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Is Ecstasy Addictive?

Posted on January 24, 2022

Ecstasy is one of many party drugs your teen or college-age child may be exposed to on occasion. You may discover your son or daughter has even tried ecstasy more than once. How has it affected them and is it addictive may be two of the first questions you have at that point. 

We’ll answer those questions below, share some warning signs of heavy ecstasy use, and introduce some treatment options.

Ecstasy is one name for a psychoactive drug that affects the brain and central nervous system of its users. Someone taking the drug, in a capsule, liquid, or powder, will feel a boost in energy and pleasure. At the same time, they may experience side effects, including blurred vision and nausea.

Use of this kind of “party drug” can lead to addiction. Warning signs may be physical, psychological, and behavioral. Treatment for ecstasy addiction is available and can include an inpatient program with a family therapy element followed by outpatient therapy or continued counseling.

What is Ecstasy/MDMA/Molly?

Like many street drugs, this one shows up with a variety of names. They don’t all mean the exact same thing. You may hear it referred to as MDMA, ecstasy or E, Molly, or something else.

The form this type of drug takes differs too. It can be taken as a capsule or tablet, snorted as a powder, or swallowed in a liquid form. “Molly” is usually used as the name for a crystalline powder form.

People using Molly will experience an increase in energy and feelings of pleasure or emotional warmth. Also, they may experience a distortion in both sensory perception and time. These results can begin within 45 minutes of taking the drug by mouth, and they can last up to six hours.

The effects come from a change in brain chemicals, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Mood, energy levels, and heart rate all increase for someone using Molly. At the same time, use of the drug can create discomfort caused by other side effects. They include muscle cramping, nausea, blurred vision, and involuntary teeth clenching.

Taking a second dose as the effects of the first weaken isn’t uncommon. This kind of continued use, even at moderate levels, can lead to additional side effects over several days. Depression and sleep problems are among them. Loss of appetite and loss of interest in sexual activity can be results as well. Some people may experience irritability, impulsiveness, and aggression as well.

Addiction to Ecstasy

Is ecstasy addictive? The answer is a firm yes.

Like other psychoactive drugs that alter the brain and nervous system, ecstasy can be addictive. Evidence of an addiction to ecstasy will be revealed in a variety of ways. With a loved one you suspect is using ecstasy, you’ll want to look for any visible changes in their appearance, behavior, and mental health.

Ecstasy Addiction Warning Signs: Physical, Behavioral, Psychological

Among the physical signs of ecstasy addiction are a sharp increase in body temperature. Hyperthermia can lead to failure of certain organs, including the liver and kidneys. Large amounts of the drug can stay in the system as its use interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize ecstasy.

Strong cravings for the drug are another warning sign of ecstasy addiction. Frequent sweating, chills, and quickened pulse can be other indicators of a substance use disorder related to this type of drug.

Behavior to look for in someone addicted to ecstasy includes increased use of the drug. A person with a substance use disorder may spend more time thinking about getting ecstasy. This situation could progress into taking higher amounts at one time or using it more often.

Other behavior-related signs could be poor performance at school or work, avoiding family and friends who don’t use drugs, and inability to handle financial obligations when money is spent on buying ecstasy.

Psychological signs of ecstasy addiction can include feeling confused and suffering from depression. Some addicted to ecstasy also may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Severe anxiety can be another sign of addiction that shows up and lasts for days or weeks.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

Treatment is available for ecstasy addiction in young adults and adults of any age. Withdrawal symptoms can be both psychological and physical. They may be affected by age, gender, genetics, and tolerance.

Treatment can provide the tools to begin recovery from the use of ecstasy. A program personalized to the needs of the patient increases the chances for an optimum outcome. It’s important to determine if the use of the party drug was related to or worsened by an existing mental health condition. The diagnosis of a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, can help a patient learn healthy responses to their feelings while in treatment. 

The need for continuing care is essential for anyone with a substance use disorder. A treatment program can be followed by an outpatient program and continued counseling. Also, family support is a critical piece of the recovery process. Family therapy can be a valuable part of healing of an individual, especially when drug use has a direct or indirect connection to the overall health and wellness of the family unit.

Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.

We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.