Is Pure MDMA Safer Than Other Drugs?

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Teens handing each other drugs

One of the biggest myths about Molly—pure MDMA—is that it’s safer than other drugs. This belief is dangerous for two reasons:

  1. It’s not true.
  2. It’s impossible to know if you’re actually taking pure MDMA.

Pure or Not, Molly Is Harmful

Pure MDMA—meaning there are no other substances in it—is not a safe drug to take. MDMA can have many of the same effects as other stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. A person who takes MDMA could experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

In high doses, MDMA can affect the body’s ability to keep the correct temperature. People who take MDMA at concerts or dance parties sometimes experience a dangerous rise in body temperature (hyperthermia), which can result in liver, kidney, or heart failure—or even death.

Molly’s Identity Crisis

Even though it's supposed to be pure MDMA, Molly is just as likely to be mixed with other substances as any other drug.

Supposedly "pure" Molly can contain ephedrine (a stimulant), dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), ketamine, caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine, or even bath salts. Just because it comes in crystal or powder form—instead of a pill like Ecstasy—doesn’t prove that it's pure.

Some powder sold on the street as “Molly” doesn’t contain any MDMA at all. That’s even more dangerous, because you don’t have a clue what you’re really taking!

There Are No “Safe” Illegal Drugs

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “safe” illicit (illegal) drug. Certain drugs are illegal because research shows that they harm the brain and body.

Has anyone tried to pressure you into doing drugs by telling you they’re safe? Tell us in comments how you reacted.

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

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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