Saturday October 25th 2014

Mixing ecstasy with alcohol

“Ecstasy” is a name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), a synthetic drug that has similar effects to some stimulants and hallucinogens. Many people who use ecstasy also take it with a variety of other drugs, including alcohol. But what is the experience of mixing alcohol with ecstasy like? Is it dangerous?  Is ecstasy addictive? Read on below for answers to these questions. Then, feel free to share your experiences and questions in the comments section at the end.

Ecstasy and alcohol effects

On its own, ecstasy produces a powerful feeling of euphoria caused by a rush of neurotransmitters to the brain. How long ecstasy stays in your system varies by dose.  However, this chemical rush creates feelings of euphoria, empathy, and arousal. When mixed with alcohol, users often find that euphoria lasts longer and also that they are more sexually aroused.

However, depletion of the neurotransmitters often leads to a crash after the euphoria wears off, which can involve anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. Some experienced ecstasy users have reported increases of negative side effects when they chose to combine with alcohol.

Dangers of mixing ecstasy and alcohol

Ecstasy preserves feelings of drunkenness but may prevent the sedation consistent with alcohol intoxication. Although the user may feel that ecstasy helps mediate alcohol’s effects on physical performance, scientific studies have shown that coggitive ability remains impaired when using both drugs together.

Furthermore, participants in a recent scientific study examined the effects of MDMA and alcohol together. They found that while both drugs lower inhibitions on their own, but when taken together, users reported greater sexual arousal. Drinking alcohol on top of ecstasy can further encourage risky behavior, such as having unprotected sex.

Ecstasy and alcohol overdose

Since users may feel that they are unimpaired by alcohol, people high on ecstasy may be more susceptible to alcohol poisoning. Ecstasy interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize other substances, which can increase the risk of overdose when taken with other drugs. To increase euphoria, users may take more of either drug. Some ecstasy users may experience heart failure. Symptoms of ecstasy overdose can include high blood pressure, seizures, loss of consciousness, panic attacks, and faintness.

Ecstasy and alcohol deaths

In addition to MDMA, other substances may be present in ecstasy pills. Some pills sold as ecstasy do not contain MDMA at all and could contain other harmful drugs. It may be difficult for the user to determine exactly what substances they are putting into their body. Some of these drug interactions can be very dangerous on their own, and can become more dangerous with alcohol. It is important for the user to know the source of their ecstasy.

Is it safe to drink on ecstasy?

It is not a good idea to drink on ecstasy. Though the combination of ecstasy and alcohol can prolong the euphoria and intensify arousal, it can lead to unintended and dangerous drug interactions. If you use ecstasy, make sure you know your source. Drinking on ecstasy can also increase risky behavior such as having unprotected sex or driving while under the influence.

Mixing ecstasy alcohol questions

Do you still have questions? Please leave them in the comment section and we will work to answer them. If we cannot answer you questions, we will refer you to someone who can.

Reference Sources: NIDA DrugFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy)
NIDA: MDMA (Ecstasy Abuse)
PubMed: Acute psychomotor effects of MDMA and ethanol (co-) administration over time in healthy volunteers.

Photo credit: NIDA

Leave a Reply

5 Responses to “Mixing ecstasy with alcohol
Tammise Shushkewich
12:57 pm June 2nd, 2014

Can you provide some info on the following ?
What your state of mind would be if you took.. 2 ecstasy pills, and alcohol and marijuana?

1:21 pm June 2nd, 2014

Hello Tammise. A combination of these drugs can induce psychoses or hallucinations, depending on dose and potency. However, each person react individually to psychoactive substances according to their age, weight, gender, exposure/tolerance, etc. Why do you ask?

Tammise Shushkewich
1:34 pm June 2nd, 2014

Thanks for a speedy reply , I have searched on line and all i can find is the effect on the body .Is there anywhere i can find and print the high that would happen if you took them at the same time .

1:58 pm June 2nd, 2014

Hi Tammise. I’d suggest an image search for each of the substances individually, focusing on the keywords “[DRUG] + neurotransmitters”. You’ll need to understand HOW these drugs affect the central nervous system and get a description of how the drugs affect the brain…and then an expert opinion (perhaps from a toxicologist) about the combined effects.

Tammise Shushkewich
2:10 pm June 2nd, 2014

Okay , thank you for your help .

Leave a Reply