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Cocaine vs. MDMA: Which Drug Poses More Dangers?

Coke (also known as cocaine) and Ecstasy (also known as MDMA or Molly) are two very different types of drugs in the way that the body reacts to each one, but they both have severe crash symptoms. The crash symptoms associated with each one also varies because the effects of each drug in the first place are different. These effects are as follows:

Cocaine effects

Cocaine is a stimulant, meaning that it works by speeding up the action of the central nervous system. What does coke feel like, though? The most apparent result of a sped-up central nervous system is that a cocaine user feels extra alert and awake for longer stretches at a time than is usual.

Cocaine works on the dopamine receptors in the brain, preventing the removal or drain of dopamine in the synaptic space. This leads to the accumulation of more dopamine than would usually be found in a regular brain, resulting in a “cocaine high.” 

What does a cocaine high feel like, then? Since dopamine levels are responsible for the feelings of pleasure, the accumulation of it to a certain level would result in the intense euphoria that cocaine users use the drug for. Cocaine also prevents the removal of serotonin and norepinephrine, which results in increased levels of energy and confidence. The relatively quick action of the drug in the system makes cocaine a goto drug for many people looking for a quick high. However, this immediate action also means that cocaine half-life is relatively short, so the crash comes quickly too. 

Molly after effects

The National Institute on Drug Abuse presents the fact that ecstasy functions similarly to stimulant drugs. This is down to the reality that its effects come from the same chemical pathways of the brain that are affected by stimulant drugs – the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine pathways. 

The key difference is that MDMA also functions as a psychedelic and hallucinogen. This explains ecstasy high symptoms such as heightened sense organs and an altered perception of time. The drug is even more slow-acting than cocaine, taking up to two hours before it reaches peak levels in the brain. The half-life of Ecstasy goes up to eight hours, and it can take up to two days to clear up entirely from the system.

Molly vs Coke Comedown

There are a number of comedown symptoms that are shared by these two drugs due to the stimulant effects that are common to both. Similar molly and coke comedown symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Cocaine/MDMA Depression

In addition to these shared molly and cocaine comedown symptoms, ecstasy users may experience some other symptoms that are associated with the psychedelic and hallucinogenic activity of the drug in the brain. MDMA comedown symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Confusion
  • Depersonalization

Coke vs Ecstasy: Staying In Your System

The amount of time it takes for both drugs to leave the system completely is another major difference between them. As suggested earlier, cocaine is a fast-acting drug, while Ecstasy takes a bit more time to work and consequently, to leave the body. So, how long does a coke comedown last?

The most intense symptoms of a cocaine hangover typically fade from the system within twenty-four hours. However, some of the aforementioned comedown symptoms may not show up at all until up to a week after the drug has been used – especially for people that use the drug regularly or in large quantities.

Ecstasy stays in your system a lot longer than cocaine does. It takes up to a few days compared to the twenty-four-hour limit with cocaine, and the severity of any comedown effects is lower compared to cocaine although those effects may last for a longer period. 

Summarily, cocaine is a quick-acting stimulant with potentially severe comedown effects, while Ecstasy is a slower-acting stimulant and hallucinogen with comedown effects that last for longer periods.