Ecstasy, which is also known as Molly and MDMA, is an illicit amphetamine substance known for producing feelings of intense euphoria. When abused, ecstasy heightens one’s emotions and increases mental clarity, but can also cause hallucinations and decreased appetite and thirst. It is most commonly used in club and festival settings.
Researchers have determined that ecstasy is a substance that can cause dependence in users, however, the likelihood of dependence developing is minimal, especially in comparison to other addictive substances like cocaine or heroin. It is important to note the differences between dependence and addiction because while both terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Dependence occurs when a user’s body is reliant on a substance in order to function. For example, when someone is dependent on a drug but then stops using it suddenly, his or her body will go into a state of withdrawal as it attempts to function without the drug. Addiction refers to the psychological need and desire to continue to abuse a substance. It is much more likely that someone will become addicted to ecstasy than dependent on it, primarily because the effects they produce can be highly intriguing. Plus, as someone continues to abuse ecstasy, the brain’s chemistry and overall functionality begins to change, leading to a stronger desire to keep abusing. When a user gets to this point, it’s imperative to get professional ecstasy treatment.
Ecstasy comes in tablet form. It is sometimes stamped with symbols and may be brightly colored. 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. Ecstasy side effects typically begin about a half hour after ingestion and continue for several hours. Fatigue and insomnia occur afterward, along with several other symptoms that make for a distressing comedown.
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 ecstasy side effects in tightly controlled clinical settings.
Today, finding pure MDMA is not always easy and those who are able to locate it can end up abusing another dangerous substance such as methamphetamine or cocaine that has been combined with the ecstasy. 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. Help is available 24/7. Call this number right now for a free personal consultation 844-551-7016.
HOW DOES ECSTASY WORK
Ecstasy is called by this name because of how intensely euphoric it makes users feel. That intense euphoria comes from the effects that this particular substance has on the brain.
When ecstasy is consumed, it interacts with serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, neurotransmitters in the brain that impact mood and behavior. The presence of ecstasy triggers the release of significant amounts of these neurotransmitters. Serotonin is responsible for regulating mood, sleep, pain, and appetite, while norepinephrine is connected to energy, alertness, and arousal. Dopamine, which is the household name of neurotransmitters, is in charge of the brain’s pleasure and reward systems. The excessive release of all of these neurotransmitters at the same time can put someone into a state of sheer bliss.
However, this bliss often does not last when this drug isn’t being abused. This is because when ecstasy has been abused for some time, the levels of serotonin in the brain decrease because so much of it has been put out as a result of the ecstasy abuse. The brain gets to a point where it simply cannot produce enough serotonin again. As a result, users can suffer from depression and other changes in mood that can threaten their wellbeing, even after they have stopped abusing ecstasy.
When someone has gotten high off of ecstasy and then comes down from that high, the symptoms of that comedown can be extremely upsetting, so much so that the user takes more ecstasy to fight those symptoms. This comedown is directly related to how the brain responds to the presence and the elimination of ecstasy, as when someone is under the influence of this substance, the user is constantly experiencing significant rushes of euphoria and pleasure. When the high wears off, however, that activity in the brain stops, leading to several symptoms that include, however, are not limited to, the following:
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
It can take a few days for someone to come down from an ecstasy high. As mentioned before, regular abuse of ecstasy can deplete serotonin levels in a person’s brain, so when the user is feeling out of sorts due to the comedown, he or she is more likely to abuse ecstasy again since his or her brain cannot do much to help regulate mood on its own. This leads to a perpetual cycle of abuse, which is not only dangerous but also deadly.
SIGNS OF ECSTASY ADDICTION
Anytime an addiction to ecstasy is occurring, a user will display some signs of that addiction. The amount and severity of these signs are all directly related to how much ecstasy is being abused, how often it is being taken, and how long the use has been occurring, amongst other factors. One’s mental health can play a significant role in what signs of addiction someone who is abusing ecstasy might display, as those with co-occurring mental health issues might experience a worsening of symptoms, leading to more obvious signs of ecstasy addiction.
Some of the most common signs of ecstasy addiction include the following:
- Abusing ecstasy for longer than originally intended
- Feeling a psychological need to continue to abuse ecstasy
- Continuing to abuse ecstasy despite disruptions in one’s life
- Losing a job as a result of ecstasy abuse
- Experiencing increased conflict with loved ones due to mood swings and denial regarding ecstasy addiction
- Going to great lengths to hide ecstasy abuse and/or to minimize the severity of the addiction
- Abusing other substances to help manage the effects caused by being under the influence of ecstasy and the come down (e.g. using alcohol to self-medicate symptoms of depression)
- Continuing to abuse ecstasy despite no longer wanting to
- Abusing ecstasy but then attempting to participate in every day events, such as driving a car, taking a walk, or going shopping (all of which can be deadly, as hallucinations and delusions can cause someone to see the world much differently than it actually is, leading to car crashes, walking into traffic, etc.)
Abuse and addiction are two very different things, which is why it is important to be able to signify which is which. Abuse occurs when a person misuses a substance like alcohol or a prescription painkiller. For example, a person who takes ecstasy while at a concert, rave, or festival abuses this substance. He or she does not have a physical or psychological dependence on the drug that causes him or her to keep using. When someone is addicted to ecstasy, it means that he or she is regularly abusing this drug to the point where he or she feels unable to stop using for physical or mental reasons, or both. Being addicted to a substance usually leads to serious life consequences, such as unemployment, divorce, financial distress, physical health problems, and conflict with others, to name a few.
Someone who is addicted to ecstasy will likely display some, if not all, of the signs listed above. If you or someone you love are showing signs of ecstasy addiction, the most important thing to do is to reach out for professional ecstasy treatment to prevent any personal, physical, and mental damage from occurring or continuing to occur.
Call us right now. At 12 Keys in Florida, we can help you put a stop to your active ecstasy addiction and get you moving towards a happier, healthier life of recovery.
EFFECTS OF ECSTASY ABUSE
When any mind-altering substance is abused, there are going to be effects that users experience as a result of that abuse. The more that a drug is abused, the more likely it is for users to experience various effects. Plus, these effects can also be more intense. Ecstasy abuse, which can quickly lead to ecstasy addiction, can cause a wide variety of effects that are far from what the user ever intended on experiencing.
Those who abuse ecstasy typically do so to obtain the desired effects of this drug, such as euphoria, heightened senses, hallucinations, and increased physical pleasure. However, an ecstasy high can alter the senses in unfavorable ways, cause frightening hallucinations and mania, and even trigger the onset of panic and anxiety. Many who take ecstasy report feeling a boost in confidence and extroversion, while others report feeling apprehensive, sensitive, and confused. Ecstasy is a manmade drug, meaning that there is great potential for ingredients to vary in pills, which can cause these fluctuations in reported effects. One thing is for sure – anyone who abuses ecstasy will experience the energetic effects of it, as ecstasy is a stimulant substance that contains ingredients that mimic amphetamines, which can be found in meth and Adderall.
Physical effects of ecstasy
When under the influence of ecstasy, individuals can experience the following physical effects:
- Loss of control of bodily movement
- Muscle tension (e.g. teeth clenching or grinding)
- Changes is visual and auditory perception
- Dry mouth
- Blurred or double vision
- Brain hemorrhages
- Loss of appetite and/or thirst
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Increased body temperature (hyperthermia)
- Elevated heart rate
- Fainting spells
- Slurred speech
When someone is addicted to ecstasy and continually abuses it, he or she can suffer long-term effects that can stay with them even after they have gotten sober. Some of these effects include:
- Brain damage that impacts thought, memory, learning, emotions, and sleep
- The development of degenerative nerve diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, spinal muscular atrophy, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease)
- Kidney failure
- Cardiovascular problems (e.g. heart failure, bacterial blood infections, heart palpitations, inflammation of the heart muscle, high blood pressure)
These physical effects can not only last for the rest of a person’s life, but they can also cost that person his or her life. Effects such as heart failure and degenerative nerve diseases often end in death, which is why it is important to be aware of what ecstasy can do to the body prior to experimenting with it.
Psychological effects of ecstasy
In addition to the several physical effects that abusing ecstasy can cause, there are just as many psychological effects that can occur. When high on ecstasy, a person can experience the following mental side effects:
- Increased anxiety
- Sudden mood swings
- Memory loss
What is usually most concerning are the psychological side effects that can last long-term. For many people, these effects are considered the most distressing. They often include:
- Poor cognition
- Memory loss
- Fluctuations in mood
- Decreased libido
- Aggressive behavior
- Inability to pay attention
Some of these long-term effects, such as anxiety and paranoia, can develop when a person is under the influence of ecstasy and continue on for years after use. If these symptoms go untreated, they can lead to more serious problems. For example, someone who is struggling with depression and who does not get help can begin to experience suicidal behaviors, tendencies, and ideations that eventually lead to his or her eventual suicide.
When it comes to ecstasy and suicide, not only is it possible for those who experience long-term symptoms of abuse to commit suicide when those symptoms are left untreated, but there is also a phenomenon associated with ecstasy abuse called “suicide Tuesday.” After a person “rolls” on ecstasy, he or she will start to come down from that high, which produces several upsetting effects ranging from fatigue to deep depression. This is because when under the influence of ecstasy, serotonin levels in the brain are increased, which creates an extreme sense of pleasure in the user. As the ecstasy clears the body, however, that serotonin is no longer being produced at nearly the same rate, serving as a catalyst for that deep depression. It is at this time, at the end of the comedown, that people take their lives due to how depressed they are feeling. It often occurs a few days after one’s last use of ecstasy.
Ecstasy overdose is not anywhere near as common as overdoses related to other substances like opioids or other more addictive stimulants. However, that does not mean that ecstasy overdose does not occur.
The abuse of ecstasy often causes people to feel very hot, as the stimulant effects of the drug increase bodily functions. For some, however, getting hot can represent overheating of the body, which is known as hyperthermia. When a person becomes hyperthermic, his or her body temperature rises to a point where it causes death. In addition to becoming hyperthermic, a person can also experience extremely high blood pressure, which can lead to effects such as stroke and other cardiovascular complications including heart attack. While it is possible to survive both a stroke and a heart attack, there are several instances where those who have suffered one of these effects do not survive.
Symptoms, including loss of consciousness, fainting spells, and panic attacks can all signify an ecstasy overdose, as can the onset of seizures. Renal failure is also possible, which can, too, lead to overdose.
When any of these symptoms occur after someone has abused ecstasy, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention. Failing to get professional help can result in a fatal overdose.
Ecstasy-related effects and overdose are extremely dangerous and can result in death. At our ecstasy treatment facility, help is available 24/7. Call us right now for a free personal consultation at 844-551-7016.
WHEN TO GET ECSTASY TREATMENT
It is a common misconception that ecstasy is not a drug that people can become addicted to. And while it is not nearly as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or meth, there still exists habit-forming potential with ecstasy. As with every other type of drug addiction, ecstasy addiction often requires professional treatment in order to manage.
Knowing when to reach out for ecstasy treatment, however, is not always easy, especially considering how people view this drug. In general, if you are ever concerned about your ecstasy use, calling and asking for help is the best, most effective thing to do.
You might need ecstasy treatment if you are experiencing impacts to your physical, mental, social, and professional life. For example, you might struggle to uphold your performance at work, as you are going back and forth from using to coming down. This can lead to demotion or job loss, which is a major sign that your ecstasy use has gotten to a point where professional attention is needed. Participating in ecstasy treatment is also important if you are suffering physical or mental side effects associated with your use, becoming socially withdrawn or experiencing frequent conflict with loved ones, or having legal and financial uses.
Ignoring the need for ecstasy treatment can be a fatal mistake. Not only can you suffer from an overdose when abusing this substance, but you can also overdose from combining ecstasy with other mind-altering substances. And, as previously mentioned, the psychological effects that can develop during the comedown can be so pervasive that your risk for suicide increases dramatically. To prevent suffering from devastating effects of your ecstasy addiction, including possibly losing your life, contact our ecstasy treatment facility right now. We can help you.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN ECSTASY TREATMENT
Ecstasy is addictive, and people who become addicted to this powerful stimulant usually need external help to end their active use. At 12 Keys rehab, our experienced and compassionate staff members are certified and trained in all areas of ecstasy addiction and recovery, along with the side effects that can come along with it. When you enroll in our ecstasy treatment program, you will benefit from around-the-clock care in a small, comfortable, and supportive environment. Our addiction specialists can not only relate to what you are going through, but they can also guide you towards the road to recovery.
That path to recovery will begin with medically assisted detox, where you will 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 the 12-Step program. You will soon find out why ecstasy addiction became a problem, as well as how you can manage cravings and avoid using. You will also rebuild your most important relationships and partner with us and your loved ones after treatment to maintain a sober and satisfying lifestyle.
GET PROFESSIONAL ECSTASY TREATMENT AT 12 KEYS RIGHT NOW
You do not have to let an addiction to ecstasy damage your future. Call us for more information right now. We can offer you the second chance that you need in order to live the life that you want.