Ecstasy Facts and Myths

When it comes to the drug MDMA (known as ecstasy), facts and myths abound. Here are five common misconceptions—along with the truth about MDMA.


Myth: Ecstasy Will Make You a Better Lover

Male hand holding recreational drugs

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With its provocative name, and synonym, "the love drug," you could be fooled into thinking the drug ecstasy is an aphrodisiac that will give you and your partner immediate sexual bliss.

Truth: The name ecstasy was chosen because the original name—empathy—was not considered marketable. Although some people may experience pleasurable sex after taking ecstasy, for many others, the experience of taking ecstasy is decidedly asexual.

Most users actually report feelings of innocence and childishness, rather than sexuality, when taking ecstasy. And like other stimulants, it can interfere with the ability to become sexually aroused, both for men and women.


Myth: You Can't Have a Bad Trip on Ecstasy

Ecstasy has a reputation for being a "happy" drug, and is often mistakenly considered to be psychologically safe, compared to drugs such as LSD.

Truth: While most ecstasy users find the drug pleasant in effect, it can trigger feelings of anxiety and panic, which are heightened by the stimulant effects of the drug. Ecstasy also has hallucinogenic properties, so it can trigger a bad trip.


Myth: You Can Trust Anyone Who Takes Ecstasy

The myth that people who take ecstasy are loving, trustworthy and incapable of theft, abuse or violence is widespread on the rave scene and encapsulated in their mantra, Peace Love Unity Respect (PLUR).

Truth: Ecstasy does not cleanse the soul or transform people into angels. The illicit drug scene has more than its fair share of sexual opportunists, drug dealers and people who want to take advantage of vulnerable drug users. Don't believe for a second that having dilated pupils means someone is trustworthy.


Myth: Ecstasy Is the Most Effective Antidepressant Ever Invented

This myth states that the euphoric properties of MDMA, combined with the wonderful connection you'll feel toward other ecstasy users will make your feelings of depression a thing of the past.

Truth: While euphoria is a common effect of MDMA, depletion of the pleasure chemicals of the brain during the high often results in intense feelings of depression after the comedown from ecstasy. And like other psychoactive drugs, ecstasy can sometimes trigger substance-induced anxiety, depression, and psychosis.

Instead of self-medicating your depression, see a doctor and get an effective treatment for depression.


Myth: Ecstasy Users Don't Touch Hard Drugs

This myth is based on the idea that some drugs, such as weed and ecstasy, are "soft"—implying they are harmless and non-addictive—while other drugs, such as meth and heroin, are "hard," and thus associated with addiction, disease, needles, and overdose deaths. 

Truth: While some people come through a phase of ecstasy use without trying other drugs, for many others, ecstasy is just one of several drugs they take, all of which carry risks. Some progress to using "harder" drugs, such as heroin. Whether you like to admit it or not, being an ecstasy user opens you up to the possibilities of drug use in general, and access to a range of illicit substances. Ecstasy carries its own risks, and while addiction to ecstasy is not widely acknowledged, it can happen.

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