Most people swallow ecstasy in pill form. This is true in the U.S. and around the world. Ecstasy can also be smoked or snorted.
Different ingestion methods affect the way a user experiences ecstasy: how quickly it takes action, the intensity of its effects, and how long it stays in the body.
Some users think about experimenting with their method of ingesting ecstasy in hopes that it will amplify the positive, happy effects of the drug and minimize the negative and uncomfortable side effects.
Most often, those who snort or smoke ecstasy are looking for a faster onset of effects and a more intense high. Ecstasy is an illegal drug. Any use of it, in any way, is dangerous. There is no safe way to snort or smoke the drug.
In order to snort ecstasy, a user would smash up an ecstasy pill or tablet. They would then ingest the powder form of the drug through their nose.
Similar to other drugs that are snorted, like cocaine, users often use straws or rolled-up dollar bills to take in ecstasy in this manner. Signs of snorting ecstasy may include these items as well as flat surfaces with white residue on them, credit cards or similar products used to line up the powder, and instruments used to crush the tablets.
While the effects of ecstasy taken orally in pill form can be felt about 20 to 40 minutes after taking the drug, the effects take hold much more quickly when snorting it. The dangers of use also increase substantially when the drug is snorted.
- Higher risk of abuse: Because ecstasy reaches the brain faster when it’s snorted, the pleasure and reward sensations in the brain — which are triggered by MDMA’s interaction with the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin — are released in a shorter time as well. The peak of these effects come on fast and more intensely, resulting in a more extreme high and then crash. This presents a cycle that’s more likely to lead to abuse or dependency.
- Issues with mystery ingredients: Ecstasy tablets can be cut with other drugs, including PCP, methamphetamine, or even fentanyl. Snorting these substances will provide the user with heightened effects from these drugs as well.
A stronger and faster-acting dose of one of these substances along with ecstasy could result in extreme results that could dangerously affect the user’s heart rate and emotional state. Mixing unknown drugs is never a good idea. Delivering them in such a potent manner could result in disaster.
- Enhanced negative side effects: After snorting MDMA, a user may experience a stronger ecstasy high, with heightened feelings of euphoria and happiness. The negative side effects will also be enhanced. Unwanted sensations like paranoia, dry mouth, and sweating may become extremely uncomfortable.
- Damage to nasal structures: Snorting ecstasy can result in damage to nasal structures and pathways, especially after repetitive use. This damage can result in nasal irritation, chronic nosebleeds, a loss of sense of smell, trouble swallowing, and lesions or holes in the nasal septum.
- Increased risk of serotonin syndrome: Serotonin syndrome occurs when serotonin levels are rapidly increased in the brain to a toxic degree. Symptoms may include changes to mental state and neuromuscular hyperactivity.
Snorting Ecstasy can interact with neurotransmitters to increase serotonin release. This can put the user at greater risk, especially since snorting results in such fast-acting and intense results.
- Increased risk of life-threatening overdose and drug interaction effects: The most extreme dangers of ecstasy use include cardiovascular failure, brain swelling, high body temperature, and stroke. A user is at greater risk for all these issues by ingesting ecstasy in a faster-acting and more intense manner, such as snorting it. These effects are further enhanced when ecstasy is cut with other unknown drugs.
Although ecstasy can be smoked, it appears to be a very rare practice, as some users claim it’s a “waste” of the product. Many reports on the drug claim it is smoked occasionally, perhaps in combination with marijuana, as it would likely have to be rolled with another substance to be smoked.
There is no research available on this method of ingestion, so it’s unclear whether smoking ecstasy is more dangerous or effective than swallowing or snorting it.
Generally, smoking a drug delivers the drug to the brain incredibly quickly, resulting in intense and short-lived effects. It also presents with a wide range of dangers, including lung damage, potential for burns, damage to mouth tissue, and increased risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, and lung.
In conclusion, snorting or smoking ecstasy is never safe. Any use of the drug should be considered dangerous.
If you chronically abuse ecstasy, reach out for help today.
Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a psychoactive synthesized drug with hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. Also called Molly or X, the drug is known as a party drug that produces feelings of closeness with others, enhanced moods, and heightened sensory perceptions.
Other side effects are less fun. Anxiety, nausea, dehydration, anxiety, and paranoia can all occur with ecstasy use.
In addition to these negative side effects, an ecstasy high is often followed by a crash. Users frequently report feeling depressed, lethargic, or aggressive in the days following use. These symptoms generally lessen after a couple of days.