Molly, or MDMA, can come in a pill, capsule, powder, or crystal form. This drug is illegal in the United States and can have serious risks.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) has a reputation as a party and club drug. It’s known for boosting mood, energy, compassion, and sensory perception, as well as for its hallucinogenic effects.

Generally, MDMA is taken in capsules, although it also comes in liquid or powder forms. Also called “molly,” MDMA is illegal and unregulated in the United States. This makes it very difficult to know what you’re getting when you purchase or take molly, and that can be dangerous.

What is “molly” short for?

The name “molly” is short for “molecular.” Molly is used as a slang term for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). Sometimes it specifically refers to the powder form of MDMA, but it’s often used as slang for any type of MDMA.

The name “molly” comes from the way the drug is bought and consumed. It’s thought to be a pure “crystalline” or “molecular” powder form of MDMA by people who use it.

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There are several forms of MDMA. It’s common for people to refer to MDMA by alternate names, such as “molly” or “ecstasy.”

People most often take molly as a tablet or capsule. However, people sometimes take molly as a liquid or powder. The powder form can be snorted or swallowed.

What does pure molly look like?

“Pure molly” is a way to refer to the powder form of MDMA. Since there are no regulations, its exact look can vary. However, in most cases, pure molly is white or yellow and looks similar to sugar.

What does molly look like in pill form?

The pill form of molly can take on several appearances. Pills and capsules often resemble prescription or over-the-counter medications. They can come in a variety of shapes and colors. Often, pills are imprinted with a logo. These logos are usually simple symbols, such as a clover, smiley face, or checkmark.

In any form, molly is illegal in the U.S.

MDMA is listed as a Schedule I substance. This classification is used for substances that have a high potential for addiction and misuse.

However, this may change in the future. Some studies are finding therapeutic uses for MDMA in treating certain mental health conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are several risks associated with molly. One of the largest is that it’s impossible to tell how much MDMA you’re getting with any pill, capsule, liquid, or powder. You might end up with a much larger or much smaller amount than expected.

Additionally, many molly pills and powders are mixed with other substances. These can include:

Contamination can increase the chances of a bad reaction or unpleasant effects. It can also lead to dangerous drug interactions that are difficult to predict.

Since it’s unlikely you’ll know exactly what substance was mixed into the molly you consumed, you won’t know what caused your negative experience.

A negative experience with molly can cause effects like:

Long-term effects of molly

There are other risks associated with the long-term use of molly. As is the case with most psychoactive drugs, molly can affect the way your brain produces important chemicals.

Molly enhances the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. In turn, this can increase your heart rate, energy, and mood, respectively. But this increased activity also causes a depletion in your brain’s naturally produced chemicals.

Over time, molly use can deplete the amount of serotonin in your brain. This can lead to depression and anxiety.

Additional long-term effects of molly depend on the person and the amount of molly used but might include:

It can be a challenge to step back and realize you or a loved one might be misusing molly or any other drug. The road to recovery can seem long, but it is possible.

Many resources are available to help you find support along the way. Treatment programs, therapy, and support groups are all great ways to get started. They can give you the tools you need to recover in a sustainable way.

When you’re ready, you can check out:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline: You can call SAMHSA 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and get connected with a live representative. They’ll match you to supportive services in your area that meet your needs. Reach the helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Sober Grid: Sober Grid is a free app for people in recovery. You can connect with others, find support, complete sober challenges, and more, all from your smartphone.
  • SMART Recovery: SMART Recovery has a wide range of tools to help you succeed with sobriety. You’ll find local support groups, online meetings, educational material, and more.
  • In The Rooms: In The Rooms is a free recovery program that offers online and in-person options for peer support and recovery counseling.

“Molly” is slang for MDMA, a popular party drug known for its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. Molly can be taken as a powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule.

Since molly is illegal and unregulated, there are no standardized forms or concentrations of molly. There is no way to know what any single pill or bag of powder contains.

Additionally, molly is often mixed with other drugs. This can make using molly dangerous, and it can increase the risk of unpleasant effects.