Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Ecstasy is a popular drug for recreational use, which makes it easy for people to develop a dependence to it. When ecstasy use begins to have a negative effect on someone’s lifestyle, it is time to consider undergoing addiction treatment.

Seeking Treatment: Ecstasy has a euphoric and pleasurable effect on the body when taken. The effects include an increase of energy, emotional warmth, and a heightened perception. With repeated use, the body builds up a tolerance to ecstasy and it takes more of the drug to achieve the same effects. This can result in a physical dependence to ecstasy. Although it is known as a “party drug”, many who use it do not know the negative physical consequences that ecstasy can have such as depression, convulsions and heart diseases. When it is time to seek treatment for the addiction, it is helpful to turn to friends, family or a medical professional to help get started.

Detoxification: Detoxification (or detox) is an unpleasant but necessary part of overcoming addiction. The key to successfully detoxing from ecstasy is to resist temptation even when symptoms get uncomfortable. Some symptoms of withdrawal from ecstasy include:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Insomnia

Ecstasy does not affect the body in the way that other drugs such as heroin or cocaine, meaning that during ecstasy withdrawal, a person is not likely to be in any physical pain or experience sickness. Most of the withdrawal symptoms of ecstasy are psychological. Patients experiencing these during withdrawal should still be carefully watched at a rehabilitation facility to manage the symptoms and prevent the patient from harming themselves. Doctors and medical professionals at a rehabilitation center will monitor a patient’s body temperature, hydration, heart rate and reflexes.

It typically takes around three or four days for the toxins left behind by ecstasy to leave the system. This length can vary based on the frequency of ecstasy use and the severity of use. When detoxification has been completed, a patient can then explore their therapy options with a counselor or therapist and determine the best route of treatment.

Utilizing Therapy: There are not currently any recommended pharmacological therapies to overcome an ecstasy addiction. Light painkillers can be used to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal, but behavioral therapies are going to be the most helpful option. In order to keep a patient on the path to recovery, the right behavioral therapy has to address every aspect of the addiction. These include:

  • Psychological dependence
  • Environmental Influences
  • Risk Factors

The best way to create a therapy plan that will succeed is to work with a medical professional or counselor and create realistic goals.

Staying on Track: Once a realistic treatment has been chosen, staying on track with the help of a support group or sponsor will give the best chances of complete recovery. There are many options for support including family and friends, local organised meetings, or the one-on-one help of a therapy professional. No matter which option a patient chooses, relying on the continued encouragement and assistance for extended periods of time after quitting is extremely important.

Treatment Options for Ecstasy Addiction

While there are no trusted medications available to aid in an ecstasy addiction, research has shown that most patients find success when they participate in behavioral therapies under the supervision of a medical professional. There are many options when it comes to behavioral therapies and many can be combined to give a patient the best chances of successful recovery.

Behavioral Interventions

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a type of behavioral intervention that addresses the external and internal triggers that lead to addiction. With the help of a mental health counselor, patients explore the behaviors and feelings that accompany their need to take ecstasy and try to determine solutions. Psychotherapy sessions usually occur one-on-one between a therapist and the patient. When used in congruence with other types of behavioral interventions it is the most successful method of treatment. There are many different types of Psychotherapy that can aid those recovering from addiction including cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy: This type of psychotherapy is the most widely used for those dealing with an ecstasy addiction. In cognitive behavioral therapy, therapists have open discussions about the relationship between a person’s thoughts and behaviors. This will hopefully help identify the triggers that lead to participation in unhealthy behaviors. Once the triggers have been identified, a plan can be made to alter or avoid those in everyday life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not meant to last an extended period of time, although this can differ depending on individual circumstances. The point of Cognitive-behavioral therapy is to develop a plan to constructively change negative behaviors and replace negative thoughts with positive explanations. Once this is achieved, a patient can move on to a more long-term form of therapy such as talk therapy or support group therapy.

Support Group Therapy: Support groups and 12-step groups for addiction have been around for decades and are known to produce great results. Support groups enable those struggling with addiction to surround themselves in a positive environment with their peers free from judgement. People are encouraged to share stories about their recovery journeys and encourage others to stay sober. A person has a much better chance of overcoming their addiction if they become active in a support group. Active participation not only keeps the spirit up but it also keeps temptations away by providing tangible activity. Support groups are often offered by churches, community centers or run independently. Support groups often suggest that people undergoing treatment find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who acts as a mentor and encouragement through the recovery process.

12-Step Program: Most support groups, especially narcotics anonymous, use the 12-step program as a structure for treatment. In the 12-step program, users acknowledge that drug use and the consequences that follow is a choice that is in their power to make. Participants learn to trust in a higher power and have faith that they can reach sobriety. 12-step programs enable participants to imagine a better life for themselves that does not require substance abuse.

Locate a treatment facility in your area:

The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a service that allows you to anonymously find a addiction treatment facility in your area by simply putting in your address / city or zip code.

View Sources Last Edited: May 10, 2018

Sources and Citations

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse/are-there-effective-treatments-mdma-abuse
  2. http://www2.courtinfo.ca.gov/stopteendui/teens/resources/substances/ecstasy/addiction.cfm
  3. http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-ecstasy-use.html
  4. http://www.ecstasy.ws/signs-of-ecstasy-addiction.htm
  5. http://www.crchealth.com/addiction/ecstasy-addiction-treatment/