Ecstasy Dependence – Signs of Ecstasy Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance
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- Is Ecstasy Addictive?
- Understanding Ecstasy Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction
Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). While it is chemically similar to amphetamines, which do have legitimate medical uses, ecstasy itself is an illegal drug. Ecstasy tablets or capsules are manufactured in unregulated laboratories and sold by criminal dealers on the black market. The use of any quantity of ecstasy whatsoever is therefore considered substance abuse.
Is Ecstasy Addictive?
This question is best rephrased as “How addictive is ecstasy?” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 43 percent of ecstasy users become dependent upon the drug. These users are aware of the dangers of ecstasy, but because of their physical and psychological dependence upon it, they are unable to stop using it. Please call 1-888-803-9961 or use our contact form to find out more about our rehabilitation programs if you or a loved one feels compelled to take ecstasy despite knowing its dangers.
Understanding Ecstasy Dependency and Tolerance
Ecstasy affects the part of the brain that controls mood, sleep, aggression, and response to pain. It binds itself to receptors that normally process natural hormones that regulate these responses and causes excessive release of these natural hormones. Ecstasy dependence occurs because a person gets used to and desires more and more of the effects that this release of hormones causes. This psychological dependence then gives rise to an additional physical dependence, in which the brain itself becomes accustomed to the chemical reactions that ecstasy produces, and the ecstasy addict is then unable to function without increasingly frequent doses of ecstasy.
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The main effect of ecstasy is the “high,” which includes perceptions of increased energy, removal of emotional inhibitions, increased affection for others, and sensual and perceptional distortion similar to that caused by hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. However, once the high wears off, ecstasy causes depression, confusion, and anxiety, as well as sleep problems. The ecstasy addict then feels compelled to ingest even more MDMA in order to reproduce the high, and this often leads to serious health problems. Coming down from ecstasy is a very unpleasant process, and it leads the addict to abuse the drug to the point that permanent brain damage can occur.
Continued use of ecstasy can lead to loss of memory, as well as damage to the heart and other vital organs. Even after a few days of continuous use, MDMA can produce permanent and detrimental effects to hormone receptors in the brain.
Moreover, as ecstasy is an illegal and unregulated drug, there is no guarantee that tablets or capsules sold as ecstasy are actually pure MDMA. Ecstasy tablets containing even more dangerous drugs, or drugs that combine with MDMA to cause very dangerous side effects, are commonly found on the black market. The potential for disastrous side effects from mixing other drugs with MDMA is very high, and the effects of adulterated MDMA tablets can be lethal. If you or your loved ones continue to use MDMA, either by itself or along with other drugs or alcohol, despite having experienced side effects, please call us at 1-888-803-9961 or use our contact form to find out more about our ecstasy rehabilitation programs.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Withdrawal from ecstasy is an unpleasant process that leads to loss of appetite, tiredness, depression, and an inability to concentrate. Withdrawal symptoms that occur when a user ceases to take MDMA are, in fact, the very opposite of the high to which the user has become accustomed. Professional management during the withdrawal period is necessary, so it is advised to call 1-888-803-9961 or use our contact form to find out about professional services that can help you or your loved one deal with withdrawal from ecstasy.
Detoxification for treatment of ecstasy abuse and addiction can include the use of medications that make withdrawal symptoms easier to manage. Any treatment for MDMA addiction should be carried out by an experienced professional.
Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction
A holistic approach is the key to success in treating ecstasy addiction. In addition, medical treatment may be needed to counteract organ damage that may have been caused by MDMA or other substances that the user has ingested along with MDMA. Understanding what attracted the ecstasy user to this harmful substance is the goal of ecstasy abuse treatment, and ongoing counseling is necessary to ensure that a former MDMA user does not resume use of the drug. Group and individual therapy in either inpatient or outpatient settings has shown the most success in helping ecstasy addicts return to normal, productive lives.