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Ecstasy (MDMA) Addiction Treatment

Ecstasy is the street name of a psychoactive drug known by the clinical name Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA). It was first synthesized in 1912 by the German pharmaceutical Merk.

Ecstasy is an energy drug that causes altered sensations. In the 1970s, MDMA was tested in psychotherapy. By the ’80s, ecstasy caught on as a recreational drug. During the ’90s, it became associated with rave culture.

Ecstasy is illegal in most countries. In the US, ecstasy is a Schedule I drug that cannot be legally sold, prescribed or used for medicinal or treatment purposes. Despite this, the US Food and Drug Administration is examining MDMA’s potential as a treatment drug. In 2016, 21 million Americans experimented with ecstasy.

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Effects of Ecstasy

At clubs and parties, people take ecstasy to enhance the joy of music and dance. The desired effects of ecstasy include:

  • Altered sensations – People see things differently on psychoactive drugs like ecstasy, which affect the way people see, hear, feel and sense their surroundings. The vibe of a party can seem livelier and more exciting.
  • Increased energy – Ecstasy causes spikes in energy that can last several hours. As with cocaine and speed, the energy effects make ecstasy popular at parties, where people stay up later and dance hard.
  • Empathy – Ecstasy can make users feel more connected to their surroundings. Shy people become more outgoing; standoffish people loosen up and become friendlier. Ecstasy makes it easier for people to mingle and score.
  • Pleasure – People get euphoric sensations while on ecstasy. It causes physical sensations in the body that make the user feel overjoyed.

Ecstasy is typically taken by mouth. The effects take hold within 30 to 45 minutes and can last between three and six hours.

Short Term Adverse Effects of Ecstasy

Ecstasy can have some undesired effects that are unpleasant and disorienting, such as:

  • Teeth grinding – The user might do this without realizing it. It’s a symptom of anxiety and nervous energy, much like shakes and tics.
  • Blurred vision – The user might have trouble seeing clearly. This can be spooky in a club setting and dangerous on the way home, especially if the user attempts to operate a vehicle.
  • Sweating – This comes with heat sensitivity and nervousness. The user might not even notice the perspiration.
  • Rapid heartbeat – Energy drugs make the heart beat faster. This can be dangerous, especially if the user takes a high dose of ecstasy or mixes the drug with other stimulants (speed, cocaine).

It’s also dangerous to mix ecstasy with depressants (alcohol, heroin) because this has contradictory effects on the heart and nervous system.

Long Term Consequences of Ecstasy

Ecstasy can have more dangerous consequences when people abuse the drug. Some of the worst effects include:

  • Addiction – Though not as addictive as other stimulants, users can get hooked on ecstasy through constant overuse. This usually starts when the body develops a tolerance for the drug and the user takes higher doses to repeat the desired effects.
  • Memory problems – Constant drug abuse can ravage memory. The user might draw blanks when asked to type his/her ATM PIN number or smartphone password.
  • Paranoia – Energy drugs can spur fear in fearful users. If the individual is wary of trouble going into the hit, those feelings could manifest when intoxicated.
  • Difficulty sleeping – Energy drugs like ecstasy make it difficult to sleep properly. This can cause restlessness and insomnia. Consequently, this can leave a person sleep-deprived at work.

In worst-case scenarios, ecstasy can cause death if the user gets dehydrated or suffers feverish symptoms while intoxicated.

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

For people seeking treatment for ecstasy addiction, numerous rehab centers across the US can help. The treatment process goes as follows:

  • Detox – Treatment starts with detox, which begins the moment a patient enters the rehab center. Detox takes between three and seven days, during which ecstasy clears the body.
  • Residential inpatient treatment – In a rehab program, the patient recovers from drug addiction in a tranquil setting. Here, the patient undergoes counseling and partakes in wellness exercises, experiential therapy and group meetings.
  • Outpatient treatment – This is similar to residential treatment, but the patient lives at home and comes to the rehab center in the day for ecstasy addiction treatment. Outpatient programs include individual and group counseling.
  • Aftercare – For people who need help landing after treatment, some rehab centers offer further support once the programs end. This might include link-ups with sober-living facilities and job-placement programs.

Addiction treatment centers offer a supervised setting where patients overcome substance abuse. During detox, nurses monitor patients 24/7 and help them through withdrawal symptoms.

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Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

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Find Drug Abuse Treatment: Fight Substance Addiction

American addiction centers offer treatment for each type of substance use disorder, including ecstasy abuse. If someone you know struggles with ecstasy abuse, treatment options are available. Call the nearest rehab centers and ask about their ecstasy treatment programs. 

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