Addiction | 6 min read

Snorting MDMA: Dangers, Side-Effects & Addiction Treatment Help

Medically Reviewed

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

On August 30, 2022

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On August 23, 2022

Signs Of Drug Misuse
Reading Time: 6 minutes

MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, is a common party drug, one of the more popular recreational drugs in parts of the United States, and always dangerous.

Like many other illicit substances, MDMA is a controlled substance largely because its risks outweigh the potential benefits of its use, and in the case of MDMA, there aren’t any confirmed uses. That’s a bit part of why MDMA is a schedule 1 drug.

Some people are exploring whether controlled doses of MDMA might be a good treatment for PTSD and a few other mental health disorders. Still, those treatments aren’t yet proven or standardized, and taking or snorting MDMA alone will never be a good treatment option.

There’s a big difference between taking MDMA in a controlled setting with support and medical professionals who can help if something goes wrong and taking it on your own or at a party or rave for fun.

There are also a lot of dangers associated with taking MDMA, whether you’re snorting MDMA or taking it another way. So it’s important to consider the dangers before you take MDMA, and it’s even more important to weigh the pros and cons, including the risk of addiction, before you decide to try MDMA.

Let’s talk about why people use MDMA, the risk of addiction, and how you can get help if you think you or a loved one are dealing with an MDMA addiction.

Why Would Someone Snort MDMA & What Are The Side-Effects Of Doing So?

Like most illicit substances, there are many reasons someone might consider snorting MDMA, and not all have anything to do with the drug itself.

Most people who start using drugs, or become addicted, do so because something is going wrong in their lives or some stressor that feels out of control. Drugs can make your body feel good and improve your mental state or temporarily provide a distraction.

Unfortunately, the trade-off for that temporary relief of stress, discomfort, or pain often comes with serious side effects and consequences.

For instance, one of the side effects of MDMA, no matter how you take it, is a long-term decrease in the amount of serotonin your body produces. In the short-term, MDMA comedowns are a temporary drop in the neurotransmitters that help you feel happy and contented, but the more MDMA you use and the larger the doses you take when you use it, the greater your risk for lower serotonin and other neurotransmitters deficits that can last for years.

That means that MDMA use can create many problems that lead people to try drugs, like mental illness, stress, and isolation, which feel worse and harder to overcome.

Why Would Someone Snort MDMA Instead Of Taking A Pill?

When it comes to snorting MDMA, there are a few reasons why someone might consider snorting the drug, but none of them are good signs of addiction or dependence on the drug.

One of the most common rationales for snorting MDMA is getting the high immediately. Some people also report that snorting MDMA makes the feeling more intense and can help keep your doses smaller if you start to develop a tolerance to the drug.

Why Would Someone Snort MDMA Instead Of Taking A Pill

The problems outweigh the issues when it comes to snorting MDMA, though.

For one thing, it’s a lot easier to cut MDMA with other drugs if it’s a snortable powder instead of a pill. MDMA pills are relatively identifiable, and testing kits available can confirm the drug’s purity.

While testing kits can work on powdered drugs, many people are less likely to test powders than pills.

And since MDMA mostly looks like a white powder, it’s easily mistaken for other illegal substances, including cocaine, crushed pain pills, and others.

That means the risk of overdosing because you don’t know what you’re taking increases when you snort MDMA.

Snorting MDMA can also make it harder to control the dose you take. That’s more of an issue because your impulse control goes down when you take MDMA and other illicit substances, and you’re more likely to decide to take more after you take MDMA and it kicks in than you are before the MDMA kicks in.

Additionally, it may be easier for other people to slip additional substances into the drug when you’re snorting MDMA while you prepare the drug, even if you’ve previously tested your supply for purity.

Even if everything goes right, snorting drugs will still cause damage to your respiratory system. Your respiratory system is full of delicate and highly specialized tissues. Those tissues aren’t supposed to be directly exposed to crystals or powders the way they are when your snort drugs, and the drugs themselves can cause additional harm thanks to their high potency.

Sore throats, bloody noses, overactive mucus production, and coughing and sneezing are all side effects you can expect while snorting MDMA or other drugs and for a few days after. The more often you continue to snort drugs, the more likely the symptoms will last longer and continue happening more often, even when you haven’t snorted drugs in a long time.

All in all, the speed and intensity of a snorted MDMA high aren’t worth the added risks of taking a pill. But, some people still choose to use MDMA this way, which can signify that they’re developing or already have an addiction.

Can You Get Addicted To Snorting MDMA?: How To Know If You’re Struggling With An Addiction

MDMA is potentially addictive no matter what method you use to take it. But snorting MDMA adds risk, has additional health consequences, and can cause many problems immediately and later down the line.

Even if snorting isn’t because you have an addiction, the fast, intense high of snorting can lead to behaviors that make addiction more likely, like taking more MDMA than you should and taking doses faster than you would otherwise.

Snorting can also make it harder to tell how much of a drug you’ve taken, making addiction and overdose more likely.

There are many ways to tell if you’re dealing with an addiction. One of the most common signs is that you want to take MDMA more often and have less and less tolerance for the mood drop and slightly ill feeling most people get after using MDMA.

Here are some other signs that you might be dealing with MDMA addiction:

  • You want to use MDMA in more and more situations, especially if you want to use it even in professional spaces.
  • You feel like you’re your best self when you take MDMA
  • You don’t feel like you can handle social situations without taking MDMA first.
  • You need to take more and more MDMA to get the same effect.
  • You’re starting to feel like the MDMA comedown is worse than it used to be or lasts longer than it used to.
  • You might often feel unhappy or notice that you get depressed between MDMA doses.
  • You’re starting to self-isolate.
  • There’s more strain in your social relationships than there used to be.
  • You’re getting distracted with thoughts about how you can get more MDMA or when you can take more MDMA, especially if you’re having these thoughts while still high on MDMA.


How To Get The Help You Need & Deserve When Addicted To Snorting MDMA Or Using Other Substances

If you think you might be addicted to MDMA, getting help is important. MDMA is particularly difficult to stop using because the drug can also impact neurotransmitter production and make you feel sad or depressed when you aren’t using the drug.

While your other withdrawal symptoms from MDMA might not be as intense as other illicit substances, the mental health symptoms can make it harder to avoid taking another dose.

At the very least, you deserve to have support and people around you to help you handle your symptoms, ensure you’re getting enough food and water, and have no serious complications.

However, because of the complicated nature of MDMA addiction, it’s a good idea to get professional help or enroll in an in-patient treatment program for addiction so you can help rebuild healthier coping mechanisms and access medicine that can help ease your symptoms and more.

While treatment centers aren’t the best option for everyone, they can increase your chances of successfully overcoming your MDMA addiction. Better yet, they can give you insight into your triggers and the problems that make it more likely you’ll relapse, and how to manage those triggers.

Whatever option you choose for overcoming MDMA addiction, remember that you deserve support and a life free from the control and limitations of drug addiction.

If you’re serious about overcoming MDMA addiction or want to help a loved one get the support and addiction treatment they deserve, reach out to Ascendant NY. We have specialized treatment programs that can help you overcome addictions of all types, and we understand the complications and problems that can make it difficult to recover from addiction.

We’re also happy to answer your questions about different treatment programs, what options you have for treatment, and how you can prepare for addiction treatment.

You’re not alone and deserve professional support to help you overcome addiction. It is possible.

Ascendant New York Editorial Guidelines

Here at Ascendant New York, we understand the importance of having access to accurate medical information you can trust, especially when you or a loved one is suffering from addiction. Find out more on our policy.


Ascendant NY has sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our Editorial Policy.

  1. Lopez MJ, Tadi P. Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Scheduling. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed August 11, 2022.
  2. Shawn Radcliffe. Will the FDA Approve Psychedelic MDMA To Treat PTSD? Healthline. Published September 21, 2023. Accessed December 05, 2023.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Science of Drug Use: A Resource for the Justice Sector. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published May 26, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2022.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Commonly Used Drugs Charts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published August 20, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2022.
  5. 5. Hartney E. Is Snorting Drugs More Dangerous? Verywell Mind. Published May 17, 2022. Accessed August 11, 2022.