How it feels
How does it make you feel?
Most people feel:
- very happy – hence the name
- ‘loved up’ – users often feel love and affection for the people they’re with and the strangers around them
- energised and alert
Ecstasy can also make people feel more in tune with their surroundings and like the music is more intense, which is why people sometimes take it in nightclubs and at parties.
Some users have reported feelings of:
- panic attacks
- confused episodes
- paranoia and even psychosis after taking ecstasy
How does it make people behave?
Lots of people feel very chatty and uninhibited on ecstasy, which makes them open up and talk about things they might not do normally.
Physical side effects can include:
- dilated pupils
- tingling sensations
- tightening or moving of the jaw muscles (gurning)
- raised body temperature
- a faster heartbeat and nausea
How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve taken, your size and what other drugs you may have also taken.
To kick in
When taken orally, ecstasy normally takes 30 minutes to kick in, but it could take as little as 20 minutes, or it may take over an hour or more. Some other (more dangerous) drugs sold as ecstasy take longer to kick in.
How long it lasts
Users tend to feel high for 2 to 4 hours. You might still experience some physical effects, like a fast heart beat or insomnia (not being able to sleep), for a few hours after you stop feeling high – especially if you take a lot.
Some people find that ecstasy makes them feel down and low in mood the next day, known as a ‘comedown’. This can last for several days.
How long will it be detectable?
Ecstasy can normally be detected in a urine test between 1 to 4 days after taking it.
How long a drug can be detected for depends on how much is taken and which testing kit is used. This is only a general guide.