Ecstasy is known as the original designer drug because of its links to dance music culture in the late 80s and early 90s.  Other names include, mandy, MDMA and molly. Ecstasy pills are usually taken orally, they may be crushed up into a powder and snorted or the powder can be wrapped in cigarette paper and swallowed. The appearance of ecstasy varies considerably with there being a wide range of coloured pills and capsules often marked with designs and logos.


Ecstasy is a stimulant drug, so users get an energy buzz, making them feel alert, yet calm, in tune with their surroundings, and with sounds and colours often experienced as more intense.  Temporary feelings of love and affection to people who are around them are also experienced.

Physical effects include pupil dilation, jaw tightening, tingling feeling and an increase in body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate and possible loss of appetite. Users may also experience a period of nausea. Users may also have bad experiences such as feeling anxious and panicky, confusion and unpleasant distortion of the senses that may last for days, even weeks. This is more likely if users take high doses or are already feeling anxious.

Harm Reduction

After taking ecstasy users may feel very tired and depressed and need a long period of sleep to recover. This may last up to three or four days and is known as a comedown.

Regular ecstasy use may lead to dietary problems and feeling depressed or anxious. Anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction to the drug.

Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere, like a club, increases the chances of overheating and dehydration. Users should take regular breaks from the dance floor to cool down, sipping water slowly (one pint over an hour) can help prevent this from happening.

Drinking too much can also be dangerous, ecstasy can cause the body to release a hormone which stops it making urine. If you drink too quickly and it affects your body’s salt balance, which can be as deadly as not drinking enough water.

The Young Hackney Substance Misuse service is open to anyone aged under 25, it’s free and it’s confidential..  They can give you advice and support if you’re worried about your own substance use. They’ll also help if you’re worried that a friend or family member has a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Alternatively you can visit the FRANK website for confidential support