MDMA, also called Ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug that distorts sensory and time perception. Users often experience increased energy, happiness and a heightened sense of touch and warmth towards others. Adversely, some users may experience anxiety, depression or paranoia.
MDMA causes a release of serotonin, the chemical in the brain thought to influence mood, and can cause brain damage and memory loss. Because of the perceived pleasurable effects of MDMA, many casual users quickly become habitual users, increasing the likelihood of addiction.
What are the signs of MDMA addiction?
Research done about the addiction potential of MDMA shows varying results. However, the neurotransmitter systems targeted by MDMA are the same as those targeted by other addictive drugs. Some users report an increased tolerance to the drug and withdrawal symptoms when usage is stopped, which is indicative of physical addiction. Others continue to use the drug despite its negative impact on their health and day to day functioning, which is also a sign of addiction.
MDMA is psychologically addictive and can lead to compulsive use and addictive behavior in users. Its mood elevating properties can lead some users to self medicate for depression and other emotional problems. There are some signs of addiction to look out for, including:
- Pronounced happiness
- Sexual arousal and promiscuous behavior
- Heightened sensitivity to touch
- Confusion and memory loss
- Sudden bursts of energy
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
While the immediate effects of MDMA may be enjoyable, they are not predictable and can quickly become dangerous. Prolonged use only increases the likelihood that users will experience the negative effects of MDMA abuse.
What are the short term and long term effects of MDMA (Ecstasy)?
The effects of MDMA abuse can be dangerous and long lasting. While most people take MDMA in order to experience its pleasurable side effects, there are dangerous short term effects that can last from 4-6 hours, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Impaired judgement
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision
- Chills or sweats
MDMA has the potential to cause long lasting and sometimes permanent damage to parts of the brain that are responsible for learning, emotions and memory. The long term effects of MDMA abuse can be both physical and psychological and may include:
- Brain damage
- Impaired function and production of serotonin
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
Because MDMA is readily available at parties and clubs, it may seem harmless to new users. As tolerance builds and larger doses are necessary to achieve the same effect, users can quickly come dependent and may need Ecstasy addiction treatment to help them stop using.
What is the treatment for MDMA addiction?
The first step in any addiction recovery program is for the user to detox. MDMA detox can be uncomfortable as the body purges itself of the drug and begins to heal. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
Once an addict has gone through the detox process, a drug treatment program is the next step towards recovery. Behavioral therapy can help recovering addicts develop new methods of stress management as well as discover healthier ways to enjoy themselves. An inpatient Ecstasy rehab center may offer an holistic approach to recovery that can include counseling, diet and exercise.
While the short term effects of MDMA can be pleasurable, long term abuse can lead to emotional and physical problems that are difficult or impossible to handle alone. The addiction specialists at Luxury Beach Rehab can help you find long lasting sobriety.