Ecstasy, also called “e,” “x,” MDMA or “molly,” is a hallucinogenic drug whose sensory effects make it a popular choice for parties and concerts. The chemical compound was first created in 1912, though it did not gain popularity for medical or recreational uses until the 1970s. It was briefly used in experimental psychotherapy but was made illegal when its potential for addiction and abuse was found to outweigh its possible medical uses.
Ecstasy is sold in the form of pills, powders or crystals. Many people who use ecstasy believe they are purchasing pure MDMA, the synthetic chemical compound that results in the desired psychedelic high. However, pure MDMA is rare and difficult to produce. The majority of MDMA available on the drug market is usually diluted with fillers, combined with a more common amphetamine, or, very dangerously, a different substance entirely — typically a blend of cheaper compounds with stimulant effects, sometimes called “bath salts.” The popularity of ecstasy among young people — most users are under the age of 25 — combined with the health risks of buying impure MDMA makes this drug particularly dangerous, especially in the face of overuse and addiction.