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MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly) Drug Withdrawal Symptoms: What You May Experience

MDMA (“Molly” or “Ecstasy”) withdrawal symptoms have not been extensively documented. Although most people use ecstasy on a recreational basis (e.g. once in awhile), there are some people that are more consistent with their usage. People who use Ecstasy often may actually become both psychologically and physically dependent upon this substance for everyday functioning. The reason more individuals are getting addicted to Ecstasy and experimenting with it is largely due to the cost.

People can get a very lucrative “high” for just $10 to $30 per dose. Think about it, if you have a job, getting a dose of Ecstasy could be less than a single hour of earnings. It is typically sold as a semi-synthetic chemical compound and in its purest form, it is a white colored powder. Although it is illegal to manufacture and possess in the United States, there are still plenty of people that struggle with addiction and withdrawal.

Factors that influence MDMA (“Ecstasy” or “Molly”) withdrawal include:

1. Frequency of use

How often did you use Ecstasy or MDMA-related substances? If you use it frequently, the withdrawal is going to be much tougher. For example if you are popping Ecstasy pills on a daily basis, your brain is going to have a more difficult time readjusting its activity back to normalcy.

2. Time span

Have you been using MDMA for years or just a couple months off and on? Obviously the longer-term basis for which you have turned to this drug, the more difficulties you will have with your withdrawal.

3. Ecstasy dosage (range: 80 mg to 160 mg)

Typical dosages range from 80 mg to 160 mg per pill. Obviously the higher the dosage, the more MDMA that you will experience. If you increase the amount of a drug, the brain will end up burning up more serotonin. Essentially the larger the dosage, the greater the amount of serotonin that will get depleted.

MDMA (Ecstasy / Molly) Withdrawal Symptoms

Much of the psychological symptoms of ecstasy withdrawal have to do with serotonin levels being depleted. Over time, your brain can restore its depleted levels of serotonin, but it certainly does not happen overnight. Just know that it may take an extended period of time before you are able to consider yourself fully recovered from the effects of MDMA. Below is a list of the psychological and physical symptoms that you may experience when withdrawing from Ecstasy or “Molly.”

  • Anxiety: It is common to feel fearful and high levels of anxiety when quitting Ecstasy. As your brain restores its serotonin levels, your anxiety should eventually subside. This may last for quite some time though depending on your usage.
  • Confusion: Mental confusion and cognitive impairment is a common symptom of withdrawal.
  • Cravings: Many people have intense cravings for Ecstasy when they’ve stopped. The drug makes many people feel so good that they cannot think of living life without it.
  • Depersonalization: You may feel unlike your real self – this is because your brain chemicals are out of homeostasis.
  • Depression: One of the most difficult symptoms for people to deal with when withdrawing from Ecstasy is depression. Depression is a common symptom and is a result of abnormally low levels of serotonin.
  • Delusions: Certain people may experience delusions or “false beliefs” about reality.  You may think that someone is out to get you – in similar manner to someone would with schizophrenia.
  • Fatigue: You may feel both mentally and physically fatigued upon stopping Ecstasy. The lethargy may be overwhelming initially and you may find yourself sleeping or tired on a consistent basis.
  • Hallucinations: Some people actually hallucinate when coming off of Ecstasy. Hallucinations could be both auditory and visual. You may see things and/or hear voices. Although these aren’t necessarily typical symptoms, they have been documented.  For more information about hallucinations while using this drug, read “Does Ecstasy make you hallucinate?”
  • Insomnia: Inability to fall asleep at night is another common symptom that could be a result of your withdrawal.
  • Irritability: If you find yourself becoming increasingly irritable, just know that this is a common symptom of withdrawal.
  • Loss of appetite: Another symptom is loss of appetite – you may not feel like eating for awhile. Do your best to eat what you can and consume healthy foods.
  • Mood swings: It is pretty common for people withdrawing from any drug to experience mood swings. With Ecstasy, mood swings are particularly common due to the fact that the drug throws your brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels out of homeostasis.
  • Memory loss: Experiencing temporary memory loss is another symptom that some people report. Eventually your memory functioning should return to normal.
  • Muscle rigidity: Some people experience muscle rigidity and/or stiffness – almost like they are constantly flexed. In order to reduce this rigidity and possible soreness, give it time.
  • Panic attacks: Any drug that affects the serotonin system could result in the user experiencing panic attacks when trying to withdraw.
  • Paranoia: In long-term frequent users, many develop paranoid thinking. This is because the drug itself affects serotonin and dopamine. Although it releases more serotonin than dopamine, the decreased amount of dopamine stores could result in paranoid thinking.
  • Poor concentration: Due to your brain trying to readjust, you may notice lapses in your ability to concentrate.  Withdrawal symptoms from MDMA are similar to that of amphetamines.
  • Psychosis: Some people experience psychosis or psychotic-like symptoms when coming off of this drug.

Note: It is understood that Ecstasy stays in your system (along with various metabolites) for 1 to 3 days after you’ve stopped using.

When will the symptoms subside? MDMA withdrawal length varies.

Withdrawing from Ecstasy is totally dependent upon individual circumstances. Who was using it, why were they using it, do they have an addictive personality, etc. There are a number of individual factors that come into play. However, there are also other factors that must be considered including dosage, frequency of usage, as well as overall time span of usage.

For someone who has used Ecstasy on a daily basis, it would make obvious sense that withdrawal would be a much greater challenge than for someone who has used ecstasy recreationally once every so often. The average withdrawal timeline for full recovery is roughly 90 days for most drugs. It will obviously have been well out of your body by then, and your nervous system is rewiring itself to account for the lack of MDMA.

As time passes, most research would suggest that ecstasy users can make full recoveries in regards to brain functioning and physical health. If you are withdrawing from ecstasy, the best thing you can do for yourself right now is to engage in healthy activities. Be around supportive people (friends and family), avoid places that may trigger cravings, eat healthy, stay productive, and exercise.

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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Louis Devenish August 31, 2014, 9:55 am

    I found this article very useful – it is good to read some balanced, reasoned information on MDMA. Thanks Gloom. I am currently 40 days off stopping MDMA and have been struggling with anxiety issues. It is reassuring to know that I am not in a permanent state of anxiety and that my serotonin levels are still in flux and rebalancing. A lot of the information I’ve found about drugs does not refer to the long lag time over which drugs can still affect you.

    I’m considering using 5HTP to help me through the harder days. I’m already taking an omega-3-6 supplement. Do you think 5HTP would be helpful?

    • Pinkman October 10, 2014, 1:31 am

      L Tryptophaan + L Tyrosine is good for withdrawal symptons.

  • Brandon November 25, 2014, 4:10 am

    Thank you for the information. One month sober, I was feeling many of these symptoms, and I was scared that I had permanently fucked myself up in the head. Today I had an emotional breakdown, but it felt good to cry because I actually felt something. Day in and day out, I feel paranoia and depersonalization, and my panic attacks are stronger than before I started doing MDMA. However, they are starting to ease a little now, but I still feel withdrawal symptoms hardcore.

    I originally began taking MDMA because it made music sound amazing, and made me dance like no other. However, as time progressed, it went from a recreational drug, to almost a lifestyle. Going to clubs and EDM festivals, it was the norm to take a bump or to before…and then a bump or so every few hours. Glad to know that what I am experiencing now is considered pretty normal for someone who is coming off the drug, and reading this article has definitely reassured me that I am doing the right thing and am on the right track to recovery. Thank you!

  • lee December 24, 2014, 4:28 pm

    I’ve been off for 3 weeks now and the anxiety is killing me. Another crazy thing is my skin crawls. I can feel imaginary bugs crawling on me! And I see little white spots when I look at blank surfaces. I wasn’t a long term user I just had a binge weekend. Is this normal? Should I consult a doctor?

    • Sophie August 21, 2015, 5:10 pm

      This is pretty normal. I had this about a month ago when I accidentally took way too much. Sounds like you may have done the same.

      • Tarek August 14, 2016, 1:37 pm

        Hi Sophie, Are you fine now? Because I am experiencing the same.

  • Alisha Corral February 5, 2015, 12:51 am

    Today is only my first day off…used 500 mgs a few days ago and I swear my brain has just shut down. I’m showing almost all those symptoms. I didn’t used to hallucinate until I started taking bigger doses. And yes, I hallucinate bugs too :( it’s really creepy. Today’s only day one and I’ve shut myself in my apartment and just been crying all day :( long recovery ahead.

    • justin September 25, 2015, 8:33 pm

      I’m with ya ?

  • Trooper June 14, 2015, 11:01 am

    After a recent overdose, I’ve decided to stop buying hard drugs, especially from strangers, knowing that it’s likely to contain impurities. First few days after the overdose, I experienced hallucinations such as seeing light frequencies travel around the room from TV/Computer monitors and also my breath travelling out of my mouth. I remember having vivid flashbacks of the time I last consumed MDMA the night after I survived the seizure.

    Now I’m just dealing with random moments of depression, having a hard time keeping up with the meals of the day, and trouble concentrating in class. I also notice a difficulty in doing simple math and remembering things. I worry that these cognitive damages will be permanent. Sleeping schedule is a bit off and now I’m just waiting for these symptoms to go away.

    I just raved sober and I felt the same compassion and unity from strangers without having to chemically induce these feelings of euphoria. I didn’t need drugs to dance better than everyone in the room, I didn’t need drugs to take myself out of my comfort zone and socialize. I didn’t need drugs to feel good about myself whenever I took a look in the mirror. I don’t need that sh*t. It really f*cks with you if you’re not careful.

  • Justin Scott June 24, 2015, 11:55 am

    I have been addicted to MDMA for about a year now. I recently started taking NA classes to help me with the using of drugs. Lately while I’m still recovering, I have found that I get feelings of bugs, fleas, crawling all over my legs. When I close my eyes and open them stars appear from the corners of my eyes. Almost like I’m perma-tripping (which I’ve been through after taking large amounts of LSD or 25B).

    I talked to a group member in my NA class, and he told me what I’m having going on is normal to an addict coming off of Molly (MDMA). So to the people who keep questioning if they should consult a doctor about the feelings of bugs, I say no. It goes away eventually. May take time and be so frustrating but it does eventually go away. It’s stimulant phychosis and that’s where the little white, grayish color hair is coming from. So don’t worry, it will go back eventually :)

  • H September 3, 2015, 11:40 pm

    I’ve been taking it every Saturday plus occasional Friday’s and Sunday’s of every week for about 8 months now but it’s starting to mess with me a bit. Been having horrible headaches that literally make me paralyzed, I’ve been out of college and work for about 4 months now because of it and also because I’ve been anxious and paranoid. The only reason I don’t take it during the week is because I can’t afford it so Saturday is my favorite day and it’s all I think about all week.

    I’ve been getting depressed I can’t fall asleep until I have cried as much as I can. I think it’s time I had a break from it. Also I have increased my tolerance to a gram now and I don’t want to have to take anymore than this in one night. This weekend will be my first weekend without it, but I don’t know if I can do it. Any advice/help? I really really need to get off it at least for a while. And does anyone know how long I should take the break for? Thank you.

    • Hv September 7, 2015, 4:56 am

      This might be mean advice, but I think this idea helped me quit. Get away from the people you do drugs with. If the thing you do with a person is get high, then you can’t see that person again. (Maybe forever!) Honesty, I think it helped. They might accept your quitting, but they will most likely give you weed in your weak moment.

      That may not be mean of them! They are treating you like their friend; getting high is together is how they play with their friends. It’s just part of your relationship. To be fair, I was not that close with people I purposely got rid of. However, I think staying out of environment helped some. Good luck! God bless you!

  • Jhonny, D September 12, 2015, 4:47 pm

    One week off Ecstasy now, I have experienced almost all of the withdrawal symptoms, especially crying all night. I have somewhat low self esteem and the drug transformed me into a different person; Stronger, more confident, talkative, even charming at times. I honestly don’t know if I can continue to hold up, or eventually give up. Jhonny, D

  • Rocio September 30, 2015, 12:46 am

    I did Ecstasy for 3 months every weekend and I quit 2 years ago and I still feel the brain damage I don’t know if I’ll ever feel normal again my brain is very messed up headaches/memory loss/mind loss/depression/dizziness. I wish I never took that first Ecstasy pill…

    • Isaiah October 7, 2015, 6:16 am

      If it’s been 2 years and you only binged for 3 months, I highly doubt that it’s ecstasy that’s messing with you…

      • Hzl April 21, 2016, 11:16 pm

        That’s because they putting so much other stuff in there nowadays. They making fake drugs now SMH… Good luck to you all. I wish you guys the best.

    • Sashen May 26, 2016, 7:36 am

      I’ve taken Ecstasy for about a year. Its 2 months now that I’ve stopped but I’m experiencing the dizziness/loss of memory and my mind seems to be out of focus. I stopped after I used just 1 pill and it threw me of so bad that I couldn’t dance. That’s when I figured these people are mixing too many things into it. I hope I recover through this and my brain gets back to normal. I pray the same for you. “Also wish I never took that 1st pill.”

    • Billy October 5, 2016, 6:18 pm

      I totally agree with you. I’ve not taking the drug for about 8 years but it has f-cked my head up big time. I used to take high dosages now I have bad anxiety, dizzy spells, depression, moods swings, and my eyesight has deteriorated. I think once you take it your brain never really goes back to normal.

  • Jasmine October 22, 2015, 11:47 pm

    Today is my first day off and I have experienced everything plus chest pains and rapid heart rate. I walk from my living room to my kitchen and I’m out of breath. I do it like 3 or 4 grams a day please help me. -Jasmine

  • cat November 3, 2015, 12:04 am

    I did Molly like today’s ago at Halloween rave, and I honestly feel like sh*t. I keep on thinking I’m going to sleep, and working is really hard for me because I can’t keep up with everybody else. It’s honestly driving me insane.

  • Anon November 8, 2015, 3:38 pm

    I have someone who I care about (a lot) who got addicted to MDMA over the summer and had been using it regularly for 4-6 months. He just quit recently and I’ve been keeping a really close eye on him. He has been having most of these symptoms along with hypothermia and a few others. He’s very closed off about it and refuses to get treatment and I want nothing more than to be able to help. Any advice? :(

  • Anonnnn November 19, 2015, 6:43 am

    I used and experimented with MDMA and ecstasy over the course of a year, rolling a couple times each month. Halfway through the year I experienced serious depression but I continued to use. I met someone new who helped me stop and I stopped hanging around the people I would do it with. Even though it was difficult to reject a line when offered (difficult as in relapsing), I have finally gone 3 months now without it. Yes, I have experienced nearly all of these symptoms.

    The anxiety, panic attacks, temptations, and depression took a toll on me. I went 2 months believing I ruined my life because I found myself not being able to focus or remember things and had trouble learning which resulted in a major decrease in my grades at school. After 3 months, these symptoms have gotten significantly better but the confusion and memory loss still happen. I had also experienced hallucinations/feelings of bugs crawling on my body while quitting the drug.

    One significant symptom I had was fainting (only when I was using the drug but has stopped since I stopped using the drug). I experienced a lot of lightheadedness and usually would be able to keep myself from fainting. However, there were many times I couldn’t and went unconscious. The symptoms listed make me feel normal because I know that they are not permanent and I am just healing, but I’m concerned about the fainting and I wonder if it had to do with the use of MDMA and ecstasy? Thoughts?

  • Jd December 12, 2015, 8:18 am

    Yeah I agree with the other guy. I’ve been doing it everyday basically for 4 months now. I need to quit molly, it’s getting bad.

  • john west January 4, 2016, 11:18 pm

    On New Year’s Eve I took 3 pills and a gram of MDMA. I had not taken MDMA for about 3 months. I do not do it often, but I have been doing it for a few years. Well into the morning of New Year’s, I woke up feeling fine and 2 nights after I was fine. The next night, however, I experienced some extreme feelings of depression and loneliness, even though I was with a friend. That was last night, and today I have felt this feeling twice. It’s an extreme feeling of sadness. Someone please help.

  • Steve January 8, 2016, 9:19 pm

    I have only done MDMA once and I haven’t done it in almost a month now. But I have been going through anxiety and depression. I’ve also stopped smoking weed and was wondering if there’s a chance my head will always be this bad? If not, how long does it usually last?

  • On the road to recovery January 8, 2016, 10:16 pm

    Been on molly/tink for about an year I am having serious withdraw my legs and hands shake constantly. I guess the breathing issue is anxiety. My brain acts like it’s struggling to do anything. I take vitamins everyday and I’m two days shy of 30 days clean, but I need some home remedies and things to take to get better. Help me please.

  • jess January 30, 2016, 5:34 pm

    I’ve been taking MDMA/pills on and off now for 10 years with a few binges along the way. Never had too many problems with it although over the weekend went to a big festival and took a mix of me caps, pills & speed over 3 nights (with sleep in between) since coming home I haven’t felt like myself. It’s been 6 days since and my head feels really cloudy, my reaction time is super slow, I feel like I have social anxiety as well as general anxiety and panic attacks. I feel like I’m not snapping out of it and it’s making me freak out more. It’s like I don’t know how to be normal anymore… Is that normal?

  • Will March 7, 2016, 12:51 am

    I’m going through the exact same after an MDMA binge of around 1.2g over 3 weeks. I’m on day 28 since my last roll and I’m feeling a lot better, the first 2 weeks were hell I had chronic anxiety and depersonalization, the anxiety is a lot lot better! But depersonalization is still there, honestly my advice is just force yourself into your daily routine and eat healthy, no sugar, alcohol or caffeine!

    It just makes things worse, try and eat as healthy as possible, take multivitamins and fish oil. Try and exercise as much as you can, I know it’s the last thing you wanna do but trust me it workers wonders and shortens the recovery time. I know you don’t feel like yourself and it’s one of the worst experiences anyone could go through, but try to think positively.

    Just remember you’re not alone and this is only withdrawal which won’t last forever, it’s going to take some time to go and only you can bring yourself out of it! After reading this stop reading other people’s experiences online!! It will only make your anxiety 10 times worse!! Trust me from experience… Just remember this won’t last forever, good luck with your progress guys/girls.

  • Sofia May 24, 2016, 3:37 am

    Help. I tried Molly for the first time ever. It was amazing when I was on it. But I don’t like the side effects. I’m depressed and feel so lonely. I have friends who I have talked to but it’s like they don’t even care. I can’t talk to my parents because they won’t be too happy about it and probably bring me to a doctor. I hate doctors.

    I hate hospitals. Someone help, I need support. I don’t want to take this drug again. The only way I can sleep now is if I smoke a ton of kush and if I exercise excessively till I’m worn out and tired to the extreme. I am super tired of doing this for the last week. Any advice? Thank you so much to the owner of this website.

  • Ivan July 8, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Molly is full of impurities and anyone telling you it is MORE pure because its in powder form is uneducated. Firstly, Molly is usually mostly MDA not MDMA. MDMA has more of the lovey dovey feeling (why it used to be called x or Ecstasy) where Molly is more speedy and less touchy. Back when everyone was doing pill forms of X it was common to send one away and have it tested by a agency like DanceSafe.

    Sometimes the even would have on-site testing at the larger raves, etc. But nowadays you never know what you get in powder form. The reason it is NOT in pill form is because pill pressing machines are very expensive and regulated within the US. This means for people manufacturing it here in the US it is much easier to produce as a powder and start the rumor that it is MORE PURE.

    This is untrue, as it is usually full of impurities and many times prescription meds are used to cut it as well. Many a basic chemistry college student have gotten in trouble making this and it is NEVER pure. If you want to play Russian roulette with your brain go right ahead, but for a safer experience always get pill form, send it out to be tested, take only ONE DOSE in a 30 day period.

    It takes your body that long to rebound and stock your brain back up with all the serotonin that you lose when ‘rolling’. Taking too much on a regular basis can directly cause permanent brain and/or liver damage. The brain damage may not even be noticed until later in life, so you think you’re all good now but the repercussions will be later in life when your serotonin receptors are all gone on you literally will not be capable of being happy anymore.

    Liver damage can happen and can lead to liver failure and death. Don’t ask me how I know, it’s a sad sad story of life being taken much too soon.

  • Jackson Ludwig August 10, 2016, 9:46 pm

    I feel for all of you. After one night of drinking and accidentally taking a mega dose of MDMA, I didn’t come back the same. I had no idea how strong it was since it was dissolved in water, and it was 4 hits. I was never a regular mdma user at all. 90 Days later, here I am, and have been through hell and back. Needless to say I’ll never take that drug again.

    I still experience moments of depersonalization, depression, and very high anxiety/fear many days. It has definitely put a dent in my life although I’m still functional. The good news is, I was cleared by my doctor, and also by a neurologist who ensured me the brain is amazing at healing itself and that what happened isn’t permanent.

    That being said, it’s key to eat right, exercise, take supplements like fish oils and b-vitamins. Spend lots of time with others, and push yourself to do things that scare you. Find time to do something that helps you give back to others. I’ve found drinking makes things much worse, so avoid it as much as possible, or just drink very moderately if you’re going to do it.

    I’m going through cognitive behavioral therapy which has been helpful, and also taking a very low dose of fluoxetine (prozac 10mg a day). The medical consensus is that these reactions are a result of a combination of factors, chemical from the drug, pre-existing anxiety/depression, and not taking care of my body. I’ve spoken to many people who eventually get better.

    It just takes a lot of time and patience and I sincerely hope all of you can get there. I also recommend the book “DARE” by Barry McDonnah. It has lots of helpful ways to deal with anxiety/panic and also helps to normalize the sensations you’re experiencing. Hang in there everyone, things will improve if we take the right path to recovery.

  • Edward September 15, 2016, 8:56 am

    Please let me know what’s going on with my body. I have been up the last 3 days rolling and after noon my body started moving uncontrollably and my muscles won’t stop tensioning. Please help.

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