Addiction Drug Use Hallucinogens 5 Facts About Ecstasy By Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 10, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print When it comes to the drug MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly), myths and false beliefs abound. Here are five facts about MDMA. 1 It Will Not Make You a Better Lover With its provocative names ("ecstasy," "the love drug"), you could be fooled into thinking the MDMA is an aphrodisiac that will give you and your partner immediate sexual bliss. And yes, some people may experience pleasurable sex after taking ecstasy. But evidence suggests that ecstasy actually impairs sexual performance. Some may desire sex, but be unable to perform. Taking ecstasy can lead to impaired erection and delayed orgasm. Others may enjoy physical contact in the absence of a specific hunger for sex. Most people actually report feelings of innocence and childishness, rather than arousal, when taking ecstasy. And like other stimulants, ecstasy can interfere with the ability to become sexually aroused, both for men and women. 2 You Can Have a Bad Trip While most people who use ecstasy find the drug pleasant in effect, it can trigger feelings of anxiety and panic, which are heightened by the drug's stimulant effects. Since ecstasy has hallucinogenic properties, it can indeed trigger a bad trip. 3 It Doesn't Make People Trustworthy Despite popular belief, ecstasy does not cleanse the soul or transform people into angels. The drug scene has more than its fair share of sexual opportunists, drug dealers, and people who want to take advantage of vulnerable drug users. Having dilated pupils doesn't mean someone is trustworthy. 4 It Is Not an Antidepressant 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. And like other psychoactive drugs, ecstasy can sometimes trigger substance-induced anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Instead of self-medicating with ecstasy, see a doctor and get an effective treatment for depression. 5 It Can Be a Gateway Drug Some people come through a phase of ecstasy use without trying other drugs. But 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, using ecstasy 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. Basic Facts About Ecstasy (MDMA) 5 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Zemishlany Z, Aizenberg D, Weizman A. Subjective effects of MDMA (’Ecstasy') on human sexual function. Eur Psychiatry. 2001;16(2):127-130. doi:10.1016/s0924-9338(01)00550-8 Solowij N, Hall W, Lee N. Recreational MDMA use in Sydney: A profile of “ecstacy” users and their experiences with the drug. Br J Addict. 1992;87(8):1161-1172. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.1992.tb02003.x Kaplan K, Kurtz F, Serafini K. Substance-induced anxiety disorder after one dose of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine: A case report. J Med Case Rep. 2018;12(1):142. doi:10.1186/s13256-018-1670-7 Turner JJD, Parrott AC, Goodwin J, et al. Psychiatric profiles of mothers who take Ecstasy/MDMA during pregnancy: Reduced depression 1 year after giving birth and quitting Ecstasy. J Psychopharmacol. 2014;28(1):55-61. doi:10.1177/0269881113515061 Klega AE, Keehbauch JT. Stimulant and designer drug use: Primary care management. Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(2):85-92. By Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Get Treatment for Addiction Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.