You or a loved one may be offered molly for a party or a night out. Is snorting molly dangerous, and could a person develop an addiction to it?

What Is Molly?

Molly is the crystal form of MDMA, which stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is potent, and in tablet form is referred to as ecstasy, while in crystalized powder form is known as ‘molly’ or ‘mandy’.

MDMA acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic and can distort time and perception. MDMA is often a key ingredient in party drugs and is used recreationally at raves or dance clubs as it increases pleasure and euphoria, and gives energy.

It does so by increasing the activity of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. The higher levels of dopamine make a person feel more euphoric and give them more energy, while norepinephrine causes stimulant effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate. The high amounts of serotonin cause a person to feel more empathy, increases sensory perception, and make a person feel closeness. That is why the synthetic drug ecstasy is sometimes also referred to as the ‘love drug’.

The heightened sensory perception, euphoria, and hallucinogenic effects caused by molly are usually what people seek when abusing the drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration lists the street names of MDMA as Adam, Beans, Biscuit, Clarity, Disco Biscuit, E, Eve, Go, Hug Drug, Lover’s Speed, Peace, STP, X, and XTC.

How Is Molly Taken?

When molly is taken orally, it is usually swallowed as ecstasy pills. Ecstasy tablets are often brightly colored for visual effects.

The crystalline powder or ‘molly’ form is supposedly purer. Snorting molly can produce faster and more intense effects. However, the negative side effects of snorting MDMA are high, and so are the risks.

Effects of Molly

Effects of Molly

Taking molly causes high energy, creates a positive mood, and increased sensory perception. The first euphoric effects are usually felt around 45 minutes after taking it, and the drug reaches its intense peak another fifteen to twenty minutes after this. Usually, the effects will last between five and six hours, but when snorting ecstasy, it may last only one or two hours.

Snorting molly intensifies the euphoria but also increases the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, very unpleasant side effects, and other negative consequences once the high passes.

Negative Side Effects

Molly or ecstasy use comes with many risks. A person may experience the following adverse effects when taking MDMA, especially in high doses :

  • Nausea
  • Clenching teeth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills and sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of appetite
  • Memory impairment
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Decreased pleasure
  • Liver or kidney failure when used over time

Once the body breaks down or metabolized MDMA, the byproducts interfere with the body’s ability to further metabolize MDMA. This means that any additional doses of the drug can cause high blood levels, worsening the toxic effects of MDMA.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal Symptoms

Combining MDMA with other drugs or taking it in high doses can increase a person’s chances of experiencing withdrawal symptoms after taking it. An increase in body temperature may cause a person to sweat more than usual, making dehydration occur.

A person may overconsume water as they feel thirsty, causing dangerously low levels of sodium, called hyponatremia. Other withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling depressed
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling agitated
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Trouble concentrating

One aftereffect of MDMA is a ‘crash’ that happens after its use. Feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin will drop after the drug reaches its peak. That causes chemical levels to fall, making a person feel paranoid, tired, anxious, or depressed. The ‘crash’ or comedown usually lasts around three days after the drug was taken, and reaches its peak on the last day.

What Is Serotonin Syndrome

What Is Serotonin Syndrome

The abnormally high levels of serotonin caused by the drug can put a person at risk for developing serotonin syndrome. The potential side effects of MDMA and this syndrome are what places a person at lethal risk when they snort molly.

This potentially life-threatening condition poses a major risk to brain health and is caused by the deregulation of serotonin levels. While an increase in serotonin can cause euphoria, an excess amount affects the ability of the brain to send important signals to the body.

A build-up of drugs increasing the amount of serotonin in the body can cause a severe drug reaction, which can be fatal if left untreated. Even though mortality of severe serotonin syndrome is estimated to range from 2% to 12%severe symptoms could occur more commonly.

Serotonin syndrome will present with vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and an elevated heart rate. But more severe symptoms could occur and include an irregular heart rate, fever, seizures, and a loss of consciousness.

Other symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Agitation,
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Muscle twitches or rigidity
  • Shivering
  • Goosebumps
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia

MDMA Addiction

MDMA Addiction

Snorting molly may put a person at an increased risk for developing addiction or dependence on it than using it orally. Variables, like the purity of the drug and time taken between doses, play a role in developing dependence, and snorting can cause a person to take the drug more frequently as the ‘high’ does not last as long.

An MDMA addiction can be dangerous and, like other substances, require immediate treatment help. Signs of a molly or ecstasy addiction include:

  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain or using ecstasy
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug
  • Attempting to reduce or stop using but being unsuccessful
  • Ecstasy use interferes with responsibilities at home, work, or socially
  • Negative mood or depression when a person is not able to use MDMA/ecstasy
  • Continuing use of the drug despite the negative life consequences related to it
  • Memory issues
  • Cognitive performance deficits
  • Anxiety
  • Problems with sleep
  • Lower sex drive

The Dangers of Snorting Molly

The Dangers of Snorting Molly

The dangers of snorting molly have in part to do with how the drug passes through the body. When ingesting the drug orally, it has to pass through the digestive tract. Snorting MDMA means that blood vessels of the nasal passages absorb it and it reaches the brain more rapidly. This can be life-threatening, as a swelling of the brain, called cerebral edema could occur, as well as cardiovascular failure, seizures, and strokes.

Snorting ecstasy could also mean that the peak of the drug is more intense than with oral administration. Even though rewarding effects are more intense, especially a heightened sensory perception, they wear off faster too. Snorting MDMA, as with snorting other drugs, often cause people to use a lot more of it over a short amount of time because the effects do not last as long. It creates an increased risk of the negative side effects of molly, as well as the chance of suffering an overdose.

An increased rate of drug use can also encourage the development of ecstasy addiction.

Physical Damage

Snorting ecstasy or snorting MDMA affects the respiratory system. Nasal passages have frail mucus membranes, and snorting MDMA can damage the delicate nasal tissue. Snorting MDMA could lead to an inflammation of the nasal lining and could block the nasal airways and the respiratory tract. In cases of substance abuse over a longer time, it has caused some people to lose their ability to smell.

A person may experience nose bleeds or have chronic sinus infections, have nasal abscesses, or develop holes in the cartilage of the nose, called septum perforation.

Although viral infections are more common with drug use administered intravenously, they can also occur with snorting. One of the dangers of snorting molly is a higher risk for infections. As different chemicals are in the powder, lung infections can easily occur, and the damage caused by snorting MDMA can become permanent.

Those who share paraphernalia for snorting ecstasy have a higher risk of contracting infections. If it has been contaminated with blood, hepatitis could spread. Other physical dangers include the risk of infections through unsafe sexual behaviors, as the drug lowers a person’s inhibitions and enhances intimacy.

Purity and Other Drugs

Drug purity plays a big part in the dangers of snorting molly.

Usually, people do not test recreational drugs before snorting them. MDMA pills may have many other drugs or substances in them, with their own separate set of dangers. Apart from feeling an enhanced effect of MDMA, a person will experience a set of other unexpected effects that they can not predetermine, and could have lasting negative consequences.

If the powder form contains fentanyl, for example, the result could be life-threatening. Not always receiving a pure drug means that a person is at risk for side effects of cocaine, ketamine, or other potentially harmful drugs on top of that of MDMA. Drug interactions could in some cases be fatal, and will place a person at higher risk for developing substance use disorders.

Snorting molly in combination with another illegal drug also places a person at higher risk for an accidental overdose, as they do not know what exactly it is they are consuming.

Risk for Overdose

Since the liver does not get to break down ecstasy pills when they are snorted, more of the drug gets into a person’s body. The faster and more intense peak caused by snorting the drug places a person at higher risk for an overdose, as people may take more doses of the drug to maintain their high.

An MDMA overdose is a medical emergency. One of the first elements that are affected by an overdose is the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. A dangerously high body temperature, liver failure, kidney failure, and cardiovascular failure makes an MDMA overdose very dangerous. Symptoms of a molly overdose may also include brain swelling.

Often, molly is taken in a party environment where there a person may be dancing or partying all night. While fueling energy levels, people often forget to eat or drink water. Several exaggerated physiologic responses by the body affect vital life functions, such as heart rate and temperature levels. Rather than drug toxicity, this is more often the reason for a molly overdose.

Molly and Mental Health

Molly and Mental Health

As with most drugs, physical health is not the only element affected or involved. Drug abuse and mental health often interact in a vicious cycle, and a substance like MDMA is no exception.

It offers a person a temporary feeling of euphoria or happiness. The dopamine rush can complicate mental health issues, as this feeling is usually followed by an intense low. An intense high and low could be unbearable for someone who is suffering from a mental health condition.

Like most other substances, the effects of MDMA on mental health depend on the individual. Factors such as the dosage of the drug, or a history of panic attacks, anxiety, or depression play a role, as well as any existing substance use disorders.

People that snort drugs are more likely to be binging drugs since the effects don’t last as long. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), binge use – meaning regular use for several days- of MDMA can cause depression, irritability, and anxiety. Some studies indicate anxiety even after only one dose, although it is considered a mild effect. It is a high risk for those suffering from mental health issues, as anxiety or depression might be long-lasting or worsen.

Treatment Options

Any form of substance abuse is a health problem that requires help, and addiction treatment at a treatment facility can allow a person to achieve long-term recovery.

While there are no FDA-approved medications for treating an MDMA addiction, the most effective treatment for molly or ecstasy addiction is considered cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

While the type of treatment depends on the severity of addiction and the duration of use, as well as other substances or co-occurring mental health conditions, treatment specialists can design a program that suits a person’s specific needs.

Substance abuse and drug addiction are addressed by uncovering the reasons for starting drug use in the first place, and by recognizing triggers that may cause a person to use the drug again. Learning how to respond healthily to these triggers instead of returning to drug use is part of the addiction treatment process, and can help a person to stay sober.

Support groups provide a peer community for anyone struggling with addiction and are a vital part of addiction treatment. People who have similar difficulties share their experiences and this helps to develop empathy, as well as support for each other. It can greatly help in preventing relapse and ensures that a person knows they are not alone in their battle against drug abuse or addiction.

Where Can I Find Treatment?

Seeking addiction treatment and help for substance abuse is the first best step to recovery.

At the NP Addiction Clinic, we understand that the journey to recovery is unique. That is why our addiction treatment uses specialized therapeutic techniques, and we offer treatment placement tailored to your needs. Caring and experienced staff are available at each stage of the treatment program and will provide you with help, support, and guidance 24/7.

Our holistic approach and a wide range of activities at our treatment facility will ensure the nurturing of both your mental and physical health, giving you the best chance for leading a healthy, sober life. Get in contact today to find out how the NP Addiction Clinic can help you.

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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

Facilitator

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

Clinician

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