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5 Dangerous Side Effects of Molly

side effects of molly

‘Molly’ is a popular club drug. It’s the crystal or powder form of MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. Ecstasy or ‘Es’ comes in pill form and may be cut with harmful chemicals or other drugs such as amphetamine (‘speed’). Molly, however, is meant to be pure MDMA.

People selling and taking Molly may believe it’s safe because of its purity, but this isn’t accurate. Molly comes with risks and side effects that are important to know about. You can put yourself in a lot of danger by being reckless with this substance.

Read about five dangerous side effects of Molly that you should be aware of.

1. Molly Alters Brain Chemistry

Molly is associated with feelings of euphoria, empathy, and joy. This is caused by your brain releasing serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine when you take it. These chemicals are in charge of functions such as your mood, pleasure, pain, and sleep. Molly may be generally associated with happy feelings, but not everyone has a positive experience on it. The way it changes your brain means there’s also the risk of feeling paranoia, anxiety, irritability, and anger.

MDMA is also neurotoxic. Molly specifically damages the serotonin system in your brain. While the neurons can regenerate after they’ve been damaged, they won’t be in the same form as before. It’s not clear whether MDMA use alone leads to long-term changes in your mental health or cognitive ability. But these risks may increase if a large dose is taken or if MDMA is used in a hot environment. Neurotoxicity may also be a risk if the Molly is cut with harmful substances.

2. Molly Causes Unpleasant Physical Symptoms

There are many physical side effects associated with Molly. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constant thirst
  • Decreased libido
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased body temperature and excessive sweating

For some ecstasy users, these physical symptoms can last for a week or more.

While high on Molly, people will also ‘gurn’ (known as bruxism), when you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. This can lead to a painful jaw the next day or even cuts inside your mouth or on your tongue or lips. In the long-term, gurning from MDMA can lead to chipped or worn-down teeth.

3. Molly Causes After-Effects

When you take Molly, there is a huge release of serotonin in the brain. This is what gives Molly users that ‘loved up’ feeling. But what goes up must come down. Many ecstasy users find the ‘comedown’ stage quite unpleasant. After the Molly high passes, you may experience effects like:

  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Severe low mood

These effects of ecstasy may be temporary, but if MDMA is abused, the substance can leave you feeling depressed long-term. Some ecstasy users believe that heavy use of Molly has worsened their mental health. The research doesn’t clarify whether Molly, in itself, can cause depression. Nonetheless, heavy users may experience long-term depression because of dose, the frequency of use, and other factors not related to Molly itself.

4. Molly Raises Your Body Temperature

One of the most dangerous side effects of Molly is that it raises your body temperature. If a large enough dose is taken, this increase in body temperature can lead to death. Using Molly in a hot, crowded environment—like a club, rave, or festival—can increase the likelihood of brain damage. If the brain damage is severe enough, then heat stroke can follow. This can sometimes be fatal.

The use of Molly can lead to dehydration and the need for water. There is a danger, though, of drinking too much water. MDMA causes increased water retention in the body. This can lead to the salt in your body becoming extremely diluted, increasing the risk of death. Some users have died as a result of drinking too much water while on Molly.

5. Molly Can Cause an Overdose

Many people may not think you can overdose from Molly, but you can. If you take too large a dose of MDMA, you may experience overdose symptoms, including:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling faint
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Overdoses can be fatal. It’s not worth taking large amounts of MDMA because you think you’ll have a better time with your friends.

Molly is often thought of as a low risk way to level up the experience of parties, clubs, and festivals, but it can have serious side effects. Large doses can be fatal. Hot environments can worsen symptoms. Drugs are sometimes sold as Molly when they’re something completely different. You may unknowingly buy a much more harmful substance or Molly cut with something else. This can lead to nasty reactions and negative effects.

If you or someone you know is taking Molly and doesn’t know how to stop, contact a treatment center like Promises. The addiction professionals there can help.

Posted on December 19, 2015 and modified on April 22, 2019

Krisi Herron

Medically Reviewed by

Krisi Herron, LCDC

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