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How Long Does Ecstasy (MDMA) Stay in Your System?

There are many reasons to know how long it takes ecstasy and other drugs to work their way through your body. Drug testing is a significant reason. You might simply want to know when you will feel like yourself again–it’s helpful to have a better understanding of how drugs are processed.

Ecstasy is a drug also known as MDMA or “Molly.” MDMA is a synthetic substance with stimulant and psychedelic properties that is used recreationally and under medical supervision for the treatment of specific mental health conditions.

In this article, learn how long it takes for ecstasy to work its way through your system and what factors affect how long it can be detected in your body.

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is commonly used as a recreational drug due to its ability to induce feelings of euphoria and heightened sensations. Ecstasy is often associated with use in parties or clubs, where it can enhance feelings of connectedness and enjoyment. Most users take Molly in pill form, but powders are also used.

What emerged as a “niche” drug in the 1980s is now more widely used, particularly among young adults. People seeking a heightened sensory or social experience utilize MDMA. Ecstasy is a Schedule I controlled substance in the U.S. drug classification system.

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How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

MDMA is mostly cleared from the system within 24 to 48 hours, though trace amounts may be detectable for extended periods depending on the sensitivity of the testing method used.

The duration that ecstasy (MDMA) stays in your system depends on several factors. These detection windows are approximate and can vary based on individual differences and the specifics of the drug test used.

  • Blood – MDMA is detectable in blood for about 1 to 2 days after ingestion
  • Saliva – MDMA is typically detectable for 1 to 2 days in saliva
  • Urine – MDMA can be detected for about 2 to 4 days in urine (up to a week for heavy users)
  • Hair – MDMA can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days or even longer, depending on the length of the hair sample taken

What Factors Affect the Length of Time MDMA Is in Your System?

A few variables are at play when considering how long ecstasy can be detected in your body. A few questions you may ask to help determine the length of time include:

  • How often have you used MDMA? Regular users may retain MDMA in their system longer due to cumulative exposure.
  • How much MDMA was consumed? Higher doses can take longer to metabolize and eliminate.
  • Are you a fast metabolizer? Individual metabolic rates vary, affecting how quickly MDMA is broken down and cleared from the body.
  • What is your body composition? Body fat percentage and muscle mass can influence drug metabolism and elimination. Greater body mass often translates to faster processing speed for MDMA.
  • Are you hydrated? Hydration levels can impact how quickly substances are processed; dehydration can slow the process.
  • How was the MDMA consumed? Whether MDMA is taken orally, snorted, or by other means can affect absorption rates and metabolism.
  • How old are you? Metabolic rates generally slow with age, potentially increasing the time MDMA stays in the system.
  • Are you healthy? Chronic health conditions can influence drug metabolism and elimination.
  • What is your gender? Males typically metabolize MDMA faster than females because of differences in muscle mass and overall body size.

What Is the Half-life of Ecstasy?

The half-life of ecstasy ranges from approximately 6 to 9 hours, meaning that it takes about 6 to 9 hours for the concentration of MDMA in the bloodstream to decrease by half. After the initial half-life period, it will take multiple half-lives for the drug to be eliminated from the body. Because the psychoactive effects of MDMA last about 3-5 hours, the desired euphoric effects will generally have worn off before the body has completely excreted the substance.

What Happens if You Mix MDMA with Other Drugs?

Mixing MDMA with other drugs can result in a range of interactions, some of which can be dangerous. Additionally, the time for MDMA to be metabolized may be extended by the use of other substances.

Alcohol

Both alcohol and MDMA cause dehydration, which can lead to overheating. MDMA may also mask the effects of alcohol, leading to overconsumption and increased risk of alcohol poisoning.

Cannabis

Some users report increased euphoria and sensory enhancement when combining the two substances. However, cannabis can amplify MDMA-induced anxiety and paranoia as well.

Cocaine

Both drugs increase heart rate and blood pressure, heightening risks associated with drug use. Cocaine may also blunt the euphoric effects of MDMA.

Amphetamines

The combination of MDMA and amphetamines (e.g., meth) can significantly increase the risk of neurotoxic effects and damage to brain neurons. Taking these two substances together amplifies the risk of overheating and severe dehydration.

Psychedelics

Adding psychedelics (e.g., LSD, psilocybin) to MDMA can intensify the resulting visual and emotional effects, sometimes leading to overwhelming experiences. There is a higher risk of anxiety, paranoia, and other adverse psychological effects.

Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms

While the potential for dependence is lower than other drugs, MDMA is still capable of producing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. MDMA is addictive–increased dosages are needed to sustain the same effects over time due to increased tolerance.

Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity and duration based on factors like frequency of use, dosage, individual physiology, and overall health. Fatigue and irritability are well-known withdrawal features, along with anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, and physical discomfort.

Typically, withdrawal symptoms begin within a few days of stopping use and can last from a few days to several weeks. Some users might experience prolonged symptoms which may require professional treatment.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

While MDMA use has increased in social settings in recent years, it doesn’t mean the risks are non-existent. Dependence on ecstasy can build over time and potentially has physical and mental health risks as your tolerance increases.

If you are ready to take steps toward recovery from a relationship with MDMA that has spiraled out of control, reach out to Vogue Recovery Center today. An addiction specialist will help you learn more about what programs are available and appropriate for your unique needs. Vogue Recovery Center can help you seek the care most suitable for your needs and circumstances and begin to rebuild a healthy foundation for lasting recovery.

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Kelsey Jones vrc az

Medically Reviewed by Kelsey Jones, MS, LPC

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