How Long Does MDMA Stay in Your System
MDMA is the abbreviation of the chemical compounds methylenedioxymethamphetamine. MDMA is informally known as ‘molly’ or ‘ecstasy’ and it is the main ingredient in ecstasy pills.
If you have taken MDMA and you need to pass a drug test, you might wonder how long does MDMA stay in your system. The length of time this drug stays in your system depends on the drug test used and the extent of the drug use.
The most common types of drug tests are hair, blood, and urine tests. Saliva tests are not typically used due to unreliability. MDMA is an illicit drug used for drug abuse. It is possible to develop an ecstasy addiction. If you struggle to pass a drug test for MDMA, you should consider seeking addiction treatment options.
What Is MDMA?
MDMA is a chemical used as a club drug. It is characterized by an elevated mood, heightened emotional closeness, and increased energy. MDMA has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Ecstasy users report feeling an overwhelming feeling of physical and mental pleasure while taking the drug. They report increased positive emotions toward other people.
MDMA can be taken in an ecstasy pill via oral ingestion. In this way, the effects will be felt around thirty to forty-five minutes later. MDMA can also be purchased as a crystal or a powder. The crystal is crushed to snort or the powder is used for snorting. If a person snorts MDMA, they should feel the effects sooner.
While the recreational effects of MDMA are quite pleasurable, there are some unpleasant side effects. MDMA use can cause:
- Excessive thirst
- Decreased appetite
- Unusual jaw movement
- Muscle cramps
- Involuntary teeth clenching
- Muscle tension
- Increased body temperature
- Blurry vision
- Dry mouth
- Enlarged pupils
- Nausea or vomiting
Due to the physical symptoms of sweating, jaw movements, and enlarged pupils, it can be easy to recognize if someone has consumed the party drug. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), ecstasy abuse can damage the body’s serotonin system. This means the brain will struggle to naturally create serotonin, the happiness chemical.
The effects are pleasurable while taking the substance, however, the effects afterward can be harmful to a person’s mental health. After the effects wear off, a person may experience MDMA withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
What is MDMA Used For?
Under the Controlled Substances Act, MDMA is classed as a Schedule I substance. This means that MDMA has no accepted medical use in the US. MDMA is a controlled substance as it has a high potential for drug abuse.
However, clinical trials are being conducted to determine whether MDMA-assisted therapy could help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The trials provide patients with controlled oral MDMA administration. Over the course of these trials, researchers practiced therapeutic drug monitoring and monitoring of patients’ symptoms. The trial results showed that controlled MDMA administration caused a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms.
In general, MDMA is one of many club drugs used for partying. Other club drugs include cocaine, speed, and methamphetamine. Amphetamines are used as party drugs as the recreational effects include elevated mood and increased energy. Using drugs with stimulant properties ensures a person will be able to stay awake longer.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), research is yet to definitively say whether MDMA is addictive or not. However, it is known to affect the same neurotransmitters in the brain as other highly addictive substances such as cocaine.
In animal studies, after initial use, animals will seek more MDMA. This behavior is considered an addictive behavior. However, they seek MDMA less than other drugs like cocaine. While MDMA may not be as addictive as other drugs, you can still become addicted to or dependent on the drug.
Addiction tends to follow a cycle. The cycle typically follows the pattern of initial use, substance abuse, tolerance, dependency, withdrawal, and relapse. Initial use refers to the first time a person tries the drug. As MDMA is a party drug, it is likely someone would try the substance initially in a recreational setting. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that young people are at a significantly higher risk of initial use of drugs and thus, addiction in later life.
As MDMA is a controlled substance, all use of the drug could be described as substance abuse. If a person starts taking the drug more regularly and in higher doses, this could indicate an MDMA addiction. Chronic use of MDMA is found to damage vital organs and cause kidney disease.
Repeated use over a prolonged period will result in tolerance. If the body develops a tolerance to the usual dose of MDMA, the person will have to take more of the drug to achieve the same pleasurable effects. Such behavior can lead to drug dependence.
Drug dependence occurs when the body becomes used to the substance in the system. If a person has developed a physical or psychological dependence on MDMA, suddenly stopping will result in withdrawal.
Luckily, an MDMA overdose is a rare occurrence, but it can happen. Pure MDMA comes with a low rate of overdose. Complications are more likely to arise from other factors such as:
- Other health conditions: Having an underlying medical condition, such as a heart condition, could increase the chances of cardiac arrest.
- Drug reactions: Some anti-depressants can cause an adverse reaction when mixed with MDMA.
- Hyperthermia (increased body temperature): MDMA increases the body’s temperature. It is often taken in very warm environments like clubs and where people are physically active. In severe cases, this can cause liver, heart, or kidney failure.
- Hyponatremia: Hyponatremia water toxicity is caused by overconsumption of water. Drinking too much water can cause dangerously low levels of sodium in the body. MDMA impairs response to hydration in the body and dehydration is a risk.
- Other drugs: MDMA is often mixed with other substances. Drug impurity carries an increased risk of significant health complications.
Taking multiple doses of MDMA could result in convulsions, seizures, or cardiac arrest due to high blood pressure. If you are worried that you or someone you know may have taken too much MDMA, seek immediate professional medical advice.
Drug tests test the concentration of drugs in the body. There are different methods of drug testing, but the most common method is urine testing. Other methods include hair testing, blood testing, and saliva testing.
The Purpose of Drug Testing
Many employers mandate drug testing for their employees. A person may also be required to do regular drug tests for legal reasons.
Drug tests typically look for five drugs: phencyclidine (PCP), marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates. Although MDMA is not included in the main five, it can be searched for specifically using other testing methods. If a person has taken MDMA in the past and is required to undergo a drug screen, they may wonder, “How long does molly stay detectable in the body?”
How Drug Tests Work
While there may be slight variations from person to person, there is an approximate timeframe that a test can detect MDMA. The body’s ability to process MDMA is known as drug metabolism. The time the body takes to process will depend on a few individual factors. These factors include a person’s age, weight, kidney health, liver health, metabolism, and genes.
After oral ingestion, MDMA is broken down by the liver. The liver turns the substance into chemical compounds called metabolites. Metabolites will stay in your system for longer than the original drug itself. Some drug tests detect MDMA only, while others detect metabolites. This detection window will depend on the test method used.
The pleasurable effects of MDMA last from three to six hours, peaking in the first and second. A drug’s half-life refers to how long it stays in your system. The half-life of MDMA is eight to nine hours, but the drug’s metabolites will stay in your system for longer. Detection windows are measured from the last dose taken until the drug is no longer detected.
Types of Drug Tests
If taken orally, a person’s blood will test positive for MDMA for up to two days. The time will be measured from the last dose taken.
The most common drug test is done by urine analysis. MDMA tests positive two days after the last dose. It will remain in the urine for up to four days.
As MDMA is usually taken orally, a saliva test can detect MDMA for up to two days. If a person snorts the drug, it may have different detection windows or may not be detected at all.
Hair testing is not a common method of drug testing. However, it is the most sensitive method of detecting drug use. Hair follicles retain traces of all drugs for a long time. A hair test can detect MDMA for months after last use.
MDMA purchased illegally is typically not pure MDMA. Like any illicit drug, it carries the risk of being ‘cut’ (or mixed) with other drugs or non-active substances. In the US, there have been cases of ecstasy tablets being cut with the powerful opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that is fifty to one hundred times greater in strength than the opioid painkiller morphine. Purchasing illegal drugs carries a high risk of overdose.
Furthermore, different drugs stay in your system for longer periods of time. If you have recently taken MDMA and require a drug test, other substances mixed with MDMA or in ecstasy pills can skew how long the substance stays in your system.
Addiction Treatment Options
If you or someone you love is suffering from MDMA addiction, treatment is available. Ebb Tide is the leading affordable rehab center for alcohol and drug addiction in Florida. We provide addiction treatment that works and help people lead a drug-free life.
We understand that seeking treatment for MDMA addiction isn’t easy. Call us today to discuss our treatment options and find a plan that suits you. Start your recovery journey today.