Ecstasy or MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethampheta-mines) is a synthetic stimulant drug with hallucinogenic qualities. The street names for the drug include; X, roll, E, XTC and Adam. Ecstasy comes in pill form and oftentimes has a brand or picture on the tablet. Most often associated with the “rave” or “emo” culture, Ecstasy is used to keep up energy and for mood enhancement.
People who use Ecstasy report feelings of intense pleasure which includes an increase in feelings of self-confidence and energy. Effects of Ecstasy include peacefulness, acceptance and empathy. Other side effects include clenched teeth, loss of inhibition, transfixion on sights and noises, nausea, blurry vision, chills, sweating and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
The stimulating effects of Ecstasy lead the user to dance for long periods of time and when combined with the hot, crowded conditions of a night club or rave, can lead to severe dehydration, hyperthermia or a spike in body temperature. Because of the dangers to the vital organs, Ecstasy addiction is not something to be ignored.
Long-term and repeated use of the drug can be a prime indicator of an Ecstasy addiction and may ultimately cause damage to the cells that produce serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical responsible for the regulation of mood, appetite, pain, memory and learning which can interfere with memory.
Ecstasy is considered a Schedule I drug which has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. Many people who use Ecstasy have side effects and symptoms similar to those encountered with other amphetamines or cocaine. Side effects include:
- Mental confusion
- Sleep disturbances
- Physical and mental cravings
- Paranoia during and sometimes for extended periods of time after taking Ecstasy
- Muscle tension
- Blurry vision
- Rapid eye movement
- Psychotic episodes
- Teeth clenching
- Increase heart rate/blood pressure
Users who have a long-term Ecstasy addiction can experience significant damage to the parts of the brain that control thoughts and memories. It is thought Ecstasy causes damage to the neurons that use serotonin for communication with other neurons. Ecstasy is also relative structurally to the effects of methamphetamine, which has been proven to cause damage to the neurons containing dopamine.
Ecstasy is one of the most popular of all recreational drugs and has also been used in “couples” therapy. While there is a relatively small risk of death, 2 per 100,000 Ecstasy users have experienced extremely negative reactions resulting in death. Ecstasy addiction is dismissed by some people, though medical science has found a definitive link that shows long term use can indeed lead a person into dependency and eventual addiction.
There are no specific treatments outlined for Ecstasy addiction or abuse. However, the most effective treatment for drug addiction is cognitive-behavior exercises and therapy, drug abuse recovery groups, rehabilitation and a qualified treatment program.
If you or someone you love is facing an addiction to Ecstasy, there is help available and you have options. Please contact us today for further information.