Ecstasy Addiction

Ecstacy use became popular in nightclubs as a party drug. Ecstasy users seek out this drug for its effects on creativity, energy, and lowering inhibitions but the impact of taking this drug can lead to substance use disorder and even death.

What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy and molly are common names for a drug called Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a psychoactive drug that alters moods and perceptions by increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels. Many people take it to have feelings of euphoria and increase their confidence.

Ecstacy is chemically similar to other stimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine. MDMA also acts as a hallucinogen that distorts the senses and impairs balance and coordination.

Classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, MDMA carries a high risk for abuse and addiction, and it is outlawed in the United States and other countries. Abuse of this synthetic drug can have serious side effects, especially in combination with other substances.

Side Effects of Ecstasy Use

The effects of ecstasy may vary depending on several factors, including:

  • The physical composition of a person
  • The amount of the drug taken
  • If you are a first-time user
  • If you have developed a tolerance for the drug
  • If it is being used in combination with other drugs

As there is no recognized medical use for ecstasy, any form of use falls under substance abuse and can have potentially dangerous side effects.

Short-Term Effect of Ecstasy

  • Euphoria
  • Renewed energy
  • Increased confidence
  • Fast breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increases feelings of empathy
  • High blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Teeth clenching
  • Nausea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Heightened sensory perception
  • Increased sex drive

Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy

  • Damage to brain cells
  • Liver damage
  • Lack of concentration
  • Flu
  • Depression
  • Risk of contracting hepatitis, HIV and sexually transmitted infections due to unprotected sex
  • The need to use other drugs including benzodiazepines or alcohol to minimize the side effects of ecstasy.

Ecstasy Abuse and Addiction

Ecstasy abuse is seen in two main forms. The first is the use of the drug to experience its effects, euphoria, increased empathy, and heightened senses. This form is not as common as the second form, which is taking Ecstasy to avoid negative effects. People can become dependent on Ecstasy if they are using it to not feel the unpleasant effects of another drug or alcohol. If you have tried to stop using Ecstasy on your own before, you may have gone through withdrawal symptoms.

Although the popular dance club drug was once considered promising for psychiatric use in treating anxiety and depression, it is highly addictive and dangerous in its pure form.

Ecstasy is available in pill form, while Molly is a powder that is mixed with a liquid before it is consumed. These drugs are commonly used at dance clubs and raves to take advantage of their heightened sensations. Due to the illegal status of these drugs, using them qualifies as abuse.

Am I Addicted to Ecstasy?

Signs that you may be addicted to Ecstasy may include:

  • Challenge performing daily tasks
  • Isolating yourself from friends or family so you can use the drug
  • Dishonesty (about use of ecstasy or similar)
  • Financial struggles
  • Being unable to stop using the drug
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Legal issues you did not have before
  • Mood changes
  • Depression

Ecstasy Overdose

Ecstasy is extremely dangerous, particularly if it’s taken in large amounts as it can lead to an overdose.

With a combination of the drug’s powerful stimulants and a high risk of user error, ecstasy can be potentially fatal.

How Do You Know When Someone Has Overdosed On Ecstasy?

  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability/aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • High body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Increased heart rate

What Should I Do if Someone Has Overdosed On Ecstasy?

  1. Immediately call 911
  2. Confirm if the victim is responsive
  3. Stay with the victim until help arrives
  4. Provide all relevant information to the emergency services, including other drugs the victim may have taken.

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Making the switch from Ecstasy to sobriety can be challenging, but it is a move that will ultimately help you to begin a new phase of your life.

There are a variety of treatment options to choose from, and each individual has different needs that will determine what type of program might be best for them. Within your own network of support, you can make it through this difficult time and enter a life free from addiction.

Ecstasy Withdrawal/Detox

Detoxification from Ecstasy is an effective process provided to help facilitate the withdrawal from the drug. These programs are usually run by medical professionals in carefully controlled environments and offer a number of resources to help you remain healthy while withdrawing.

While there are a number of treatment facilities that help facilitate detoxification, it is important that you choose a medical-based program in order to have the safest experience possible.

What Are the Symptoms of Ecstasy Withdrawal?

After years of regular use, if you suddenly stop taking Ecstasy, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar to those who use alcohol and other addictive drugs. In many cases, these symptoms will occur within three to four days of abstinence from the drug but can persist for a week or more.

Withdrawal symptoms of Ecstasy may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Anxiety
  • Drug cravings
  • Agitation/irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

Ecstasy Treatment Programs

There are several Ecstasy addiction treatment programs available, each with its own set of features and benefits. It is important to know what each of these programs can do for you and what your options are when deciding on an ideal Ecstasy addiction treatment center.

Inpatient Rehab Program

Because Ecstasy is such a powerful drug, many individuals find that they need inpatient treatment to combat addiction. Inpatient rehab programs employ a comprehensive approach, combining counseling and psychological treatments with medications and behavior therapy. Many of these programs also offer family counseling and 24-hour monitoring, as drugs like Ecstasy can be very damaging to both your physical and mental health.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization in a treatment center is a good option for individuals who have already worked on coming off Ecstasy but need to continue with effective drug abuse counseling and coping skills in a structured yet supportive environment. Partial hospitalization in a treatment center gives you the individualized, one-on-one attention that you need to work on all areas of your addiction.

Intensive Outpatient Program

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed to provide a flexible and individualized treatment for people mildly addicted to Ecstasy. Through the support of others who share your desire to recover, you will receive individual, group, and family therapy sessions. The IOP also utilizes some of the most effective forms of treatment, including pharmacotherapies, to help you fully recover from your addiction and improve your overall well-being.

Ecstasy Statistics

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports the following statistics on MDMA use:

  • Almost 32 million Americans of ages 12 years and above are current illegal drug users.
  • The rate of use of MDMA is highest among people aged between 18 and 25 with 12.8% reporting having tried it at least once in their lifetime.
  • More than 17 million Americans admitted to having used ecstasy in 2013.

Support for You and Your Loved One

It can be difficult to understand or cope with a loved one’s addiction. You want them to stop, but they don’t see the problem. Knowing how to manage their behavior is challenging as well as stressful.

There are support groups available for you to help you process your loved one’s addiction

We provide information and resources for family members and friends struggling with a loved one’s addiction.

Ecstasy Addiction FAQs

Is Ecstasy Illegal?

Yes. The drug MDMA (better known as “ecstasy”) is illegal. Since 1985 it has been listed in the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, along with heroin and LSD. Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse

How Is Ecstasy Taken?

People usually take MDMA as a tablet or capsule (Molly), but it can also be taken as a liquid or snorted as powder.

What is the Difference Between Ecstasy, Molly, and MDMA?

MDMA is the only scientifically-approved common name for this drug, though it is better known by its slang terms “ecstasy” and “molly.” However, because MDMA is illegal, the risk of purchasing this drug is higher as it could be cut with other drugs or not contain any MDMA at all.

Written by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

7 references
  1. MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) DrugFacts. (2021, June 7). National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly
  2. Foundation for a Drug-Free World International. (n.d.). What Does Ecstasy Do? Get The Facts About MDMA - Drug-Free World. Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/ecstasy/imaginary-love-pill.html
  3. Ecstasy Or MDMA (also Known As Molly). (n.d.). DEA. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/ecstasy-or-mdma-also-known-molly
  4. What's the difference between molly, ecstasy and MDMA? (n.d.). Drug Policy Alliance. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://drugpolicy.org/mdma-ecstasy-molly/whats-difference-between-molly-ecstasy-and-mdma
  5. MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly) Drug Facts, Effects. (2021, June 25). NIDA for Teens. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly
  6. MDMA (Ecstasy) Fast Facts. (n.d.). National Drug Intelligence Center. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs3/3494/index.htm#illegal
  7. Bustamante, J. (2021, September 26). Drug Abuse Statistics. NCDAS. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://drugabusestatistics.org/

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