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Ecstasy: Dangers of Use, Addictive Potential, and Treatment Options

symptoms of ecstacy

For those who need to enter treatment, there are a variety of programs that can assist with MDMA addiction. Depending on the severity of the habit, a person should attend a detox program as well as outpatient treatment, inpatient rehab, or residential treatment. When used in a clinical setting, MDMA has been found to be a safe treatment. When people buy recreational MDMA, they often believe that they’re buying the drug in its pure form. Overall, research on the effects of chronic MDMA use is limited, and more studies in humans are needed to determine the long-term effects of this drug. Heavy MDMA use has been shown to cause long-term effects on serotonin production, but researchers are trying to learn if long-term positive benefits exist as well.

Ecstasy and Brain Damage

symptoms of ecstacy

Individuals who use ecstasy long-term have much higher rates of engaging in impulsive, dangerous behaviors or illegal activity to obtain more of the drug in spite of possible repercussions. Inpatient treatment is likely to be recommended for someone struggling with MDMA addiction. Inpatient programs how long does ecstasy mdma stay in your system are among the most successful forms of drug addiction treatment. During inpatient treatment, residents can entirely focus on getting well and sober without the distractions of daily life. One dose of ecstasy can cause a fatal overdose because the drug is unpredictable in its composition.

  1. Over the past decade, illegally made opioids like fentanyl have been increasingly found in the drug supply, and have contributed to a dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths in the United States.
  2. Like serotonin, the neurotransmitters dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) also play a role in mood, pleasure, and more.
  3. As the rave and club scene expanded to metropolitan and suburban areas across the country, MDMA use and distribution increased as well.
  4. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), ecstasy-related emergency room visits increased by more than 240 percent in a recent five-year period.
  5. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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Like most drugs, ecstasy and molly interfere with the brain’s pleasure center and natural levels of dopamine. As with any other drug addiction, quitting on one’s own without professional help can be very difficult to do. When it comes to treatment for ecstasy addiction, there are currently no medications or pharmacological treatments. Chronic users of ecstasy perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with ecstasy, among other factors.

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In human studies, researchers found that MDMA use could cause changes in verbal, visual, and short-term memory, reasoning, and recognition. Chronic MDMA use may even occasionally cause conditions like psychosis ― though other psychiatric conditions arising from using MDMA are rare. According to the review, both animal and human studies found that MDMA can negatively affect the serotonergic systems in the brain. Below, we’ll explore what the research says about the long-term effects of chronic MDMA use, both recreationally and medically. Other criteria for addiction include developing a tolerance to ecstasy, spending an extraordinary amount of time trying to get it, and using more of it than intended.

Can I get addicted to MDMA?

symptoms of ecstacy

Repeated use of ecstasy interferes with the normal brain chemistry, resulting in severe mood-swings as well. Therapy is very important, especially when coming off of ecstasy, as depression and anxiety are common post-acute alcohol and menopause withdrawal symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches recovering addicts to find connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions and increase awareness of how these things impact recovery.

Recognizing an Ecstasy Addiction

Recognizing an addiction to ecstasy can be difficult because the drug lacks obvious withdrawal symptoms and is often used among young people in social settings. Regardless, continued use of ecstasy can lead to psychological and physical dependence. When someone is addicted to ecstasy, they will continue to use the drug despite knowing the consequences. Even when ecstasy is not the only drug causing dependence, it can be a piece of a multi-drug patchwork of addiction. It is possible for pills sold as ecstasy tablets to contain little or no MDMA.

symptoms of ecstacy

Ecstasy, which is also known as MDMA, is a modification of methamphetamine and has some similar effects to that drug. It is immediately a stimulant, but its stimulating effects can increase to dangerous levels. It causes the body to heat up, which, combined with hours of dancing in a warm environment, can cause the bodily temperature to reach lethal levels. Dance clubs where many patrons use ecstasy often provide a “chill room” where a person can buy cold water and cool off. When the temperature gets too high, organ breakdown can occur, especially in the kidneys, and this can kill the drug user. The more MDMA a person takes, the more likely he or she is to be at risk of an overdose.

A large percentage of pills sold on the street passing as ecstasy have very little or no MDMA at all. Since methamphetamine is a synthetic, lab-produced drug, there are no quality control procedures to examine the potency before it is ingested. A person purchasing ecstasy on the street may believe he or she is buying pure MDMA. However, they could be ingesting a pill that is a mix of a variety of substances from caffeine to heroin or even rat poison. MDMA, also known as “ecstasy” or “molly,” is a highly damaging and addictive form of methamphetamine. It is a psychoactive drug that has both stimulant and hallucinogenic characteristics.

The effects of MDMA are usually felt about 20 minutes to an hour after it is taken and last for around 3-4 hours. The comedown (or return to normal as the drug leaves the body) may last one to mdma abuse: the withdrawal and detox timeline 2 days or up to a week. Long-term safety could not be guaranteed with this small group, and there is a risk of addiction and suicide in a population already at risk for these serious outcomes.

Ecstasy is an informal term that is commonly used when referring to the synthetic psychoactive drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). Ecstasy triggers the release of  serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, and then delays the body’s ability to reabsorb these neurotransmitters. The result is that the user experiences increased energy, a sense of euphoria, and powerful feelings of empathy, emotional openness, and connectedness with others. Ecstasy is illegal in the United States and its abuse can lead to a wide range of negative outcomes, both when taken alone or in combination with alcohol or other mind-altering substances. Individuals who have descended into chronic ecstasy abuse may experience physical, mental, emotional, and social problems. Ecstasy is the most widely-used street name for MDMA ( short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine).

Ecstasy is a strong stimulant that often comes as small white or colored pills stamped with logos or words. Users may have lollipops or baby pacifiers to help with clenched jaw muscles caused by the drug. We may receive advertising fees if you follow links to promoted online therapy websites.

Not knowing the purity or strength of an MDMA dose or taking this drug with other substances such as alcohol can increase the chances of an overdose. If you’re interested in MDMA as a mental health treatment, you may be able to help researchers learn more about its effects in clinical testing. Many scientists are working to change the legalization of MDMA to allow for more testing to be done, but some research is still currently ongoing. Withdrawal symptoms of ecstasy can be longer-lasting than with some other drugs. Often, this club drug is combined with either alcohol or marijuana, or both. The addition of these substances can add to or alter these side effects.

High doses of ecstasy can cause a spike in your body temperature. It takes about 45 minutes or longer to feel the effects of ecstasy. On average, one dose of ecstasy can last at least 3 hours overall. Although ecstasy affects many neurotransmitters in the brain impacted by other addictive drugs, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that research has not determined whether MDMA is addictive. The American Society of Addiction Medicine shares that the definition of addiction is continued use despite harmful consequences. The Narconon recovery program and the sauna detoxification that is one of its steps help conquer the cravings.

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