MDMA Use – How It Can Impact Your Teenager

It can be hard to figure out if your teenager is using drugs or not. Many of the signs of drug abuse resemble the typical symptoms of being a teenager: mood swings, insolence, and being anti-social (at least, towards their parents). While this may be the case, it is not impossible to assess whether or not your teenager is using illegal drugs.

One of the first places to start is to look for signs of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use. Also known as Ecstasy and Molly, MDMA is one of the most widely-used drugs amongst teenagers across the globe today and this is why you, as a parent, should know about its features, side-effects, and use, especially if you think that your teenager may be under the influence of drugs.

Brief History oF MDMA

MDMA dates back to 1912 when it was discovered and created by a German chemist named Anton Kollisch. The compound was originally used to stop excessive and abnormal bleeding.

However, by the mid-to-late 80’s it had hit the club and party scene in the U.S. and continued to gain in popularity throughout the 90’s when it was coined, “Ecstasy” because of the high-level pleasurable and euphoric feelings it brought to its users. These feelings of euphoria often last for hours and that is why it is so popular among rave and club-goers of today – one can dance for hours and feel great for a really long time without fatiguing or coming down.

*** The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has banned MDMA and classified it as a Schedule 1 drug. In other words, it is illegal for American citizens to sell, use, or even possess MDMA.

Negative Side Effects Of MDMA

For the longest time, MDMA users thought it was absolutely safe to use the drug and that the only side-effect of its use was feeling depleted the following day. However, this could not be further from the truth as the extended use of MDMA has shown to bring about the following negative effects in its users:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Muscle Tension
  • Teeth-Clenching
  • Rapid Eye Movement
  • Blurred Vision
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure

The long-term side effects of continuous MDMA use can be quite similar to that of cocaine and meth because the drug negatively affects serotonin receptors in the brain.

While this shift in serotonin can temporarily help the user to focus their awareness towards more positive feelings, the downside is that the alteration in serotonin receptors also promotes neuron and dopamine degeneration within the brain.

Ultimately, the user can become completely isolated and unable to perform the most menial tasks. The motor-damage within the brain caused by long-term MDMA s very similar to the motor damage caused by Parkinson’s Disease.

How To Spot MDMA

If your teen is exhibiting any of the common symptoms of MDMA use listed above, you might also want to start looking for signs of possession as well. To do this you must first know how MDMA is taken and how it looks.

MDMA is most commonly taken in the form of colored pills. These pills are usually small in nature and can be either green, yellow, red, blue, or a mix of these colors or more. There are often little symbols ‘etched” into the coating of the pills. These symbols can be varied in nature but many times exhibit some form of “gothic” or “party” sign. A “stash” of ecstasy will oftentimes contain various pills in a wide array of colors.

Sometimes MDMA users crush the pills and “snort” it in powdered form. It can also be “cooked” and injected as a liquid but this is very rare.

MDMA users like to combine other drugs with it and so you should also be on the lookout for other illegal compounds and substances like marijuana and LSD, two of the more popular drugs which are taken in association with MDMA.

Spotting Drug Paraphernalia

Now it is never a good idea to “snoop” around your teen’s room but if you do suspect that they may be using Ecstasy or Molly, you should either ask them about it or look for certain items that many users employ to help with the side effects and enhance the feeling of the drug.

Some of the most common items are as follows:



Glow Sticks

Menthol Rub

Surgical Masks

Lollipops and pacifiers help keep MDMA users from grinding their teeth and surgical masks, glow sticks, and menthol rub help to increase the effects of Ecstasy.

Drug Testing Kits

If your teen agrees to do so, you can have them take a drug test at home that will affirm whether or not they have been taking MDMA.

There are two kinds of drug kits, one specifically designed to spot MDMA in the urine and a more general drug kit which can spot MDMA along with other drugs.

The best way to find a kit is to do a simple Google search: “MDMA drug testing kit”.

How & Where To Get Help

If all the signs match up – MDMA symptoms & paraphernalia – you should seek out the advice of a medical and psychological expert who specializes in drug abuse cases, specifically those specializing in teenage drug abuse.

While you could go at it alone and confront your teen, it might be difficult to do so, at least to do so properly, especially if this is your first time dealing with such a situation.

One of the main sources you can go to find further information about MDMA use and abuse is at your local treatment drug facility. The easiest way to locate one in your areas is through the following site:

If you feel that the situation has gotten to the point where your teen might be suicidal, then call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, here:



It is never easy to deal with drug abuse, especially when it affects a family member in their teenage years.

Teenagers are already feeling uneasy about the changes taking place in their bodies and minds, and so the use of drugs like MDMA may be a coping mechanism for them. It is important, therefore, not to treat them in a negative way but to let them know that you are there to help and support them.

Centered Health is a resource you can turn to if you need help with your teen and their MDMA abuse. They specialize in not only substance abuse treatments but also mental and behavioral treatments, which may well be the root cause of the drug abuse in the first place.

To find out more about the facility, treatments, and admission procedures, call 800-234-5599 or visit: