Molly is a widely-used slang term to describe the popular street drug, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). As a popular rave or party drug, it’s typically abused at clubs, parties, music festivals, and more. When someone is under the influence of MDMA or Molly, they might experience extreme euphoria, a feeling of connectivity to others, a jolt of energy, and an overall heightened state of awareness. Although many young adults think of the drug as relatively safe, there are a lot of risks that come with taking and abusing Molly or MDMA.

Although Molly is a common drug of abuse among college-aged students and rave-enthusiasts, the side effects of the drug are extremely dangerous. Plus, like most other substances, people who abuse the drug for an extended period of time may become addicted to it. 

What is Molly?


The drug is so popular that in 2014, a Global Drugs Survey found that over 20% of Americans had used MDMA in the past year and 1% of American adults aged 19-28 used it within the last month. [2][3]

The drug is manufactured in clandestine laboratories, so although people consider the drug to be pure, that’s not always the case. There is no government regulation over the production of Molly, so it’s impossible for users to know what they are actually getting. For example, experts have found MDMA being cut with:[1]

  • Bath salts
  • Meth
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Caffeine
  • Ketamine
  • Ephedrine

Many of these substances are harmful on their own and the risks associated with these substances and MDMA increase when mixed together, ultimately increasing the risk for an adverse reaction or drug overdose. 

Are Molly and Ecstasy the Same Thing?

Molly, or pure MDMA, is usually in the form of a white powder. Sometimes, this powder is pressed into tablets and sold as ecstasy. Alternatively, capsules containing the “pure” powder are also known as Molly because they are believed to be pure. The main difference between Molly and ecstasy is that MDMA powder doesn’t bind to itself well, so it’s hard to make it into a tablet or pill. As a result, people mix or “cut” the powder with fillers or other substances so that the pill maintains it’s shape. The main difference between the two drugs is that Molly is thought to be a more pure substance, while ecstasy is thought to be laced with other substances. 

Many people are drawn to ecstasy due to the colorful tablets it is sold as. These colorful tablets are usually marked by identifiers, such as a dolphin or smiley face. These symbols may represent who made the drug, what the tablet is cut with, or, they may mean nothing at all. Like Molly, it’s impossible to know exactly what you’re getting when you buy ecstasy. The drug is also manufactured in illegal labs and dealers will say whatever they need to say to get people to buy the drug. Whether your abusing Molly or ecstasy, you’re taking a dangerous gamble. 

Can You Get Addicted to Molly?

There are many serious adverse side effects of MDMA abuse, and one risk is that people actually can get addicted to Molly. While it’s dangerous to take an unknown substance, the conditions under which people abuse Molly lead to serious and fatal complications. For example, the euphoric and energizing effects of the stimulant mixed with warm environments, a lot of physical activity (such as dancing), and polydrug use can lead to any of the following:[1]

  • Hyperthermia
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst and sweating
  • Shaking chills
  • No urine production
  • Blurry vision
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Drug overdose
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Heart failure
  • Coma