How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your System?
Ecstasy is popular “club drug” that can stay in a person’s system for several days or longer, depending on various factors. This guide will explain what ecstasy (MDMA) is, how long it stays in your system, and how to get help if you or a loved one is struggling with MDMA misuse or addiction.
What Is Ecstasy/MDMA?
Ecstasy or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is an artificially manufactured drug that produces euphoria and empathy in individuals who use it. It has properties of both stimulant (e.g., methamphetamine) and hallucinogenic drugs (e.g., mescaline). Other names for the drug include Molly and XTC.
MDMA is categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that MDMA has no formal medical uses, and it is a significant drug of abuse. The drug was most commonly used by younger individuals at dance parties (raves) and concerts, but it has lost some of its popularity due to significant controls placed on its distribution.
How the Body Processes Ecstasy
Most people who use MDMA take it orally. It is quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal system and begins to exert its effects about 30 minutes after it is taken. Its levels peak in the system about 1–3 hours after ingesting it.
Users of the drug can develop severe issues with overheating and brain damage. The mechanism of action of MDMA is not completely understood, but it is believed to affect the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
The half-life of MDMA ranges from 6–9 hours, depending on individual. This means that the psychoactive effects, which are typically short-lived and most often last between 3–5 hours, will have likely dissipated before the drug has entirely left the individual’s system.
The half-life of the drug refers to the amount of time it takes the normal metabolic processes to reduce the concentration of the substance in the bloodstream by half. The organ that is primarily responsible for metabolizing substances in the blood is the liver. Half-lives are typically used to determine how long a drug will remain in the system.
How Long Does MDMA Stay in Your System?
Several factors affect the length of time that MDMA will remain in a person’s system including:
- The amount taken. Taking larger amounts results in the drug being eliminated at a slower rate than when smaller amounts are taken.
- Use of other drugs or substances (polydrug use). For instance, using ecstasy with alcohol, a common practice, will result in the liver giving priority to metabolizing alcohol before it metabolizes any other substances. This could extend the length of time that ecstasy would remain in the system.
- A person’s metabolism. Some people have quicker metabolisms than others, which can affect the rate at which drugs are processed out of the body.
- Body weight is a significant factor in how quickly substances are metabolized. Heavier individuals should have quicker elimination times in most cases.
- Genetic factors.
- Gender. In most cases, males metabolize drugs more quickly than females.
- Age. Older individuals typically metabolize substances more slowly than younger individuals.
These factors also affect the ability of tests to detect the drug.
How Long Does MDMA Stay in Urine?
For regular users of ecstasy (MDMA), it can be detectable in urine tests for up to 5 days after last use. Generally, ecstasy stays in your urine for 2–4 days and is detectable on drug tests.
How Long Does Ecstasy Stay in Your Blood?
On average, MDMA is detectable for up to 3 days (72 hours) in your blood after last use.
How Long Does MDMA Stay in Your Hair?
Hair follicle tests can detect MDMA in a person’s hair for several months after last use, depending on the length of the hair and where the sample was taken from.
How Long Does MDMA Stay in Saliva?
Ecstasy can remain detectable in a saliva test for approximately 3 days (72 hours) after last use.
Other Factors That Affect How Long MDMA Stays in Your System
There are several factors that can contribute to how long MDMA will stay in your system, including your overall physical health. Individuals who are in better health, who are active, and who are more physically fit tend to be able to metabolize ecstasy more efficiently.
Additionally, behaviors during use, such as staying well hydrated, can help someone metabolize MDMA faster.
How to Treat Ecstasy/MDMA Addiction
Individuals who use ecstasy often misuse other substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, or other drugs. If you are concerned about your ecstasy use, or a loved one’s use of MDMA, reaching out for professional addiction treatment can help.
At Sunrise House drug rehab in Lafayette, NJ, our treatment specialists can help address the many underlying issues that drive addiction and get you on the road to recovery.
For more information about our different levels of addiction treatment, contact our admissions navigators at . They are available around the clock to answer your questions about insurance that covers rehab or other rehab payment options, and can help you start the admissions process today.