It is essential to understand the various signs of ecstasy use and addiction. Ecstasy is a street name drug used to refer to MDMA (chemical name: 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine). This illicit substance comes with properties that are potentially hallucinogenic in nature. It is also classified as a synthetic stimulant.
MDMA is also referred to as molly. Both molly and ecstasy are manufactured from MDMA. However, ecstasy is circulated as a designer pill in tablet-for while molly is used as a white crystal-like substance.
MDMA was prescribed by doctors in the 1970s as a psychotherapy aid. This drug did not have the support structure that comes with clinical trials or approval from the FDA. For a while, MDMA was wildly popular and was even praised by many as being beneficial to mental wellness.
However, spates of hallucinations and mentally debilitating effects among users created lots of alarm - so much so that by 1985, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had made up its mind to label the drug as an illegal drug with zero medicinal uses.
Users of MDMA may cut it with any of the following substances:
Pure MDMA is hard to come by. Most of the drug in the U.S. is smuggled from Canada. The drug has been classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that it has very high abuse potential. It is important to reach out to a rehab facility if you believe that you have problems with ecstasy use and abuse.
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The drug is responsible for multiple deaths as well as thousands upon thousands of hospital-visits every year. This is proof that it is not quite as harmless as many dealers would have you believe.
Those who use and abuse ecstasy do so in capsule or tablet form. Some prefer to swallow the liquid form or snort the powder. It is possible to receive a drug that is not ecstasy - such as bath salts, for instance - after ordering the drug.
Ecstasy is used widely in clubs. Because of this, users suffer the risk of "overheating" or getting dehydrated. This is dangerous, and if left unchecked, the organs could stop working altogether. Undetected cardiac issues may be brought to the fore by ecstasy use. If you know somebody who uses ecstasy often, you must get in touch with a health provider.
Multiple side effects come from using MDMA. Since it's almost impossible to access pure MDMA, there is a high likelihood that every pill you swallow or snort has been cut with other substances, such as caffeine, rat poison, or heroin. This situation might expose you to a myriad of health consequences.
Once the effects of ecstasy wear off, many users "double stack" or "re-up." This points to taking more of the drug so they can restore the feelings of euphoria and looseness. Users will do this to avoid "crash" symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, impulsivity, and agitation.
For some, unnecessary aggressiveness becomes part of life. They may also struggle with sleep problems and experience a severely blunted appetite. Users may also have trouble focusing on tasks. Repeated use of the drug may get in the way of brain chemistry, which could result in wild mood swings.
Ecstasy is highly addictive. Research has shown that it is not as addictive as some of the other highly addictive substances. However, some people claim to have been addicted to the drug after the 2nd or third use. Either way, it is undeniable that the drug has addiction potential.
The trouble with recognizing an ecstasy addiction is that it does not come with the obvious withdrawal symptoms. Thus, it can be hard to determine if you, or a loved one, are addicted. But one can expect dependence, tolerance, and addiction after prolonged use of the drug. Many young people who dabble in the drug in social settings are often ignorant of this fact, and as such, addiction creeps up on them swiftly.
Addicted persons will often continue to use and abuse the drug even when they are familiar with the consequences. Also, when the drug is not primarily responsible for the development of dependence, it can be a very vital fixture in your multi-drug addiction patchwork.
Ecstasy is very popular among young people. This is especially so with college students. College students like to use and abuse the drug in concerts and raves. The drug is so widely abused that research estimates that at least 1 in 10 college students has dabbled in it. It is also a fact that rates of polydrug use and abuse are higher among users of ecstasy compared to other groups of drug users.
A study unearthed that almost 98% of college students who had dabbled in ecstasy had also abused marijuana. Abusers of ecstasy are also far likelier (anywhere from 3x to 30x) to abuse LSD, inhalants, heroin, and cocaine.
Ecstasy use often starts as a harmless-seeming experiment. But by and by, dependence establishes itself, followed by tolerance and, ultimately, addiction. When you find it impossible to function normally without the drug, then addiction has set in.
The signs of ecstasy use that you should keep an eye on include:
Ecstasy tends to promote feelings of happiness, well-being, and friendliness. The drugs will also enhance your sense of sound, sight, and smell. These drugs are commonly abused in raves and parties, which allows the user to take advantage of the heightened sensations that come with using the drug.
As with many drugs, ecstasy interrupts the brain's pleasure center and tampers with natural dopamine levels. An ecstasy high can last anywhere from 3-5 hours. Depending on several factors, including but not limited to gender, body weight, and the amount taken, the effects would typically continue for up to 8 hours.
Ecstasy is illegal. As such, any use of the drug is considered abuse. There are versions of ecstasy which do not contain MDMA. The buyer is often none the wiser. Even worse, MDMA is sometimes replaced with PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine).
PMA may give rise to effects similar to those of MDMA. However, the onset of PMA is longer. It is also less potent. An user abusing large amounts of PMA runs a very high risk of overdosing.
Effects of using ecstasy include:
Overdosing on the drug points to taking more than the recreational dose. An overdose may lead to seizures. You may also foam at the mouth and experience elevated body temperatures. This latter may lead to heat stroke or even aggravate an underlying heart condition. Both of these can be fatal.
Long-term MDMA use can lead to a host of compulsive disorders. It can also lead to the neglect of vital responsibilities and obligations in school, work, commitments, and relationships. One way to recognize the onset of addiction is to acknowledge a shift in priorities, with ecstasy use and abuse trumping everything else. Ecstasy has also been known to lead to impulsiveness. Ecstasy abusers are more prone to indulging in impulsive, unnecessarily dangerous activities.
Prolonged ecstasy use may lead to considerable confusion in the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Extensive nerve damage may also occur. The brain (and your other bodily organs) may also be severely affected. Long term side effects may include:
The journal "Clinical Corrections" reports that ecstasy may cause cognitive problems when used for an extended period. Users and abusers have trouble with problem-solving, executive processing, emotional intelligence, and logical reasoning. Mental dysfunction may also result.
With ecstasy interrupting regular brain chemistry, long-term users of the drug may have great trouble finding joy and pleasure in any activity that does not include ecstasy. Ecstasy withdrawal may lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Supervised medical detox is recommended if you are attempting to get clean.
The 1st step in overcoming any addiction is detoxing the drug from your system. This process is typically challenging. After detoxing, you need to move into either inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, or extensive counseling.
Ecstasy is often abused in tandem with other drugs. Because of this reason, treatment plans ought to be tailored according to the individual. If other drugs are being abused as well, the treatment plan should include treatment for them too. Underlying mental health conditions should be looked into as well.
Some of the options for Ecstasy addiction treatment include:
Heavy users and abusers of the drug may go through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in their attempts to quit. Unlike many drugs, ecstasy withdrawal is not typically painful. If anything, the bulk of withdrawal symptoms will be psychological. Symptoms may include:
A medically monitored detox will ensure that all ensuing complications are tended to promptly and in a professional capacity. During the detox process, the medical practitioners will keep a close eye on your vitals, body temperature, hydration levels, Etc. They will also check the responsiveness of your pupils.
It takes about 3-4 days for lingering ecstasy toxins to be cleared from your system. The severity and duration of the drug detox process will be reliant on how long you have used the drug, the frequency of use, and the presence of polydrug use.
Some ecstasy addictions are potent enough to the point where nothing else but inpatient treatment makes sense. Inpatient rehab centers typically have high rates of success. They allow you to focus exclusively on treatment and block out the rest of the noise.
Many people use ecstasy to relieve sadness in their lives. They turn to the drug to cope. Rehab centers have professionals who will equip you with ways to keep stress at bay and deal with emotional setbacks. The length of time you will require to recover will depend on how severe your addiction is, and how long you used it.
After rehab, it will be vital that you establish a long-term plan. Support from individual counseling and group therapy can all provide long-lasting help in overcoming your addiction.
Social reinforcement has also been shown to be effective in treating addictions. A person seeking recovery may reap the benefits of having healthy relationships and a strong network of support.
People in recovery usually show the highest rates of success when they adhere to the 12-step model used by the likes of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. SMART Recovery is also useful. It is also vital that you continue therapy to manage the signs of ecstasy use, particularly if you are also struggling with co-occurring mental health or medical disorders such as anxiety.