Molly, a slang term used to describe pure MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a dangerous drug that acts as a stimulant and a psychedelic.
It affects users in many different ways – most significantly, it targets the brain. MDMA appears to have several effects on the brain. It induces serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine release, and can act directly on a number of receptors, including adrenaline and serotonin. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. The excess release of serotonin by MDMA likely causes the users to experience euphoria (an exaggerated physical and psychological state). However, by releasing large amounts of serotonin, MDMA causes the brain to become significantly depleted of this important neurotransmitter. This can, in turn, contribute to the negative behavioral aftereffects that users often experience for several days after taking MDMA. Other specific aftereffects include: Lowered mood or even depression (comedown), increased anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions, residual feelings of empathy, emotional sensitivity, and a sense of closeness to others.
MDMA was found to produce alteration of brain activity in cortical, limbic, and paralimbic structures. After being inhaled, eaten or parachuted (folded into a tissue and swallowed) molly produces feelings of euphoria. Some users reported heightened mood, increased extroversion, feelings of altered reality, and mild changes in perception. Feelings of “extroversion” linked with cerebral blood flow in the temporal cortex, amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortex. In very rare cases, MDMA has been associated with serious neurological problems such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial bleeding, or cerebral infarction. Research on possible long-term adverse effects of MDMA has mainly focused on two areas: possible serotonergic neurotoxicity and psychiatric and behavioral problems that might result from MDMA use.