December 24, 2018

Making MDMA Use 'Safer'

The summer months are here and the Mardi Gras party season is fast approaching.  If you think you might use MDMA or ecstasy this summer, here are some basic rules of thumb that you can keep in mind to make for a safer time!

Of course the safest way to use drugs is not to use them at all, however we acknowledge that some of us will use drugs and we provide this information to help people make better decisions about their safety.


  1. Start low and go slow

If you’ve not had your MDMA or ecstasy reliably tested you can never be totally sure about its strength or purity, nor can you be sure that what you are consuming is indeed MDMA. Sometimes people are sold pills, caps, crystals and powders with minimal or no trace of MDMA and traces of other benign or harmful substances. Because the contents, and purity of MDMA are often ambiguous a good way to reduce your risk of having a terrible time is to start low and go slow. It is especially important to start low and go slow if you are new to taking MDMA or ecstasy.


What you can do to be safer:

  • If taking a pill you might want to start off with a half before taking the whole thing.
  • If using MDMA crystals or powder you should follow the crush, dab, wait First crush your MDMA into a fine powder, dab the end of your finger into it and then wait for 1 to 2 hours for MDMA to come on before re-dosing.

When you start low and go slow you lower your risk of encountering any problems caused by MDMA that is either too strong or cut with unknown and harmful substances.


  1. Keep cool, stay hydrated and sip water

MDMA is often taken out at a dance party, a nightclub or a festival. Dance parties can be crowded and poorly ventilated, the Australian summer is really hot and dancing increases your body temperature. When you throw MDMA or ecstasy into the mix it is easy to overheat and experience hyperthermia, dehydration and increased perspiration.  If you’re drinking alcohol or energy drinks while on MDMA, you are increasing your risk of dehydration.


What you can do to be safer:

  • Take regular breaks from the dance floor and find a more spacious environment to cool off.
  • If at an outdoor event find space to sit down in the shade and make sure you’ve got some good sun protection.
  • If you feel like you are overheating, placing something cool like a bottle of water or a wet towel on the back of your neck or on your forehead can help you to cool down.
  • Where possible, loosen any tight clothing, or remove items of clothing.
  • To stay hydrated, drink water… but not too much water! If you are out dancing it is recommended that you drink up to 500ml of water per hour and this water should be sipped over the course of the hour, not gulped in one go!


  1. Get help if you feel unwell

It is common for people to feel a bit nauseous when taking MDMA; this will usually pass after you have ‘come up’ on the drugs.  While it is to be expected that MDMA will effect how you feel physically and emotionally take notice if you are feeling confused, really restless, anxious, too hot, unable to communicate, dizzy or faint. These symptoms might indicate that something is up.

What you can do to be safer:

  • Take MDMA in the company of trusted friends and avoid using alone or at an event where you don’t know anyone.
  • If you are in doubt about how you are feeling, take the time to tell someone that something is up, this might just be a friend in the first instance.
  • If at an event with medics, check in with the medic and let them know how you are feeling.
  • If at an event with ACON Rovers find a Rover and let them know how you are feeling, Rovers will get you help!

These are things that you can do to look out for yourself, however keep an eye out for your friends as well.

It is important to call emergency services on 000 if your friend is:

  • Fitting
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Has chest pains
  • Is unconscious
  • Is acting in a way that might place themselves or others at risk

Interested in reading more, check out our MDMA and ecstasy page