How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

Published: 08/15/19

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Ecstasy is a drug that has properties of both stimulant drugs and hallucinogenic drugs. Some common stimulant drugs are cocaine and methamphetamine. Common hallucinogens include LSD and ‘magic mushrooms’. Ecstasy’s effects include certain attributes of these drugs’ effects. The primary active ingredient in ecstasy is MDMA. However, ecstasy is often found in a pressed pill form that might include many other different substances in addition to or in place of MDMA.

MDMA is currently categorized by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I substance. This is the most severe classification for drugs that the DEA has. Ecstasy is also sometimes called ‘Molly’. The main active ingredient in both is MDMA, but Molly is supposed to be a more ‘pure’ form of MDMA. Generally, ecstasy is found in pressed pill form, and Molly comes in powder form or inside a capsule.

People take MDMA recreationally because it can produce a euphoric effect. The drug is found mainly in nightclubs and parties and is known as one of the primary ‘club drugs’. But taking MDMA is not all fun and games. The drug ecstasy can have major adverse side effects, and it can show up on drug tests long after you take it. 

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your Body?

The answer to how long ecstasy will stay in your system is not very straight forward. Many variables impact how long it takes for the drug to leave our systems. These factors range from how much of the drug was ingested, to what was actually in the pill(s), to details about the person who took the drug. The following is a list of factors that can influence the length of time that ecstasy will stay in your system:

  • How much of the drug was taken: In general, the more ecstasy that a person has ingested, the longer it will take to completely remove it from their system.
  • How the drug was taken: Usually, MDMA is ingested. Sometimes, however, users snort the drug. It takes longer for the body to process ingested MDMA than snorted MDMA.
  • Who took the drug: Factors including age, body mass index, metabolism, kidney function, genes, and liver function can all impact the rate at which a person moves drugs like ecstasy through their system. In general, younger, healthier people metabolize at a faster rate.
  • What was in the pill: Not all ecstasy is the same. While the pills usually contain MDMA, they might contain other drugs as well, including stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine. This can affect how long the drugs stay in your system.

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your Urine?

If you are reading this article, you might be curious about how long ecstasy will be detectable by a drug test. The first thing to consider is that there are multiple types of drug tests. Urine drug tests are quite common, so we will start with this variety.

Ecstasy is detectable in urine for 2-5 days after ingestion. The timeframe ranges for multiple reasons. First, all of the factors listed above affect how long the drug stays in the body and how long it will show up on a urine sample. The second reason for the variation here is that while some urine tests look for MDMA directly, others look for HMMA, which is a metabolite of MDMA. These tests can detect ecstasy use for longer periods of time after use, usually up to 5 days.

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your Saliva?

Saliva tests are usually able to detect substances for the shortest period of time. However, they are also the easiest to conduct. A saliva swab can be taken in nearly any situation, including during a police stop. When it comes to MDMA, saliva can be detected for one to two days. In some cases, saliva tests can detect MDMA in as little as 15 minutes after it is first ingested.

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your Hair?

Hair follicle testing can detect drugs for up to 90 days after ingestion. Hair testing is the main reason why you should never count on passing a drug test, even if it has been a couple of weeks since you took ecstasy. The one area that hair testing does come up short in is the time period directly after someone has taken the drug. It takes about 5 days for ecstasy to show up on a hair test, but after that, it can detect the substance for almost 3 months.

How Long do the Effects of Ecstasy Last?

Now that you know how long ecstasy can stay in your system for a drug test, you may still be wondering how long the actual effects of the drug last. In general, people start feeling the effects of MDMA about 30 minutes after they take it. The effects tend to peak between one and two hours after ingestion. If the MDMA is snorted, then the effects are usually felt and peak sooner. 

Once the ecstasy begins to kick in, users might feel some of the following effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Extreme sociability
  • Openness to interaction with others
  • Increased energy
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Alertness

The effects listed above are positive effects of ecstasy and they are the reason that people use the drug. However, ecstasy has many negative short-term effects also, which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Restlessness
  • Clenching and grinding of the jaw and teeth
  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to focus

It takes around three to six hours for MDMA’s effects to wear off completely, although the drug’s impacts begin to fade after it peaks. People may be tempted to take more of the drug when they feel its pleasurable effects wearing off. While this might prolong the high a bit, it can also lead to a higher risk of overdose and other complications.

Does Ecstasy Have any Long-Term Effects?

Many people experience very few negative effects in the time immediately following their use of ecstasy. However, this drug has many long-lasting effects that make it dangerous to use. It is common for negative effects of ecstasy to show up further down the line. These longer-term effects of MDMA might include:

  • Problems with memory
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Muscle aches
  • Lack of self-control
  • Problems with blood circulation
  • Increased tolerance and risk of overdose

Ecstasy is a powerful drug and using it can lead to a serious substance abuse issue. The drug has strong impacts on the brain, and using it can lead to lasting mental health problems. If you or someone you know has a problem with ecstasy use, seek addiction treatment immediately. 

Sources:

https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/ecstasy-or-mdma-also-known-molly

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/290/1/136.short

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11085324

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19874650

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178664/