The signs of ecstasy addiction may be hard to spot unless you observe the individual while they are on the drugs. While ecstasy is considered not as addictive as heroin or cocaine, it can cause other adverse effects including nausea, hallucinations, chills, sweating, increases in body temperature, tremors, involuntary teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. Ecstasy users also report after-effects of anxiety, paranoia, and depression. Ecstasy comes in all shapes and colors. Ecstasy is also known as XTC, X, Versace, the hug drug, the love pill, and numerous other names reflecting the various imprints on the pills.
When an individual takes ecstasy the signs of use typically take anywhere from a half hour to a hour and can last for several hours on end. Often these is a 'rush' feeling followed by a feeling of calm and a sense of well being to those around, often with a heightened perception of color and sound. Some people actually feel sick and experience stiffening of arms, legs and particularly the jaw along with sensations of thirst, depression and paranoia Ecstasy often gives a feeling of energy and has some mild hallucinogenic effects as well. Sleeplessness is another sign of ecstasy addiction. This enables the user to endure two- to three-day parties. Consequently, ecstasy use sometimes results in severe dehydration or exhaustion.
Ecstasy is most often available in tablet form and is usually ingested orally. It is also available as a powder and is sometimes snorted or smoked, but rarely injected. Ecstasy is most often distributed at late-night parties called "raves," nightclubs, and rock concerts. Users start with just one pill, but may increase the number taken at one time due to its reduced impact per usage after the first few experiences. Some may build up tolerance to take as many as ten pills or more at one time with follow up doses during the night.
The pills or capsules are expensive, commonly $15 to $25 a hit in many areas and $35 to $45 in some more remote areas. When the supply is low, suspects may mix meth with LSD or ketamine or the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) even GHB powder (anything that gives the hallucinogenic aspect) and represent it to be MDMA. Or, it may be mostly bunk (filler) or dangerous random chemicals or just caffeine and/or ephedrine mixtures (which would actually qualify as “herbal ecstasy” which is also sold at the raves as an extension of or addition to the MDMA).
Ecstasy is often used in combination with other substances. Once a person begins using Ecstasy or begins frequenting events where Ecstasy is widely used, a vast array of drugs become accessible as well. Ecstasy users often seek to increase their high by combining their pill with a dose of marijuana, LSD, Ketamine, GHB, amphetamines, cocaine, or heroin.
Many signs of ecstasy addiction are similar to those found with the use of amphetamines and cocaine. They include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills, sweating, and such psychological problems as confusion, depression, sleep problems, craving, severe anxiety, paranoia, and psychotic episodes.
An ecstasy overdose is characterized by high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, and, in more severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and a drastic rise in body temperature. Ecstasy overdoses can be fatal, as they may result in heart failure or extreme heat stroke.
Signs of ecstasy addiction and common paraphernalia associated with ecstasy use:
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