MDMA: high-strength products available

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic drug chemically related to amphetamines, but with different effects. MDMA is consumed as tablets (often called ecstasy), and powder and crystalline forms of the drug are also available. New MDMA tablet designs, in various colours, shapes and brand logos, are constantly being introduced into the market. After a period of low availability linked to a lack of precursor chemicals needed for its manufacture, the MDMA market has seen a revival in recent years. The retail MDMA market is estimated to be worth about EUR 0.7 billion. The average content of MDMA in tablets has increased in recent years, and high amounts of MDMA in some batches have been linked with harms and deaths.


Number of seizures


Quantities seized (million tablets)


Quantities seized (kg)




Indexed trends

(MDMA mg/tablet)


EU + 2 refers to EU Member States, Turkey and Norway. Price and purity of MDMA: national mean values — minimum, maximum and interquartile range. Countries covered vary by indicator.

Production of MDMA in Europe appears to be concentrated in Belgium and the Netherlands, with 4 MDMA laboratories dismantled in the European Union in 2015 (3 in the Netherlands, 1 in Belgium). MDMA produced in Europe is also exported to other parts of the world.

Assessing recent trends in MDMA seizures is difficult due to the absence of data from some countries that are likely to make important contributions to this total. For 2015, no data are available from the Netherlands, which reported MDMA seizures of 2.4 million tablets in 2012, and the numbers of seizures are not available from Poland and Finland. Without these important contributions, the quantity of MDMA seized in the European Union in 2015 is estimated at 4 million tablets and 0.2 tonnes of MDMA powder.

The average content of MDMA in tablets has increased in recent years

The overall number of reported MDMA seizures has continued to rise since 2010, while the quantity seized has been relatively stable over the same period. Large quantities of MDMA were also seized in Turkey in 2015, amounting to 5.7 million tablets, more than the quantity reported by all other countries combined.

Number of MDMA seizures and quantity seized: trends and 2015 or most recent year

Number of seizures


Tablets (millions)


Number of MDMS seizures (thousands)


Number of seizures (thousands) for 10 countries with highest values.


MDMA tablets seized (millions)