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Q: I heard something in rehab the other day that sounded bogus. Is it true that ecstasy can be coke-based, meth-based, or acid-based?

A: These days, the term "ecstasy" is used to describe just about anything sold in pill form at raves with a logo on it. Traditionally it was used to describe the chemical MDMA, which was often sold in the form of logo-bearing tablets. But as MDMA was made illegal in the mid-1980's and the demand for it increased, many different substances started to be packaged in this same form ... all of them still called "ecstasy".

I would argue that the term "ecstasy" is still most often (and most properly) used to mean MDMA. In this case, no, there is no such thing as "meth based", "coke based", or "acid based" ecstasy. MDMA is a single chemical. MDMA is MDMA. There is no methamphetamine, cocaine, or acid (LSD) in MDMA.*

But there is adulterated ecstasy. Tablets which are sold as "ecstasy" to people who are expecting MDMA, but which don't actually contain MDMA. Amphetamine or methamphetamine is a farily common substance which is pressed into tablets and passed off as MDMA/ecstasy. We have been doing laboratory anaylsis of street ecstasy tablets in the United States for several years now and in 500 tested tablets have only come across 4 which contained any cocaine. Cocaine is an extremely rare adulterant in ecstasy. As for "acid" or LSD, there is also no reason to believe that lsd is a common adulterant in ecstasy tablets.

So, I would say that the statement you heard in rehab is misleading and does not represent the facts very well, though it makes a little sense from a person who doesn't quite understand what they're talking about.

Chemistry Note: There are some complexities when describing chemistry to non-chemists because even relatively simple concepts require a substantial background knowledge to fully understand. Although (nearly) the entire structure of methamphetamine is contained within the structure of MDMA, it is mostly wrong to say that MDMA 'contains' methamphetamine. MDMA is a unique chemical with unique chemical properties made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms. Methamphetamine is also made up of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen atoms as well, as are many other chemicals. The main thing to understand about this issue is that MDMA is NOT simply a 'mixture' of multiple chemicals, like taking methamphetamine and heroin and mixing them together in a bowl and then pressing really hard to make tablets out of that mixture. MDMA is a unique configuration of atoms that make it into a unique chemical that has structural and chemical properties that are distinct to MDMA alone.

Asked By : no
Answered By : fire
Published Date : 5 / 11 / 2003
Last Edited Date : 1 / 1 / 2008
Question ID : 3050

Categories: [ MDMA (Ecstasy) ] [ Chemicals ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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