short-term risks:

  • Dehydration, extreme body temperatures
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate
  • Muscle and motor control impairment
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Nausea, faintness
  • Confusion, anxiety, paranoia, depression
  • Increased emotional responses (more empathetic than normal)


National Institute on Drug Abuse