Ecstasy, also known as MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or Molly, is an illegal and synthetic drug that has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. It first gained popularity in the 1980s as a club drug, but today it is used in a variety of settings including clubs, concerts, raves, and other social events.
Ecstasy is known to enhance mood, increase energy, and promote social connection, however, it can also cause a variety of harmful side effects. How long ecstasy (MDMA) stays in your system will vary based on the dose you took and other factors, but it is usually detectable in urine tests for up to five days and in blood tests for up to three days.
If you or someone you love are struggling with ecstasy abuse and addiction, please contact our staff at Moving Mountains Recovery today to discuss your treatment options.
How Long Do the Effects of MDMA Last?
MDMA (ecstasy) is a stimulant drug with hallucinogenic properties. It can cause a variety of side effects, including:
- Increased touch sensitivity
- Increased energy and mental alertness
- Loss of appetite
- Hot flashes
- Panic attacks
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Teeth clenching
- Loss of consciousness
Ecstasy usually comes in tablet form and is swallowed. The effects appear 30-45 minutes after taking the drug, peak in intensity around 1 hour after taking it, and can last for 4 to 6 hours. High doses may last 12 hours or more.
Pure MDMA is also sold in powdered form which can be snorted. Snorting MDMA will cause a faster onset of effects but a shorter total duration.
Long-term MDMA abuse can lead to a variety of unwanted health problems, such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor attention span
- Poor memory
- Poor impulse control
- Heart damage
- Heart disease
Using MDMA more regularly will also result in more of it building up in your system, thereby requiring more time before you can pass a drug test.
What is the Half-Life of MDMA?
Half-life is a measurement used to describe how long it takes half of a single dose of a substance to leave the body. It generally takes 4-5 half-lives for a drug to leave your system.
MDMA has an average half-life of 8 hours. This means it can take around 40 hours for a single dose of ecstasy to leave your system. However, when your body metabolizes MDMA, trace metabolites get left behind, and these trace metabolites can be detected by drug tests for several days or weeks after your last dose.
How Long Will Ecstasy Show Up on a Drug Test?
Four different types of drug tests can screen for MDMA. Each drug test has a different detection window. While there are individual variables that can affect how long MDMA stays in your system, it is often detectable during the following periods:
Urine tests are the most popular type of drug test. Ecstasy can stay in urine for up to five days after your last dose.
Ecstasy can stay detectable in your blood for up to three days after your last dose.
Saliva tests can detect ecstasy for up to three days after your last dose.
Hair Follicle Tests
Ecstasy can be detected in a hair follicle test for up to 90 days (three months) after your last dose.
Variables that Influence How Long Ecstasy Stays in Your System
Everyone metabolizes drugs at different rates, so how long MDMA stays in your system will vary based on factors like:
- Dose and frequency of use
- How long you’ve been taking ecstasy regularly
- Health factors like age, weight, body mass, gender, level of exercise, metabolism, and liver and kidney function
- Gene variations in genes that control the key enzyme responsible for metabolizing ecstasy
- Whether you took ecstasy with alcohol or other drugs
Detoxing from Ecstasy
While you may be in a hurry to detox from ecstasy, there is no way to speed up the rate at which it leaves your body. The only way to eliminate ecstasy from your system is to let the drug run its course. To avoid getting dehydrated, you should drink plenty of water.
If you are addicted to ecstasy, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking it. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can change unpredictably. As a result, the safest way to detox from ecstasy is to detox under the guidance of a medical professional.
Drug and alcohol detox centers can prescribe symptom-specific medications to alleviate your discomfort, provide 24-hour monitoring and care, and facilitate group therapy sessions that help you cope with any distress. After you finish detoxing, it may be in your best interest to attend an inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment program where you can learn the ins and outs of what it means to be sober.
Find Help for Ecstasy Abuse and Addiction Today
While ecstasy isn’t the most addictive substance, it can still be addictive if you abuse it. It can also lead to an array of unwanted side effects. If you’re worried about failing a drug test because you’ve been taking ecstasy, but you can’t seem to stop, it’s time to get the help you deserve. Call now to speak with an addiction specialist at Moving Mountains Recovery about your treatment options.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the history of MDMA?, Retrieved April 2023 from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/what-is-the-history-of-mdma
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Drug Facts, Retrieved April 2023 from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly
- National Library of Medicine: The pharmacology and toxicology of “ecstasy” (MDMA) and related drugs, Retrieved April 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC81503/