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Created Sep 2019 | Updated Nov 2020


  • [SALLY]
  • [SASS]


DEA CODE 7400: Schedule 1

Common nomenclature for 3,4-Methylenedioxy-Amphetamine. Related to MDMA (Ecstasy) but different, at least effects-wise. Basically it's like rolling but much less tactile (usually no full body orgasms like X), and less empathetic and lovey-dovey. On the other hand, it gives a powerful feeling of euphoria and bliss, gives you some crazy visuals, and enhances music to an INSANE degree. The music enhancement is the reason that some DJs prefer it to MDMA. Most often found in commercial ecstasy pills, passed off as MDMA. Occasionally some lone-wolf chemist will make a bunch for themselves and their friends. "MDA, I can see the music."

MDA belongs to a category of drugs known as psychotomimetic amphetamines, which combine the stimulant effects of amphetamines and the psychedelic effects of drugs like mescaline. Large doses of MDA elevate heart rate and blood pressure, and can cause an irregular heartbeat. Individual cases have been reported of cerebral aneurysm or stroke occurring after high-dose MDA ingestion (as a consequence of the elevated blood pressure). MDA is one of a family of drugs whose members are amphetamine analogs of the psychedelic drug. This group contains more than a thousand different but related chemical substances. MDA and its analogues are synthetic, but related to safrole, which is contained in oil of sassafras and oil of camphor, and is the psychoactive agent in nutmeg and mace. They are produced by modifying the major psychoactive component of nutmeg and mace into their amines. MDA has been on the street since 1967, when it first appeared in the Haight-Ashbury drug culture. Descriptions of MDA's effects tend to sound likethe fulfillment of a psychedelic user's fantasy. Users have reported the onset as a warm glow spreading through their bodies, followed by a sense of physical and mental well-being that gradually but steadily intensifies. Some have described a sense of increased coordination and an ability to do things they couldn't ordinarily do. Unlike most stimulants, however, MDA doesn't increase motor activity, but, in fact, suppresses it. Thus, consumers can sometimes sit in meditation, or do yoga and related activities, for long periods of time.

MDA is known as the love drug in the American subculture because of its reputation for producing loving feelings in groups of people. The initials stand for 3,4-Methylene-dioxy-amphetamine and the drug is a straightforward derivative of amphetamine, first synthesized in Germany in 1910. The usual dose of MDA is 90 to 150 milligrams, taken orally in a capsule. Its effects become apparent in twenty to sixty minutes and persist for ten to twelve hours. People perceive the onset of these effects differently. Some experience initial nausea. Some feel a warm glow spreading through their bodies. Most people become aware of a sense of physical and mental well-being that intensifies gradually and steadily. MDA commonly induces a state of profound relaxation and patience in which anxiety and defensiveness are left far behind. Unlike most stimulants, MDA does not increase motor activity. In fact, it suppresses it in a remarkable way, so that people can remain comfortable and content in one position for long periods. This effect is most dramatic in people who are heavily dependent on coffee and cigarettes, who are always in motion of one sort or another. Under the influence of MDA they, too, can be calm and motionless. Pharmacologists call this the "antikinetic" action of the drug, but that is a negative way of describing something very positive. I prefer to call it a centering action.

MDA, better known by its street names, Sally, Sass or Sassafras, is less common in the U.S. than Molly, or MDMA, but it actually pre-dates its sister drug. Both drugs release the chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, and act as reuptake inhibitors, preventing the brain from stopping the flow of those chemicals. The effect of both is a euphoric and affectionate high. MDA is more likely to be found in pill form, while MDMA is more likely to be found as a powder. The street cost of both drugs is the same, and they are similar enough that MDA is sometimes sold as MDMA, but Sally produces a noticeably different high than Molly. MDA is known for being more stimulant and hallucinogenic than MDMA. Sally users report more visual effects, like tracers, a heavier body high and more energy than one gets when dosing on Molly. Users experience a more empathetic and "lovey" high on Molly than on Sally.

According to Paul Dillon of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, MDA has been linked to some deaths, "usually from seizures, hyperthermia or heart problems."


MDA began to appear on the recreational drug scene around 1963 to 1964. It was then inexpensive and readily available as a research chemical from several scientific supply houses. Although now illegal, MDA continues to be bought, sold, and used as a recreational 'love drug', due to its enhancement of empathy.

RouteOnsetDurationAfter Effects
Tripsit Factsheets
All ROAs:20-90 minutes2-5 hours1-12 hours
MDA Duration

What Are the Traits of MDA (Sally)?

  • Short-term side effects that can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, lowered appetite, euphoria and a sense of wellbeing
  • Longer term side effects can include erectile dysfunction, anxiety, muscle tension, memory loss, headaches and depression
  • Considered more psychedelic or hallucinogen than stimulant
  • Users report a much more intense visual high, seeing tracers and other vision side effects
  • It is associated with a "heavier body high" and energy that last up to six hours

Teen died after she was given MDA instead of MDMA:
The Vancouver Sun reported that coroner Adele Lambert stated in the report that the youthful Adison Davies went to the festival with a group of friends. At around 8:30 PM, she took an ecstasy tablet that she believed was MDMA, however, it actually was MDA. Within thirty minutes of ingesting the tablet, she died from pulmonary edema due to MDA poisoning, which is fluid on the lungs. In the report, Lambert brought to light that MDA is much more potent than MDMA, and she let her voice be heard for prevention measures to be pushed at music festivals. She stated that while both chemicals are sold as ecstasy, that they, in fact, are two very different chemicals, and more precaution needs to be used when taking MDA due to its more stimulating and hallucinogenic properties.

Tenamfetamine (also known as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (or MDA)) is a hallucinogen that acts as a serotonergic 5-HT2A receptor agonist and releases monoamines by interacting with monoamine plasmalemmal transporters. Tenamfetamine had no accepted medical use and it was scheduled as a controlled substance in the US in 1970. Despite appearing in illicit drug preparations, tenamfetamine has not been studied in humans in over 30 years. In 2010 was published article where was described the action of tenamfetaminea in a clinical trial in humans. In this trial was shown that the drug had induced mystical-type experiences and, in at least some individuals, closed-eye visions. However, during that experiment were impossible to provide strong evidence for changes in the efficacy of top-down influences on perception or acutely increased occipital cortex excitation.

The Wizard of Ladysmith:
The story goes that in an underground fortress on his Westdowne Road property in Ladysmith, known as "The Barn," Williams manufactured large quantities of the drug Methylenedioxyamphetamine, or MDA. Using a network of biker gangs, it's believed that Williams's product was distributed as far east as Winnipeg, and some have even suggested his product was sold internationally. In 1977, after years of monitoring Williams's activities, the Victoria drug squad arrested him on charges related to drug manufacturing and conspiracy. But Williams never made it to the courtroom. On the evening of November 30, 1977, days before he was scheduled to stand trial, Williams took off in a small, single-engine Cessna bound for either Vancouver or Nanaimo. However, his plane never landed in either destination. After an official inquest, authorities claimed that Williams's plane crashed in the Strait of Georgia, a narrow, navigable body of water between British Columbia's mainland and Vancouver Island, killing him. However, the majority of the wreckage and Williams's body were never found. Almost 15 months later, Williams's estranged wife, Margaret Williams, also seemingly vanished without a trace, leaving authorities baffled. Nearly 40 years later, the Williams investigation is still open despite a provincial inquiry into his death. Margaret's disappearance has never been publicly solved.

MDA is rarely sought after as a recreational drug compared to other drugs in the amphetamine family; however, it remains an important and widely used drug due to it being a primary metabolite, the product of hepatic N-dealkylation, of MDMA (ecstasy), In addition, it is not uncommon to find MDA as an adulterant of illicitly produced MDMA.

Symptoms of acute toxicity may include agitation, sweating, increased blood pressure and heart rate, dramatic increase in body temperature, convulsions, and death. Death is usually caused by cardiac effects and subsequent hemorrhaging in the brain (stroke)

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