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How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?

Ecstasy is a common party drug whose use is widespread both within the US and in other countries. It leaves a user feeling euphoric, energized, and with a sense of emotional closeness to other people due to the way it works in the brain. But how long does ecstasy stay in your system? To answer this question, we will go through different factors that affect how long ecstasy will stay in your system and the different drug tests that can be used to detect MDMA.

Abusing ecstasy can lead to substance addiction and substance use disorder. Fortunately, substance abuse treatment options are readily available and effective. Addiction treatment can help you to get your life back on track and look forward to a future free from substance abuse.

What Is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or molly, is a controlled substance in the United States as it has a high likelihood of abuse. It is an illicit, synthetic drug, meaning that it is produced in a lab rather than being derived naturally. Ecstasy is sometimes known as a club drug as its use leaves people feeling euphoric, wanting to dance, sociable, and with a lot of energy. It is widely abused by young adults; however, its use is not confined to this group of people and it is abused by a range of people.

It comes in powdered form or as a pill, and how it is ingested can affect how quickly it leaves the body. People commonly swallow ecstasy, snort it, or dab it on their gums. Ecstasy taken by snorting leaves the body at a quicker rate than that taken through oral ingestion.

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

In terms of addiction being a physical dependence on a drug, there is mixed research on this. Studies on animals have shown that they will self-administer Ecstasy, which can be a way of measuring whether or not a drug has the potential to be addictive. However, the amount of self-administration is less than in drugs like cocaine, which are much more addictive.

Although taking MDMA here and there does not put someone at high risk of physical addiction, addiction is possible and someone can have a substance use disorder without experiencing withdrawal symptoms or being physically dependent on a drug. If you are worried about a loved one’s addiction, some signs to look out for include:

  • Withdrawal from social events where there isn’t access to MDMA
  • Change in social circles
  • Secretive behavior and lying
  • Experiencing strong drug cravings
  • An inability to quit despite consequences on health and wellbeing
  • Problems with daily tasks, school work, or paid work
  • Mental health decline

What Are the Effects Associated With Taking Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is what is known as a stimulant drug, as it increases central nervous system activity. It floods the body with serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are chemical messengers in the brain responsible for regulating:

  • Energy levels
  • Reward system activity
  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Aggression
  • Sexual arousal
  • Sleep
  • Pain
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure

Once taken, ecstasy users feel more empathetic, connected to others, sexually aroused, and euphoric. They feel increased energy levels and more alert, are able to dance for hours on end, and are often more talkative. As well as having stimulant properties, MDMA is also slightly hallucinogenic, giving users a heightened sensory awareness and distortions of color, time, and textures.

Some of the negative side effects that can accompany ecstasy use include:

  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Fluctuating body temperature
  • Sweats
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision

What Are the Dangers and Health Risks of Ecstasy Abuse?

Ecstasy is an illicit drug due to the negative effects it can have on both your physical and mental health. These side effects can be experienced whilst on the drug, and also once it has left your system due to the way it interacts in the body.

A big risk of taking MDMA, like most illegal substances, is that it can be mixed with other drugs. MDMA is frequently laced with substances such as:

  • Ketamine
  • Cocaine
  • Bath salts
  • Rat poison
  • Over the counter cough medicine
  • Caffeine
  • LSD
  • Amphetamines

Not being sure whether or not MDMA is pure means that you are at risk of toxic effects or overdose each time you take the drug. Also, taking MDMA with other substances puts you at risk of fatal side effects, as polydrug use is highly dangerous. Ecstasy can also be dangerous for those suffering from health conditions like heart conditions, blood pressure issues, epilepsy, or asthma to take ecstasy.

As the initial euphoria wears off, and in the following days to weeks, users may experience a decreased appetite and suffer such mental health effects as depression, anxiety, and paranoia. This is what is known as a comedown and can be very unpleasant.

Dancing for hours in a hot club can put you at risk of hyperthermia and dehydration. When taking MDMA it is important to be aware of how much to drink. Drinking too little can leave you at risk of dehydrating. However, it can also be dangerous to drink too much. Ecstasy causes the body to produce a hormone that can prevent urination which can affect the body’s salt balance. It is therefore recommended that you drink no more than one pint of water (or soft drinks) per hour.

How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?


When answering the question ‘how long does ecstasy stay in your system?’, we need to look at the drug’s half-life. Half-life is the length of time that it takes for the body to get rid of half of a drug. The half-life of MDMA is around 8-9 hours meaning that after this time only half of the ecstasy will be left in the system. It takes roughly five half-lives for the system to eliminate the majority of the drug, so after 40 hours most of the ecstasy will have left the body. However, it can stay in the body for longer than this.

The liver breaks down MDMA into metabolites, which are its chemical compounds, which then pass to the kidneys and eventually into the bladder where they are excreted. The metabolites that ecstasy is broken down into are what is detectable in a drug test.

Metabolic Rate

How long ecstasy stays in the system is determined by several factors. The amount taken, whether there are other drugs added, and the pH of urine can all affect the rate at which it is eliminated from the body. Metabolism also determines how quickly ecstasy leaves the body, a factor which can be affected by the following:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Metabolic rate
  • Kidney function
  • Liver function
  • Genes

Drug Tests

Although Ecstasy is not one of the five drugs commonly tested for by employers, it can show up on these tests as its metabolites are detectable. Each test used has a different detection window.

Urine tests. Urine tests are simple, cheap, fast, and can detect Ecstasy for 1-3 days.

Saliva tests. Saliva tests can detect MDMA for up to two days.

Blood tests. Blood testing for Ecstasy has a detection window of 1 and 2 days; once taken orally it can peak at a maximum concentration in around 2 hours.

Hair follicle tests. Drug tests that use hair follicles are not so common as this is generally a more expensive method of testing; however, it does offer a long detection window of up to 3 months.

Addiction Treatment

Fortunately, ecstasy addiction is not common. However, if you feel that you may be suffering from substance abuse and ecstasy addiction, there is addiction treatment available. Outpatient treatment will help you to understand substance abuse problems and support groups can help you to feel connected to other people undergoing similar experiences. Treatment will help you to work through ways to cope with addiction and heal from substance use.


The length of time that Ecstasy will stay in a system is ultimately dependent on the metabolism, body composition, and organ function of the individual, the pH of urine, and the amount of drug used. However, the half-life of MDMA is around 8-9 hours, so you can use this to work out how long the drug will stay in your body. Different drug tests – each with a different detection window – can be used to detect the metabolites of ecstasy.

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To find out more contact our team


Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine