Adverse reactions and side effects can occur when certain drugs are mixed with alcohol. One drug that is sometimes mixed with alcohol is ecstasy. Ecstasy, also referred to as Molly, contains a substance called 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA. This substance is a stimulant that causes increased sensations, pleasure and stamina. Ecstasy is commonly taken at parties and is often used at the same time as alcohol, but this is a dangerous drug combination.
Side Effects of Mixing Ecstasy with Alcohol
Ecstasy and alcohol have several negative side effects individually, and even worse symptoms can occur when these substances are combined.
Common side effects of mixing ecstasy and alcohol include:
- Inability to urinate
- Impaired judgment and inhibition
- Increased irritability and depression
- Increased risk of interactions from unknown drugs in ecstasy
Alcohol causes the kidneys to produce more urine than they normally would, and can cause people who are drinking alcohol to become dehydrated. Ecstasy increases the rate at which the body uses energy, and will lead to increased sweat production and respiratory rate, both of which will cause a loss of water from the body.
When the dehydrating effects of alcohol and ecstasy are combined, the resulting dehydration can be highly dangerous. Dehydration can cause long-term damage to and impaired functioning of the:
Inability to Urinate
Ecstasy also inhibits the ability to urinate, even when the bladder is full. While this effect is dangerous by itself, it becomes much more dangerous when alcohol creates extra urine and causes the bladder to fill up faster than it normally would. Extra urine and an inability to urinate puts pressure on the bladder and causes urine to back up into the kidneys.
When the kidneys and bladder are pressurized, it will cause a build-up of the waste that the kidneys normally filter and cause kidney damage that may be irreversible.
Impaired Judgment and Inhibition
Another way in which the combination of ecstasy and alcohol is dangerous is due to the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, while ecstasy impairs inhibition. Ecstasy can create a feeling of increased confidence and ability, while alcohol use leads to a decrease in ability.
People who mix these substances may be more likely to attempt potentially unsafe activities such as driving, attempting to jump or balance on high places or swimming. These activities and more are dangerous due to the combination of these drugs and the person’s impaired judgment.
Increased Irritability and Depression
Using alcohol and ecstasy simultaneously also increases irritability and depression that is experienced as the effects of these substances wear off. Either substance individually can lead to a crash, with alcohol due to the wearing off of its intoxicating effect, and ecstasy due to the wearing off of the emotional high. When these effects are combined, it can lead to more severe levels of depression as their effects wear off and may cause increased irritability and agitation afterward.
Unknown Substances in Ecstasy
While the MDMA in ecstasy has several dangerous side effects when mixed with alcohol, there is another risk from using ecstasy with alcohol. Ecstasy is a street drug and is not regulated. As a result, there can be many other drugs that will be in ecstasy.
One study found that only 39 percent of ecstasy pills contained only MDMA, and as many as 46 percent of ecstasy pills did not contain MDMA. The inconsistent formulations of ecstasy mean that when it is combined with alcohol, there may be other interactions and harmful side effects that are impossible to predict.
Key Points: Ecstasy and Alcohol
Using ecstasy and alcohol together can result in several dangerous side effects. These may include:
- Severe dehydration
- Kidney damage
- Increased risk of injury
- Crash or hangover
- Risk of mixing alcohol with unknown substances
The side effects of mixing ecstasy with alcohol can be highly dangerous and possibly deadly in some circumstances. Mixing these two substances should always be avoided.
If you or a loved one struggle with an addiction to alcohol or ecstasy, consider seeking professional help. At The Recovery Village, our caring team has the experience to help you achieve recovery. Reach out to one of our representatives today to seek how recovery can be possible.
Weiss, Suzannah. “This Is What Happens When You Combine Molly and Alcohol.” Vice. July 18, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2019.
Huang, Lennox H. “Dehydration.” Medscape. Dec. 7, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2019.
Halverson, Jerry L. “Depression.” Medscape. Mar. 28, 2019. Accessed April 8, 2019.