Ecstasy Addiction Treatment
Ecstasy is a drug that can cause mental addiction and we treat many young men and women for whom ecstasy is a primary drug of choice. Ecstasy is potentially fatal every time it is used and is extremely dangerous if mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
Ecstasy is a street name for MDMA, a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Ecstasy is commonly misspelled as ecstacy, extasy, extacy, and has street names such as Adam, XTC, hug, beans, molly, and love drug. It's a neurotoxic drug with many negative effects. Ecstasy is taken orally in tablet form the majority of the time. Occasionally, ecstasy is "snorted" (taken nasally), and in extremely rare cases, we've heard of young adults smoking or even taking ecstasy intravenously.
People who take ecstasy say it makes them feel happy and creates positive (though artificial) feelings. The young adults we've spoken with about ecstasy have indicated that they take the drug because it can help to eliminate social anxiety and foster empathy with others, allowing all who are using it to experience a sense of “belonging.”
Ecstasy became very popular in the rave and electronic music party scene in the 1990s. We have treated hundreds of young men and women for whom ecstasy is their primary drug of choice. We have found that the men and women who use ecstasy are also prone to have abused LSD, alcohol, marijuana, and crystal methamphetamine.
Ecstasy Is a Very Dangerous Drug
In our 23 years of treating men and women for addiction to substances, one of the most prevalent and dangerous misperceptions about drug use we have found is that ecstasy is not as dangerous as cocaine or crystal meth. Ecstasy is an extremely dangerous drug. One of the main reasons is that street ecstasy is commonly a cocktail of dangerous chemicals that can include speed, heroin, poison, or any other substance.
In high doses, ecstasy can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular failure. Because ecstasy can interfere with its own metabolism, or ability to break down within the body, potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short periods of time. Ecstasy use sometimes results in severe dehydration or exhaustion.
Users of ecstasy face the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.
Psychological effects can include confusion, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. Erratic mood swings and depression can lead to isolation from friends and family. Another common effect of ecstasy use is decreased performance on the job or in school.
Many of the psychological effects of taking the drug can last for days or weeks after taking it. On rare occasions, the use of ecstasy can be fatal. The drug exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Chronic users of ecstasy perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Among other factors, some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with ecstasy.
Trained professionals at our treatment centers work with those addicted to ecstasy on an individual basis and in group sessions, in sensitive, structured settings to begin the journey back to a productive, non-addicted life.
Ecstasy Treatment Facts
Our staff has a keen sense of what kind of treatment the ecstasy user needs to successfully overcome their addiction to this and other party drugs (as well as alcoholism). We have found that the best rehab program for a habitual ecstasy user involves a great deal of counseling and close monitoring of the client's emotional needs and sense of well-being. Users of ecstasy (as well as methamphetamine or "speed") often struggle with depression because of deficiencies in their levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a mood chemical that controls emotions and functions like sleep, appetite, moods, and pain perception. We also focus our attention on the education element of the treatment process and require that our clients become aware of the specific dangers of ecstasy so they can understand the potential damage it will do to them if they continue their use.
Studies about the repercussions of frequent or long-term ecstasy use are finally being released – and the results are alarming. There is potential for permanent damage to neurons that create serotonin (which is critical for learning, sleep, and positive moods). Ultimately, users risk permanently damaging their brain in a way that can result in depression, memory loss, anxiety, and other psychological damage.
More Facts about Ecstasy
MDMA was first synthesized in the early twentieth century by a German pharmaceutical company to be used as an appetite suppressant. Ecstasy was actually used by some psychologists in the 1960s and 1970s who experimented with its mood-altering properties during therapy sessions.
It is extremely common for users of ecstasy to report experiencing anxiety, paranoia, and depression after using ecstasy. Ecstasy use and distribution has fluctuated throughout recent history, but it is still one of the more popular "club" or "party" drugs. Ecstasy users often seek to increase their high by combining the pill with a dose of marijuana, LSD, ketamine, GHB, amphetamines, cocaine, or heroin. This experimentation can be fatal if an overdose occurs, and can significantly contribute to drug addiction.
Getting Help for Ecstasy Addiction
We have a team of addiction experts standing by to answer your questions and assist you in getting help for addiction to ecstasy, alcohol, or any other drug. You can also fill out an anonymous form to receive information via email or chat online by clicking on the button to your left.
If you are a family member or a loved one of someone who is abusing drugs, you can visit our page with advice to the families of a drug user or our page about what to say to a loved one who is addicted.
We also recommend that anyone who wants to learn more about what addiction treatment is like watch our video about addiction treatment.