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How Dangerous is MDMA?



Medically Reviewed by Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

MDMA is a drug — commonly known as ecstasy or molly — that causes sensations of euphoria similar to opioids and other illicit substances. The use of MDMA became popular around the 1970s and ’80s when it was tested to manage psychological disorders. It gained more popularity, however, when it hit the streets for recreational use. After a large spike in recreational use, the drug was deemed unsafe and made illegal.

Since then, many scientists and doctors believe that most deaths attributed to the drug were the result of combining MDMA with other substances, such as excessive alcohol or other drugs. In many cases, deaths have occurred as a result of consuming what the user assumed would be pure MDMA which was contaminated with other drugs or substances.

In fact, between 2009 and 2013, DEA test results of confiscated MDMA revealed literally no pure MDMA at all. Rather, they discovered blends of other illicit substances that merely imitated the psychological effects of pure MDMA. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting consumer, this reckless blend of mystery additives can pose a real danger.

In actuality, pure MDMA is one of the least dangerous illegal substances available on the streets. It’s typically non-habit forming and is currently being tested to combat symptoms of PTSD. But, at this point in time, there’s no telling if or when the FDA may approve the drug for prescription use.

Therefore, there is currently no way of telling what street MDMA contains, which could make one of the least deadly illegal substances perhaps the most unpredictable and dangerous of them all.


Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.

Dr. Saeed is a psychiatry specialist with over 40 years of experience in the medical field. He received training in General Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was selected as the Medical Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently serves as the medical director at Into Action Recovery Centers. Full Bio

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