Ecstasy Addiction

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Ecstasy, often referred to as X or Molly, is a synthetic drug that is similar to a stimulant and has hallucinogenic properties. Taking ecstasy can cause increased energy, heightened feelings of wellbeing, emotional warmth, euphoria, a distorted perception of time, and enhanced sensory perception. Simply put, when you’re on ecstacy, you’ll feel great, happy, and very friendly. The heightened sensations and lowered inhibitions make this the preferred designer drug at “rave” parties, music festivals, and concerts.

How do people use ecstasy?

The chemical name for ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). This recreational amphetamine drug can be taken in two ways – swallowed or snorted. Ecstasy is usually in tablet or pill form, with a logo or design printed on it. It also comes in liquid form. The powder form of ecstasy is more commonly called Molly because it’s slang for molecule. While molly is marketed as the “pure” form of MDMA, it is usually anything but. In fact, it is quite rare to come by pure MDMA. Unlike other recreational drugs, ecstasy is a synthetic drug. What this means is that it is created instead of being derived from plants. Because of this, the amount of MDMA in molly can vary greatly. You’ll find molly and even ecstasy (the pill form) cut and mixed with other chemicals such as amphetamines, ephedrine, cocaine, ketamine, and even bath salts (synthetic cathinones). Because of this, there’s no way that users can ever be sure what they’re consuming. And sometimes, the results are fatal.

How does ecstasy affect your brain?

The effects of this drug starts around 45 minutes after you first take it. As mentioned before, ecstasy can make you experience heightened senses, a rush of good feelings, and emotional warmth. You feel greater empathy towards others. Your inhibitions are lowered and you feel really energized. All of these effects occur because the drug increases the activity of three brain chemicals – dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has several functions. It helps us control the movements of our body. It plays a role in making us feel good, specifically involving motivation, reward, and reinforcement. Aside from making you feel pretty good, dopamine can also make you feel more alert and focused. Norepinephrine is another neurotransmitter, sending signals to your nerve cells. It can increase your heart rate as well as blood pressure. It also increases your blood sugar levels. In addition, it can help promote focus. Like the others, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps send signals to different parts of your brain. It’s known as the “happy hormone” because it helps regulate your mood and promotes a sense of well-being. Aside from influencing your mood, this hormone also helps with digestion, bone health, sexual function, and sleep. It’s the increased levels of serotonin in a person’s system caused by ecstasy that makes a person feel happier and empathize more with others.

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What are the risks of taking ecstasy?

While ecstasy might seem like a less dangerous drug compared to heroin or cocaine, there are still a lot to be concerned about. This is especially true if the drug is taken over a long period of time. Some of the long-term effects of the drug include brain damage, depression, memory loss, and impulsiveness. Not to mention, the increased sexual function and emotional warmth towards others can lead to STDs.

Overdosing on ecstasy is rare, but it does happen especially when mixed with other illicit drugs and alcohol. In addition, it can cause your body to overheat if you indulge in physical activities such as dancing while under the influence. This, in turn, can cause damage to your muscles and organs such as your kidney, liver, and heart. Ecstasy can also cause brain swelling and seizures. While taking this recreational drug enables you to experience a rush of good feelings, it also has several adverse effects such as:

  • increases heart rate
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • involuntary teeth clenching
  • chills
  • muscle cramping
  • increased anxiety / panic attacks
  • feelings of detachment
  • irritability
  • disorganized thoughts
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations

Signs of Ecstasy Use

The effects of ecstasy can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. Many users often take a second dose as soon as they feel the effects of the first one fade. However, the crash after the high lasts much longer – days even. Moderate use of the drug can cause a person to experience one or more of the following:

    • Depression
    • Reduced Appetite
    • Memory problems
    • anxiety
    • attention problems
    • impulsiveness
    • reduced appetite
    • insomnia
    • decreased interest in and pleasure from sex
    • aggression

How is Ecstasy Addiction Treated?

There is still some debate on whether ecstasy is addictive or not. Research results over the past years are varied. There have been some who have reported MDMA addiction, but there are still some who believe that it’s harmless. That being said, it is a very popular drug among young people, often used in social settings. It is believed that around 1 out of every 10 students in college have experimented with drugs. According to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, there are approximately 9 million ecstasy users worldwide, most of whom are teens and young adults. So, whether there is an addiction to this recreational drug or not, the increased use of ecstasy still needs to be addressed. In fact, the rate of emergency room visits due to ecstasy has increased by 1,200 percent. Moreover, prolonged use of this recreational drug can result in physical and psychological dependence which needs to be treated.

Like with all other drug addictions, the treatment starts with detoxification. Individuals who are considered heavy ecstasy users may experience withdrawal symptoms which is why users are recommended to go through an inpatient rehab program. They will benefit from a medically monitored detox to prevent any complications. Moreover, the medical team can help ensure their comfort while they clear their body from toxins. This can involve taking prescribed drugs that will increase the amount of neurotransmitters in your brain (such as serotonin) to alleviate any feelings of anxiety and depression.

Similar to other addiction treatment protocols, each treatment plan is uniquely tailored to the needs of the individual. This may involve participation in therapy and addiction support groups. A patient may also be required to undergo lifestyle changes to prevent relapse. For example, attending nightclubs and raves can make it easier for a person in recovery to access ecstasy. Removing yourself from temptation is key.

Inpatient treatment programs for ecstasy abuse can run from 30 days to six months. For some, it can be even longer. The focus of the treatment plan is to understand any underlying issues that might be triggering the abuse. Some individuals take ecstasy to help them deal with pain, sadness, or stress. For this reason, many treatment centers use cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals learn how to deal with their emotions better without turning to recreational drug use.

What We Treat

Spice Addiction

Spice, K2 and Black Mamba, is a mixture of dried herbs and shredded plant materials that have been sprayed with laboratory-made chemicals mimicking effects of marijuana.

Ecstasy Addiction

The chemical name for ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). This recreational amphetamine drug can be taken in two ways - swallowed or snorted.

Crystal Meth Addiction

Meth is a psychostimulant that can have a huge impact on the human central nervous system and is highly addictive- its use for even a few weeks can lead to dependency.

Inhalants Addiction

Inhalants are household and industrial chemicals that produce volatile vapors which can be inhaled via the nose or mouth to give the user a short-lived high.

PCP Addiction

PCP is a type of synthetic dissociative drug that produces an "out of body" experience or feelings of detachment from one's environment.

Cocaine Addiction

For most cocaine users, it translates into ‘euphoria’ and that is what one feels with the first hit, depending on the purity of the batch.

Benzos Addiction

Benzodiazepines act as sedatives by slowing down the body's overall functioning.

LSD Addiction

Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD for short, is a synthetic substance made using lysergic acid found in ergot, a fungus that infects rye.

Opioid Addiction

Opioids, sometimes also referred to as narcotics, are drugs present within the opium poppy plant.

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Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy, but it can be done. There are plenty of treatments available that have helped people stop abusing drugs and start living productive lives again.