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MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) also known as Mandy or Molly is the active ingredient in many pills sold as ecstasy and became increasingly popular in the late 1980s. It can be sold as a crystal, powder, capsule or pill.
The powder/crystal may be white, yellow, grey, purple or light brown in colour and this should be ground to a fine powder before use. It is normally then snorted or ‘bombed’ in a cigarette paper.
Pills vary widely in strength and colour and may contain other drugs which can be more toxic. Ecstasy pills are usually named after their colour and logo.
MDMA is a stimulant (upper) and empathogen (‘loved-up’) drug which can make you feel chatty and euphoric. You may feel more connected to music and people and be able to have conversations more freely. Other effects include hallucinations, enhanced colour and sound, jaw tension/clenching, dilated pupils and difficulty urinating. It also increases your heart rate and body temperature.
An average dose of MDMA powder will give around 13 doses from a gram whereas an average pill containing MDMA can contain around 60-100 mg (or as much as 300 mg!). This dose should not be taken as a recommendation as dose varies depending on quality and product.
Snorting often causes effects to come on quicker than swallowing and it can be a more intense experience although effects tend to last longer when the drug is swallowed.
Using rectally (up your bum) will also make the effects stronger and come on quicker than snorting or swallowing.
The effects of a bomb of MDMA can take a long time to come on- the rush can be intense with some people reporting throwing up.
If you choose to use MDMA:
Start with a small amount (a dab with your pinky) to see how it affects you. Use a guide to measure lines or scales to divide bombs
Avoid using notes to snort powder- try a straw (without sharp edges) or rolled up post-it and try not to share it with anyone else
If swallowing using a cigarette paper to "bomb" the powder will protect your stomach
Be aware that pills/powders being sold as MDMA may contain other drugs such as PMA which can be stronger, longer lasting and more dangerous
Take regular breaks if dancing and replace fluids by sipping water regularly (about a 1 pint an hour)
Chill out regularly and cool down to avoid overheating
Avoid mixing with alcohol and other drugs (especially downers) which can dull the effects and increase your risk of dehydration
Chewing gum can help with effects of jaw tension
Look after your pals and seek medical help if anyone falls unwell
If you are on anti-depressants taking ecstasy pills containing MDMA can increase your risk of serotonin syndrome
Serotonin syndrome is dangerous- watch out for anyone who looks red hot and rigid. Call 999 immediately
Class A drug. Penalties for possession are up to 7 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supply holds penalties of up to life in prison and/or an unlimited fine.