Ecstasy, which is also sometimes known as MDMA, E, X or molly, is an addictive illegal amphetamine known for producing feelings of intimacy and relaxation. It is popular in club and music festival settings, and it often contains dangerous adulterants that can cause serious health problems, including addiction and fatal overdose.
The History of Ecstasy
The active ingredient in unadulterated ecstasy is MDMA, a drug developed in the early 1900s. Merck, the company that accidentally discovered MDMA in 1912, set the drug aside and did not return to it until 1927. Researchers noted its similarities to ephedrine, and in the 1950s, the United States Army tried to use MDMA during interrogation. By 1970, MDMA was a recreational drug popular in California. A UC Berkeley researcher further studied the effects of the drug, and after taking it, gave it to a psychotherapist known for using psychedelics during patient sessions.
MDMA gained popularity among underground psychotherapists, who reported the drug made communicating with patients easier. Patients who took ecstasy also reported feeling more introspective and less defensive. In the early 1980s, the drug now known as “ecstasy” became a popular drug in Europe, with dance club and rave patrons in the U.S. quick to follow. The federal government classified MDMA as a Schedule I substance in 1985. Once MDMA became illegal most therapists stopped using it, although recently some clinicians and researchers have begun studying the drug’s effects in tightly controlled clinical settings.
Today, finding pure MDMA is extremely difficult and many users who take ecstasy are actually using another dangerous substance such as methamphetamine or cocaine. Because all stimulants are extremely dangerous to the body, the spirit and the mind, quitting ecstasy is essential for living a sober and satisfying lifestyle.
What to Know About Ecstasy
Ecstasy comes in tablet form. They are sometimes stamped with symbols and may be brightly colored. Users still take ecstasy in club and rave settings, where lasers and music enhance the effects of the drug. People sometimes combine ecstasy with other substances such as LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms; this is called “flipping” and it increases ecstasy’s mild psychedelic effects. The effects or ecstasy or an ecstasy combination drug begin about a half hour after ingestion and continue for several hours. Fatigue and insomnia occur afterward.
The ecstasy high alters the senses, produces hallucinations and mania, and can cause fearful and anxious feelings. Some who take ecstasy report feeling a boost in confidence and extroversion while others report feeling apprehensive, sensitive and confused. As a stimulant, ecstasy speeds up the central nervous system. Despite its reputation as an empathetic therapy drug, several cases of ecstasy overdose have resulted in fatalities.
The Physical and Psychological Effects of Ecstasy
As a central nervous system stimulant, ecstasy produces many of the physical and psychological effects associated with drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Pure MDMA is well known for enhancing feelings of intimacy and warmth; however, because it is difficult to know exactly what is in the drug those who take ecstasy are gambling with their lives. Taking ecstasy depletes the brain’s supply of serotonin, a natural feel-good chemical, and when abused, the aftereffects can be severe. The effects of MDMA and other stimulants include:
- Intense anxiety and paranoia
- Fatigue or exhaustion and irritability during the comedown
- Intense depression, a phenomenon known as “suicide Tuesday”
- Impaired cognitive skills, including concentration, motivation and attention
- Insomnia and loss of appetite
- Digestive upset
- Jaw clenching
Identifying Ecstasy Addiction, Abuse and Overdose
Ecstasy overdose and addiction are extremely dangerous and can result in death. Because an individual who takes ecstasy increases his body temperature to dangerous levels, many fatalities result from overheating. During ecstasy overdose, the following symptoms occur:
- Intense agitation and paranoia
- Disorganized thinking, memory problems or obvious confusion
- Intense hallucinations or delusions
- Rigid muscles
- Hypersensitive reflexes
- Heart palpitations and heart attack
- Organ failure due to high body temperature
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Lost consciousness, coma and death
People who develop an ecstasy addiction demonstrate certain symptoms even when they are not taking the drug. The signs of ecstasy addiction include:
- Intensifying depression and anxiety
- Reduced cognitive function, including decision making, motivation, concentration and memory
- Dental problems resulting from teeth grinding
- Changes in weight
- Spending more time at music festivals, or at raves or clubs
- Hanging out with a new crowd, while old friends and once-favored activities go ignored
- Diminished performance in school or at work
- Spending more time trying to find ecstasy
- Problems with money
- Neglecting family and other important personal obligations
If you notice these symptoms, it is time to get help.
Ecstasy Rehab and Recovery
Ecstasy is addictive, and people who develop a problem with this powerful stimulant usually need help quitting. At 12 Keys Rehab, our experienced staff members are well qualified to treat all aspects of addiction. When you enroll in our ecstasy rehab, you’ll benefit from round-the-clock care in a small, comfortable and supportive environment. Our counselors know exactly what you’re going through, because they were once addicted themselves.
Your path to freedom will begin with medically assisted detox, where you’ll be able to sleep, relax and regain physical strength as our staff members help you rid your body of ecstasy’s dangerous toxins. As you heal, our staff will develop a multidisciplinary treatment plan designed to meet your specific needs. These treatments will include the most successful evidence-based therapies as well as the unmatched spiritual benefits of time-tested 12 Step care. You’ll figure out why ecstasy addiction became a problem as well as how you can manage cravings and avoid using. You’ll also rebuild your most important relationships, and partner with us and your loved ones after treatment in the pursuit of a sober and satisfying lifestyle.
You don’t have to let an addiction to ecstasy damage your future. Call us for more information, and find your path to freedom at 12 Keys Rehab.
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