Drugs & Health Blog

Meet Molly: The Truth About MDMA

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Sara Bellum

Recently, Madonna created some buzz when she mentioned “Molly” at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. Madonna shouted to the audience, “How many people in the crowd have seen Molly?”

Madonna was talking about the song “Have You Seen Molly?” by Cedric Gervais. However, “Molly” is also a nickname for MDMA. Many news outlets reported that the legendary pop singer was talking about drugs, not the song. Madonna responded by saying, “I don't support drug use and I never have.”

All About Molly

We were happy to hear that Madonna doesn’t encourage her fans to use MDMA, because it’s a very dangerous drug. MDMA is manmade—similar to the stimulant methamphetamine. It’s commonly used at dance clubs and concerts, and can make people feel like they have more energy and less fear. But the myths about MDMA being "pure and safe" are definitely not true.

Let us introduce you to the real Molly.

  • Molly Is Often Mixed Up. MDMA is a synthetic drug, meaning that it’s made of chemicals. It comes in colorful pills, tablets, or capsules that sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Sometimes each pill, or batch of pills, can have different combinations of substances in the mix and cause unknown consequences.
  • Molly Makes You Hyper. People who use MDMA might feel very alert, or “hyper.” But MDMA can also cause muscle cramping, nausea, blurred vision, increased heart rate and blood pressure—and in rare cases, hyperthermia and even death.
  • Molly Can Depress You. Potential side effects of MDMA include feelings of sadness, anxiety, depression, and memory difficulties. These can last for several days to a week (or longer in people who use it regularly).
  • Molly Is Dangerous. MDMA can be extremely dangerous in high doses—increasing the risk of seizures and compromising the heart's ability to maintain its normal rhythms. A study in animals showed that exposure to high doses of MDMA for 4 days produced brain damage that could still be seen 6 to 7 years later.

Ecstasy and MDMA Use Is Rising

Despite these harmful consequences, NIDA’s Monitoring the Future study shows that past-year Ecstasy use is up significantly among college students and young adults age 19–28. Another report shows that emergency room visits related to Ecstasy increased nearly 123 percent from 2004 to 2009; two-thirds of these visits involved 18–29 year olds. This is troubling news, since we’re still learning how Ecstasy affects the brain.

Tell us what you think of Madonna’s “Molly” mix-up. If Madonna’s comment had been referring to drug use, would that change your opinion of her? Are you more likely to buy her album “MDNA” (coincidentally similar to MDMA) since hearing about this in the news? Let us know in the comments.

Update: For more on Molly, check out our post, “Have You Seen Molly? Even if You Think So, You May Have Been Fooled.”

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


speaking about exampls of celebs premotin molly tyga & wiz have a hole song aout it
Actually you're wrong. I'm 17 and been experimenting with drugs for a while now and I never once listened to a song and thought "oh I'm gonna go out and buy some crack now". I was introduced to pot at 15 by my older cousin and from then on I would do drugs with my friends who would also introduce me to other "things". It was never peer pressure, it was always my choice. Everyone who starts either experimenting or regularly using drugs was introduced to it by someone else. How else do you think we get a hold of it? You can't walk up to a random person and just ask for it. It's not like they sell it in stores. Musics entertainment, not a guide book. And no, I don't have a rough home life. I live in a nice house in a family neighbourhood next to the lake and my mom did a very good job of keeping me sheltered for most of my life. There's honestly nothing anyone could've done to keep me from ever touching drugs because I made my choice knowing the possible harm it could cause me and after taking numerous drug and alcohol programs at school (ie.D.A.R.E). That's the truth. And illuminati? Really? Come on.
i have to agree with you on this one... i cant really say anything though because im only 13 and ive had my fair share for drugs .-.
Hello brynn your story is almost identical to mine. I also lived in a large nice loving home that included both my parents. And my parents were and continue to be the kindest most generous people I have ever met. I also started at around 15 with just weed. I'm 24 now and regret most of the decisions I've made. I've hurt my parents so much and my younger siblings (I am the oldest). Yes you know about the long lasting affects but you can never at that age really say that that's what 24 year old you will want. If I could go back to being 17 I would still continue to moderately do it but don't experiment with new drugs. You never know if you have the will power to stop until you are addicted and by that time you may find out that while you thought you could just stop you can't.
I think people will do as they please bt theres A LOT more things going wrong with the world today that Madonna saying "molly" isnt such a big issue no matter how she meant it....

Definately talking about MDMA there's no way she was at ultra and wasn't talking about the drug

For Year madonna had inspire sex, drugs and many other things....it is no surprise if she did mention Molly as the drug and cover it up with ohhhh nooo is about the song....people need to wake up and see things for what they are not what you make of them... drugs are taking over our future generation and some parents dont seem to care.. all this entertaiment people saddlly have the influence to guide kids to kill, hurt and become nothing better in their life.

when did she say this i am doin a progect on molly.

I'm doing a school project as well, it was mention at a miami concert festival. Good luck with your project, it is so much data about molly an very extensive. I believe she meant her statement as the drug perspective for youth and that's wrong. Children are dying from this drug and they go to raves and anything happen at these gatherings. A.S.

will everyone shut up about it we all no that madonna is a druggy and we no she was talking about molly in the song but who really cares there are way worst songs then this and u dont see people complaining about them now do u ?? enuf said

Wow is all I have 2 say

When you say, "MDMA is a synthetic drug, meaning that it’s made of chemicals."

This is just incorrect. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), is one chemical. So pure MDMA is not a mixture.

Saying that something is a synthetic drug does not mean it is made of chemicals. A synthetic drug is one that is synthesized from chemical precursors, and not found in nature. Some drugs can be naturally occurring and can be synthesized. A good example is cocaine, which is made from coca plants found in nature... or can be made synthetically in a laboratory setting.

And let us all keep in mind that the four base pairs that make up our DNA are chemicals, so its a bit unfair to use the word "chemical" with a negative connotation.

Dear author, please know what you are talking about before you write something down.

- A chemist.


Yes, MDMA is a single chemical.  BUT the pills sold as MDMA (or ecstasy) rarely contain just MDMA.  Test results range widely – but, on average, only about a quarter contain just MDMA – and almost half don’t contain any MDMA at all! 

So what you're saying is. "know your drug dealer" Isn't that rule number 1 anyways?
So what's your point? Are you saying it is good for you?

@Tom MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, can pack a punch. Since it's man-made (not a plant), you never know exactly what's in it. Users may end up with long-lasting confusion and depression and trouble with attention and memory. For more info about the effects of MDMA, check the facts here: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/ecstasy-mdma

Duh of course she was talking about drugs! Shes a druggie herself! She was at a club saying Molly when Molly is a "club-drug"! But, it doesn't matter at the end of the day drugs are illegal,life ruining, and expensive little things. But hey if they got the money to buy it, and they want to ruin their body and brain then fine who are we to judge by sitting here talking about some lame pop singer as if we know her and what she's been through? I say yes she was talking about MDMA and her album MDNA is not just a coincidince! But, just leave the chick alone! [deleted, inappropriate comment, per guidelines].

Whoever wrote this is misinformed, Molly and Extacy are two different things....
Molly is MDMA and so is Xtacy
theres something about molly...
Im 16 and i use to smoke the drug called loud and it make u feel good for about 3-4hours and i use to smoke it everyday until i started getting ripped off then i stopped but i miss smoking it was the only thing that made me feel good inside but now i want to try molly.

@Trey Hi Trey,

Believe me, it is good you've stopped smoking loud (strong marijuana). When a drug is the only thing in a person's life that makes them feel good inside (as you put it), it's a sign they are becoming addicted. If you were smoking loud every day, you likely were becoming dependent on it, and that's why it feels so bad right now to not be smoking it. People who smoke lots of marijuana at your age, even when they don't get addicted, alter their brain development and set themselves up for all kinds of failure at school and in life. Molly (MDMA, or ecstasy) can also screw up your brain. People make it sound fun, but some users wind up with long-lasting confusion and depression and trouble with attention and memory.

Drugs seem like shortcuts to happiness, but they are traps that can make you less happy in the long run.

For more on marijuana, see our booklet Marijuana<http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/teens_marijuana_brochure.pdf> Facts for Teens<http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/teens_marijuana_brochure.pdf>. For more on "molly," click on our Drug Facts: <http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasy> MDMA<http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasy>.

Very awesome statement well said and true , it's better to deal with what cause you to want to do drugs in the first place, learn to be happy on life and living it to the fullest , that's a natural high that has no side effects.
For your proper terminology, it's not "Molly" if it isn't pure MDMA, it becomes "Ecstasy". They aren't the same thing, when a person buys Ecstasy, they hope for MDMA. I have not, and will not ever try this, but I think if your life decisions are made by Nicki Minaj, then you deserve to be in the hospital.
I'd put money on it that more kids 19-28 still show up in the hospital from alcohol, than molly.
I think you are wrong on both counts. More kids die today from prescription drugs than alcholo or illegal drugs.
Yes they do. This is a fact that I see at the hospital where I work.
To freaking true. I've gone to shows, and will admit to doing Molly. The people I know that drink at shows are usually ending up in a worse position than I would.
Madonna is a pathetic has-been who will do anything to appear young and hip. It's just sad.
Honestly people. its the music industry period. There was/will always be someone in the music industry that will talk about "drugs" you will never evef not hear about it . its even in country music like toby kejth ur telling me your gonna stop listening to.bis music. example. "I got drunk this morning but i haven't had a toke all day" so honestly stop knocking those who talk about it. its nothing new ! and for people who say "you don't judge" your judgeing now . and even if she was to talk about mdma there's so many sources out there with the word mdma . look at. everyone trying to get the green card. just cuz u got that dosent mean that ur gonna always buy the medical . A lot of them decide to buy off the street still. and the street stuff is mixed in with mdma . so stop knocking everyone by what you hear cause honestly she was but wasn't defending herself . they're trying to reel in more fans that's all there doing trying TO CONNECT TO THE YOUTH . BECAUSE MUSIC IS A HUGE ROLE IN A LOT OF PEOPLES LIVES SO IF YOU SIT AND THINK ABOUT IT OKAY I'M GONNA MAKE A SONG ABOUT DRUGS SEE HOW MANY FANS I CAN GET. MAJE MORE MONEY THAT'S. EXACTLY
Come on why would she be talking or asking about that song and i'm pretty sure that song isn't a hit
who carea what kids do you all know you did it when you were a kid and have nothing better to do now. and more than half of you have probably never tried it ur arguement is so biased its laughable
im 15 i dont care what they say in the music i just like the rap songs im an athlete im never doing drugs not even when i get to collage
it's easy to get hooked on weed cigarettes n alcohol when ur surrounded by a bunch of people who do those substances I try'd Molly when I was 13/14 and now I'm 17 and haven't done it for 2/3 years now, it's fun and I learnd the experience of. it but it was just a popping stage
molly is not a pill or tablet, its a pure crystal form of the main ingredient in excstacy, mdma
Um what? Yes it can be a pill. Not the colourful ecstasy tablets obviously but you can get Molly in pill form.
True you can get it in pill form, but actual molly before it is cut and put into a pill is a crystal that has a slight yellowish color to it.
Why take a drug that will mess u up anyway? doesent matter if u dont feel it to know its damaging u its doing it without u knowing , just because its popular doesent mean u have to do it too be the better person an just say no
I love it, but that's the problem. Try to avoid it
I don't get where this "Molly is a horrible drug that puts holes in your brain" nonsense comes from. Pure MDMA has been proven by top scientist studies to be a nearly harmless substance where the only way to die is to overdose significantly, or be too dehydrated, or even be straight up allergic to. Street ecstasy is the drug that might be dangerous because it is inside a pill with potentially harmful or lethal drugs, but Molly and street ecstasy are not the same thing at all because Molly HAS to be pure MDMA and is usually a powder so you know it's not a mix of drugs. 1 person out of 100,000 is expected to die from Ecstasy a year whereas 50 out of 100,000 people are expected to die from alcohol (disregarding indirectly being killed by it) a year and 400 out of 100,000 people are expected to die from tobacco a year. https://thedea.org/pictures/deathsper100k.gif Never mind deaths per year look at the amount of people sent to ER blatantly or indirectly because of Ecstasy. https://thedea.org/pictures/ERdata.gif ^ and that's in 2001, the year where MDMA use skyrocketed. And since we're using actual DEA stats why don't we quote them too. MDMA neurotoxicity "No topic related to 'Ecstasy' (MDMA) has caused as much controversy as the claim that it damages user's brains. The short answer is that science has proven (at least in my opinion) that moderate MDMA use does not cause any lasting harm. The long answer...is a very long answer indeed, but worth the read." https://thedea.org/mdma-risks-science-and-statistics-te... See that? Moderate use of MDMA does NOT cause harm, and MDMA is not addictive because it doesn't work on dopamine like cocaine and methamphetamine. Doing it daily won't even give you a real high because your serotonin was depleted the first time you did it and is still recovering. Another quote: "Ecstasy (MDMA) is one of the safest recreational drugs, but that's not to say it's completely safe. This section deals with ways people can be injured and killed while using MDMA, and how to avoid becoming next year's statistic." https://thedea.org/mdma-risks-science-and-statistics-te... There you have it, a DEA statement that MDMA is one of the safest recreational drugs (not a "very dangerous drug") and saying it's not completely safe is like saying aspirin or coffee are not completely safe (which have more deaths per year than MDMA too). MDMA is safer than 90% of all drugs in terms of how likely you are to die, and while it may have long term damage, that's from MDMA abuse which is like saying abusing coffee until you go into psychosis proves coffees danger to society. MDMA is much safer than alcohol or tobacco by a lot, why don't we make those illegal?


The source you are citing, “thedea.org” is not related to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA.gov); it is one of many sites on the Internet aimed at promoting drug use or legalization and masquerading as an official or authoritative source. (If you are interested, the real DEA’s fact sheet on Ecstasy/MDMA is here:https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/ecstasy-or-mdma-also-known-molly.) The truth of the matter is that MDMA does affect levels of dopamine, along with serotonin and norepinephrine, and that frequent use may lead to prolonged mood, attention, and sleep problems. It’s not as addictive as some other drugs, such as cocaine, but some studies suggest dependence is possible. As for the purity of Molly, lots of capsules supposedly containing Molly (which is a term referring to pure MDMA powder) have been found to contain other ingredients, including cocaine, heroin, and bath salts. Just because someone says it’s Molly doesn’t mean it’s Molly—you can never know what is really in an illegal drug you buy or are given. (For a report on bath salts being sold as “Molly,” see our short video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBwBioVwkCY)

whats th treatment for the MDMA?

@Rose, Treatment for abuse of MDMA would be similar to treatment for other forms of drug addiction or abuse. For adolescents, it would consist of behavioral therapy, either one-on-one with a doctor or with the family participating.

unacceptable. Lets be a good roll model. and to think I looked up to her my whole life. We need to educate NOT encourage.
My brother-in-law has had 3 psychotic episodes lasting several weeks, all after taking molly. The third time he took it was less than 2 weeks ago and he is still completely out of touch with reality. Just today, he was picked up by the police when they found him walking naked down the middle of a country road. I believe that it can affect everyone differently but I would not want anyone to chance going through what he (and his family and friends) have had to go through these three times.
I am encouraging every parent out there to just take 5 minutes out this week and every week after that to just talk to your child and keep posted on them to see if their friends are taking this "molly" "and parents and adults stop singing this song pop the molly am sweating" its making the kids think it is okay and they can do it because my parents like it and it is cool. Let come up with a place for children to go and visit people and see what drugs do to them so that they can have full real life version of what drugs can do to you.
when u do any hyperactive drug the euphoria will cause u to do things u regret later - then ur hooked on the artificial high - the come dpwn is depression - then u look fr the freaks who sold it to u normaly u wouldn't give these people the time ofday - then there u are ! nothing new . we called it mda in the 70s
very good information on this website haha :)