MythPuffers: Can Ecstasy Be Stacked?

“Stacking,” as any raver knows, is a term used on the streets to describe two, three, or four ecstasy tablets that have been layered to create a mega-pill that is -times more potent than one alone. However, problems arise when faced with the term in that dealers convince their buyers it somehow reflects the drug’s potency. While it may be true that stacked pills weigh more than one dose — which is anywhere from 80mg to 150mg — how can you be sure that what you’re getting is what you want? In the past MythPuffers has sought to debunk strictly marijuana legends, but this week we ask, “Can ecstasy be stacked?”

Twenty or so years ago, at the height of Michael Alig’s reign as club king of New York City, the terms ecstasy and MDMA were used to refer to the same thing. The drug was something like a miracle in that it produced euphoric effects and expressions of pure id, both of which were welcomed with open arms by the expanding club scene. This, of course, led to the historical problems of supply and demand — too many people wanted too much of a product that was too hard to find, so dealers and designers resorted to questionable marketing and chemistry and thus “stacking” was born.

Today, MDMA and ecstasy are terms used to denote two different drugs. When purchasing crystalline MDMA (or Molly as it is referred to colloquially), although you assume the product you’re receiving is pure 3, 4-methylenedioxy-N-methampehtamine, you can never be absolutely certain – unless you decide to subject it to an at-home MDMA testing kit. The difference between buying MDMA and ecstasy tablets, however, is that, by purchasing the latter, you’re acknowledging that whatever you’re getting has unreliable content. Like any pharmaceutical drug, MDMA has excipients, or inactive substances – the difference being that they’re almost always unknown in the case of the latter.

As the content of ecstasy tablets becomes more and more polluted, drug dealers have adopted a sort of marketing strategy to sell something that nobody really wants. These creeps use the term “stacked” to imply that what you’re getting is better than you think despite the fact that it’s mostly some sort of nasty amphetamine.

In addition to the “stacked” association with ecstasy, there are several other myths attributed to the elusive drug — for example, drinking orange juice accelerates onset. This myth is untrue and is probably some confused version of the legend that citric acid prolongs an acid trip. However, that’s not to say drinking orange juice doesn’t influence the effects of MDMA at all. In fact, citric juices have quite the opposite affect in terms of bolstering an MDMA “trip.” The ascorbic acid typically found in commercial juices has been found to calm the stressful effects of the drug — so when you hear your favorite rappers, like Gucci Mane, say, “Give me five more minutes and a cold orange juice cause I’m really, really trippin’,” it’s not that the drug isn’t working, but rather that it’s working too well.

Although Molly has become woven into the fabric of contemporary popular culture, it’s not exactly a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, this is the case with all designer drugs — they’re dangerous. Stacking, as an example, exposes the crusty underbelly of the designer drug world and goes to show that dealers will go to not-so-great lengths to sell something that is harmful and potentially fatal. So, the next time anyone tries to sell you ecstasy that’s “stacked,” tell him to fuck off.

This myth: Puffed

Image via Chelsea Beeler

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