The drugs used at festivals and in the party scene, also known as “club drugs,” are a group of psychoactive drugs that alter mood and behavioral changes. The most common types of club drugs are:
- Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), or G and Liquid Ecstasy.
- Ketamine, or Special K.
- Rohypnol, also known as Roofies.
- Methamphetamine, or Speed and Meth.
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), also known as Acid.
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), or Ecstasy and Molly.
While these substances have different drug scheduling, they all have the potential for misuse and abuse, primarily in environments such as nightclubs, raves, and parties. Ecstasy/Molly—Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)—is the most common club drug for boosting energy and pleasure. One of the newest and raved-about Ecstasy pills is the “Tesla pill.”
What is the Tesla Pill?
The Tesla pill contains 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), a synthetic drug that is both a stimulant and a hallucinogen. MDMA, also known as Molly or Ecstasy, is an illegal, Schedule 1 drug with a high potential for substance abuse under The Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Ecstasy pills with a brand logo are intended to make them more appealing to the younger crowd. Tesla pills are branded with the Tesla logo and come in different colors, primarily blue or orange. Like MDMA, Tesla pills are most popular and widely used at festivals, raves, and nightclubs, labeling them a “club drug.” While Molly/Ecstasy and the Tesla pill contain MDMA, one of the differences is that Ecstasy is commonly a capsule with pure MDMA in crystalline powder form, and the Tesla pill comes in tablet form.
How Does the Tesla Pill Affect the Brain and Body?
With the Tesla pill being an Ecstasy pill design, its effects on the brain and body are very similar. One of the main effects of MDMA on the brain and body, as a stimulant and hallucinogenic, is that it increases the release of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. These three neurotransmitters in the brain are essential for improving mood and perspective.
Serotonin, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), can impact happiness, anxiety, and overall mood. It’s commonly called the “feel good” hormone, contributing to happiness and our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Serotonin in Ecstasy pills is one of the most important neurotransmitters, giving users the energy and joy they seek.
The primary function of dopamine is its involvement in the brain’s reward system. When we’re rewarded or pleased by an experience, dopamine is released, which creates a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. The pleasure received from the release of dopamine promotes motivation, learning, and seeking out rewarding experiences.
A dopamine imbalance or dysfunction in the dopamine system has been detected in several mental health disorders, such as depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and schizophrenia.
Norepinephrine, or noradrenaline, is dominant in the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is known for being responsible for our “fight, flight, or freeze” response to danger or stress. Norepinephrine increases heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing alertness and vigilance. High levels of norepinephrine help sharpen one’s focus, cognitive performance, and emotional regulation. Imbalances in norepinephrine have been linked to depression and anxiety disorders. With heightened levels of these significant neurotransmitters, the effects of MDMA on the brain and body can have both negative and positive impacts.
The Side Effects of MDMA/Tesla Pill
MDMA has gained popularity through recreational use, although it is an effective treatment for medical purposes. MDMA has been influential in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD has been recorded for reducing and controlling the most common symptoms associated with PTSD. A study found that 67% of people who completed one year of MDMA-assisted therapy reported that they no longer experienced PTSD. While MDMA is approved for medical purposes, this does not mean it is also safe for recreational use. MDMA, for medical purposes, such as MDMA-assisted therapy, is supervised by medical professionals that monitor the patient’s side effects and response to the treatment.
When MDMA is used for recreational purposes, such as Ecstasy, Molly, or the Tesla pill, it’s likely to have different side effects than when it is medically treated in a clinical facility. Ecstasy’s physical, mental, and behavioral side effects are similar to the Tesla pills. When Ecstasy or the Tesla pill is taken without the supervision of a medical professional, this allows for the potential for misuse. The misuse of psychoactive drugs heightens the risk of adverse side effects.
The most common side effects of Ecstasy:
- Chills or sweating
- Increased energy and pleasure
- Feeling faint or nauseous
- Increased body temperature
- Feeling overly friendly and attached
- Heightened mood
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Changes in sensory perception
- Muscle tension
The effects of MDMA can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours after consumption. While these are the most common side effects, other potential long-term effects of Ecstasy may include irritability, impulsiveness, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, lack of awareness, and appetite loss.
Is MDMA/Ecstasy Addictive?
Research has yet to prove whether MDMA or Ecstasy pills are addictive. While they may not be labeled a drug of dependence, Ecstasy Tesla pills impact similar neurotransmitters in the brain targeted by other addictive substances. Regular Ecstasy users have reported symptoms of drug addiction, such as continued use despite adverse effects, increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings.
As a Schedule 1 drug, MDMA (Ecstasy and Tesla pills) still carries potential harm and abuse risks. While it is not a definitive addictive substance, it should not be used as a recreational drug as it can cause short and long-term health risks. Recreational use of MDMA or any illicit drug can be hazardous as it is not guaranteed what it contains. A significant difference between Ecstasy and the Tesla pill is the amount of MDMA each tablet contains. A research study on Tesla pills reported that each tablet contains more than 230 milligrams of 3-4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), compared to an average ecstasy pill with anywhere from 0 to 245 milligrams of MDMA. Obtaining Tesla pills or any illicit substances recreationally, the contents of importance are never guaranteed to be safe.
Treatment for MDMA/Ecstasy
Although MDMA, or Ecstasy, is not considered addictive, continual drug use can lead to a substance use disorder (SUD). Treatment for MDMA dependence can be administered effectively through evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in addiction treatment aims to reduce symptoms of mental health disorders, such as negative thought patterns that provoke drug use. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) eliminates intense, negative emotions associated with your dependence on MDMA or the Tesla pill. Treating self-destructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through evidence-based psychotherapies in drug rehab can help remove any addictive tendencies while healing the individual as a whole.
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- United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020. MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Drug Facts.
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration. The Controlled Substances Act.
- WebMD, 2021. MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD: What to Know.
- American Addiction Centers, 2023. Physical, Mental, and Behavioral Effects of Ecstasy.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017. What are the effects of MDMA?
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017. Is MDMA Addictive?
- Inverse, 2016. MDMA PILLS WITH THE TESLA LOGO ON THEM ARE LUDICROUSLY STRONG.
- PubMed, 2011. Pill content, dose, and resulting plasma concentrations of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in recreational ‘ecstasy’ users.
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- Coastal Detox. Evidence-Based Therapies in Intensive Outpatient Programs.
- Coastal Detox. Holistic Treatment Program in Stuart, FL.