The Dangers of Mixing Molly and Alcohol

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“Molly” is the colloquial term for crystalized MDMA (Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine). The pill form may be referred to as "Ecstacy", "e" or "eccies". It can also come in gel, powder, or capsule form.

Molly is an illicit controlled substance categorized by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule I drug having "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

MDMA use is common due to its affordability as well as its euphoric effects caused by an abnormally large release of the neurotransmitter dopamine which is a feel-good hormone. Its hallucinogenic effects during "good trips" contributes to an increased risk of addiction.

However, this drug can be extremely dangerous. Side effects could be lethal or lead to long-term health conditions. Especially when mixing ecstasy with alcohol, the risk of overdose is high.

Alcohol is a legal drug consumed recreationally, it is popular due to its sedating effect. It is a liquid often mixed with other drinks or in food. The US Government recommends drinking less than two units of alcohol a day. The legal drinking age for alcohol is twenty-one in all states.

Although legal, alcohol can still be abused. There is an increased risk of alcohol use disorder if you or your loved one have a family history of this mental illness, a diagnosis of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), or if alcohol is highly accessible to the individual.

What is “Molly”?

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Molly is a stimulant. This means it arouses activity in the central nervous system. This results in high energy levels and euphoric feelings. Due to its intense effects, stimulant abuse is likely to lead to dependency.

The appearance of this drug can vary. In its pill form, it may be brightly colored and circular or irregularly shaped. Sometimes, it has symbols or writing on it. The capsule form of MDMA may be semi-transparent, white, or brightly colored.

Molly is an illicit drug. It is illegal to possess, sell or consume molly. Consequently, the production of this drug is unlikely to be conducted in hygienic conditions. Furthermore, the drug may have impurities and be “cut with” other drugs or harmful substances. It is not always possible to determine the purity of molly by sight alone so caution should be taken including testing if possible.

How Does Molly Work?

Molly primarily works by flooding the brain with serotonin, a chemical that improves mood, appetite, and sleep. This is the main neurotransmitter activated by MDMA. Norepinephrine impacts alertness, focus, and mood. It is found in high levels when molly is consumed.

Dopamine is also moderately increased, leading to intensely pleasurable feelings of "euphoria". These neurotransmitters are experienced as the individual is "high" or on a "come-up". As the brain gets accommodated to this level of the neurotransmitter, when the amount of activity reduces over time, the individual can feel depressed because the brain has become accustomed to the new mood baseline.

This is how drug dependency develops. In order to alleviate low mood, a person may seek another dose of the drug. Over time, withdrawal symptoms may occur when the drug is absent from a person's system. Therefore, they may engage in drug use to avoid withdrawal effects and experience pleasurable side effects.

What Is Alcohol?

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Ethanol is the chemical name for alcohol, it is a depressant drug that inhibits neural activity. When you are “drunk” alcohol makes your actions sluggish and impairs your perception and ability to reason. You may be more likely to engage in risky behavior due to reduced inhibitions or you may behave more aggressively.

Although legal, alcohol can still be abused. If you feel dependent on alcohol this may indicate the development of an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse can result in alcohol poisoning which can be fatal, or other symptoms including organ damage.

Alcohol use disorder is extremely common among all age groups in America. Binge drinking can be extremely damaging and can cause or exacerbate a range of health conditions.

How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect the Brain?

Drinking alcohol depresses neural activity and increases the presence of dopamine, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter, in the synaptic gap. This leads to a short-term feeling of happiness and numbness. Inhibitions may be lowered and brain function is slowed which can make the individual feel confident and relaxed while inebriated.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is also increased which depresses the central nervous system. Motor functions, perception, and speech are slowed as a result. Glutamate is also lowered in the brain, disrupting the signals between nerve cells and inhibiting learning and recall. This is why people struggle to remember and think clearly when drunk.

A drunk person's mood may be erratic. They may experience intense mood swings for example extreme anger or depression. This can lead to social discord, aggression, and violence. When "drunk", a person may struggle to perform normal functions like walking and talking.

In all American states, the legal drinking age is twenty-one. Drug abuse is a major risk of drinking alcohol, sometimes referred to as "binge ethanol" or "binge drinking". Like all forms of substance abuse, this could lead to dependency, addiction, or even death.

If you feel you or a loved one are experiencing problems with binge ethanol, it would be beneficial to contact a healthcare professional for advice.

Why Is Mixing Ecstasy and Alcohol Dangerous?

Combining alcohol with Molly or other substances is dangerous for many reasons. It can make it difficult to determine the level of intoxication when more than one drug is consumed as the effects of one drug may be faster acting than the other. This could lead to accidental overdose.

Consuming more than one substance simultaneously may exacerbate overall side effects. Although Molly is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, rather than "cancel out", these drugs may still worsen shared symptoms. Presentation of overdose symptoms may be complicated by the side effects of the secondary drug also.

An example of a risk of mixing these two recreational drugs is the toxic cardiac effect caused by this substance combination inducing cellular stress. Another consequence of mixing ecstasy with alcohol is organ damage because the liver metabolizes both substances, leading to long-term damage when large amounts are processed.

Taking MDMA alongside any substance is dangerous because, as it is an illicit drug, it has not been subject to the appropriate animal and human studies and peer-reviewed studies. Therefore, its side effects are not fully understood. Furthermore, it may be produced in unsanitary conditions or "cut with" unknown, dangerous substances. This can lead to unforeseen alcohol interactions as there may be another synthetic drug mixed in.

Side Effects of MDMA and Alcohol

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Mixing alcohol and MDMA is a form of substance abuse. Side effects of each individual drug are directly exacerbated by the other, increasing overall potency.

Side effects of taking MDMA and alcohol include:

  • Increased risky behavior

  • Loss of coordination

  • Erratic mood

  • Body temperature change

  • High blood pressure

  • Cellular stress

  • Liver damage

  • Blurred vision

  • Heart-related toxicity

  • Toxic cardiac effects

  • Vomiting and nausea

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Drowsiness

  • Concentration problems

  • Increased sexual arousal

Alcohol and MDMA Dependency

A dependency is when a person relies on substance use in order to function. This may be mental or physical. Without consuming alcohol or Molly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Signs you or a loved one may be dependent on alcohol or other substances:

  • Social withdrawal

  • Loss of interest in usual hobbies

  • Exclusively or excessively talking about drug abuse

  • Borrowing or stealing money to pay for drugs

  • Dishonesty or secrecy

  • Development of withdrawal symptoms in between doses

  • Irritability or angry outbursts

Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

If an individual has become dependent on a drug and stops consuming it, they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These can be dangerous and even life-threatening so it is recommended to undertake detox in the presence of healthcare professionals.

They may experience intense cravings for the drug which can manifest in dysfunctional and destructive behaviors. In the pursuit of drugs, the individual's relationships, career prospects, and life satisfaction can suffer.

Experiencing withdrawal addiction indicates the individual has formed an addiction.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tremors in the hands

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Mood swings

  • Irritability

  • Headaches

  • Reduced appetite

  • Excessive sweating

  • Insomnia

  • Disorientation

  • Changes in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure

A medically assisted detoxification involves the use of other drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms and avoid an abrupt or immediate abstinence approach. Quitting drinking too suddenly comes with a heightened risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. The individual is monitored to ensure their safety and comfort throughout.

Signs of Overdose

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An overdose is when a toxic amount of dangerous substances are consumed for example drinking more alcohol than your body can process. Any amount of MDMA and alcohol consumption can result in an overdose. It is extremely serious and may result in death.

If you or someone you love display the following overdose symptoms, it is vital that you contact emergency services via 911 immediately.

  • Coma

  • Seizures

  • Heart attack

  • Heat stroke

  • Irregular or increased heart rate

  • Hallucinations

  • Confusion

  • Stupor

  • Severe slurring of speech

  • Skin discoloration

  • Altered breathing

  • Brain damage

Getting Molly and Alcohol Addiction Help at Vita Recovery

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At Vita Recovery, we provide a safe space to recover from MDMA and alcohol addiction. Our team of healthcare professionals offers holistic and personalized care for your recovery journey. With a flexible, client-driven approach, we will work with you to find the best route forward.

Addiction is a mental illness. Whether you or your loved one have an issue with binge drinking, MDMA addiction, or other forms of substance abuse, it is not your fault. We are here to help you achieve your sobriety goals in a safe and empowering manner.

Treatment options include:

  • Partial Hospitalization program

  • Intensive Outpatient Program

  • Intensive Treatment Program

  • Medically assisted detoxification

  • Personalized treatment program

  • Therapies

  • Counseling

If you or your loved one feel we are the right choice for them, please contact us to take the first step on the recovery journey.

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