MDMA, which is found in ecstasy and molly, has a relatively short half-life and leaves the system quickly, though it can be detected in toxicology tests long after use. Ecstasy, molly, and MDMA are commonly known as party drugs as they cause intense feelings of euphoria as well as mild hallucinogenic effects.
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How long does MDMA (ecstasy, molly) stay in your system?
The acute effects of MDMA, the main component of ecstasy, often last around three to six hours for most adults. Its half-life, that is the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be processed by the body, is around eight to nine hours.
While the drug leaves the body's system quickly, traces of MDMA can be detected for up to 90 days after the last dose.
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How long does MDMA last?
MDMA, ecstasy, and molly are mainly ingested orally either by pill, mixed into drinks, or wrapped in cigarette papers and swallowed (known as 'bombing').
As the drug is digested, its psychoactive ingredients begin to take effect, usually within an hour of taking it, though it may be quicker on an empty stomach. The initial 'rush', often described as a tingling sensation across the whole body followed by euphoria and mild visual and audio distortions (amplified reaction to lights and music), will last for around two hours.
A continued feeling of happiness, euphoria and visual distortions often last for around four hours. Negative effects such as elevated heart rate, dehydration, loss of jaw control, and high blood pressure will also continue during this period.
Does ecstasy show up in drug tests?
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) falls under multiple drug classifications as it acts as a stimulant, mild hallucinogen, and psychoactive entactogen (a drug component that improves emotional communication and openness) and is the main ingredient in ecstasy.
It is commonly used as a party or club drug as it is reported to improve experiences with other people, increase a sense of “togetherness” and for its mild hallucinogenic effects.
MDMA is not tested on a five-panel drug test (the urine test commonly used by employers for random drug tests) but can show up in some results. The standard five drugs detected in this urine test are:
Amphetamines (e.g. meth)
Marijuana Metabolites (THC)
Opiates (e.g. heroin and painkillers)
Click here to learn more about how long different drug types stay in your system.
How long is MDMA detectable in urine?
MDMA is detectable in urine samples for up to four days, though it can sometimes be removed from the system within 48 hours.
How long is MDMA detectable in hair?
Most known narcotic and prescription drugs are detectable in hair follicles. This type of test is rarely used due to its cost and the length of time it takes to analyze samples. MDMA, ecstasy, and molly are detectable in hair for up to 90 days.
How long is MDMA detectable in blood?
MDMA’s maximum blood concentration peaks at around two hours, though blood tests can detect MDMA up to 48 hours after the last dose was taken.
How long is MDMA detectable in saliva?
Though saliva tests are rarely used for MDMA detection, the substance can be present for up to 48 hours in oral tests.
Factors that affect MDMA, ecstasy, molly detection times
There are many factors that can influence the detection rate in a toxicology test and these can vary from person to person.
Factors that influence MDMA detection rates include:
- Length of time MDMA was abused
- Quantity taken
- Purity of the drug
- Whether other substances were taken (such as alcohol or stimulants)
- Body mass index (obese people will take longer to process MDMA)
- Pre-existing medical conditions (especially those involving the liver or kidneys)
Can you get a false-positive MDMA test result?
Many drug tests do not actively search for MDMA metabolites, though the constituent parts of the drug do show up on some tests.
As MDMA is formed of multiple substances, some other drugs can cause a false-positive result if they contain similar components. For example, a study from 2010 found that trazodone, a prescription antidepressant medication, could cause a false-positive to occur on an ecstasy EMIT II assay test.
Ecstasy abuse treatment
While it is uncommon to become addicted to ecstasy, molly, and MDMA, it is still possible to suffer negative consequences from abusing the substance.
If you’re suffering from ecstasy abuse and feel that you need help in managing your relationship with the drug, there are many specialist treatment centers that can offer their services. These can include therapy, counseling, outpatient treatment, and residential stays in rehab facilities. Contact a treatment provider today to see what help is available for MDMA use disorders.