As with all alcohol and other drug use, taking MDMA carries risks, albeit comparatively lower than most other drugs.1

For example, a 2010 study published in the prestigious Lancet journal was conducted to gauge the relative potential harms of drugs to both consumers and to society, and MDMA was found to be among the least risky.2

As you can see in the graph below, overall, alcohol was considered the most harmful drug, with heroin and crack in second and third places. You’ll find MDMA hovering just above the bottom of the scale with a significantly lower rating. Several other researchers have independently reported similar findings.3 It’s clear that a drug’s legal status has little relation to its potential for harm.

Relative Harms of Drugs

Source: Nutt, David J, et al., "Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis." The Lancet 376, no. 9752 (2010): 1558-65.

  1. D. W. Lachenmeier and J. Rehm, "Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach," Sci Rep 5(2015); J. van Amsterdam et al., "European rating of drug harms," J Psychopharmacol 29, no. 6 (2015).
  2. David J Nutt, Leslie A King, and Lawrence D Phillips, "Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis," The Lancet 376, no. 9752 (2010): 1558-65.
  3. See e.g., Jan van Amsterdam et al., "Ranking the harm of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs for the individual and the population," European Addiction Research 16, no. 4 (2010): 202-7.