Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is a popular synthetic drug that is frequently taken at parties and raves. Despite its reputation as a relatively harmless ‘party drug’, ecstasy addiction can easily develop, resulting in lasting physical and mental health problems.
Understanding ecstasy addiction
Ecstasy addiction is a medical condition characterised by repeated use of the drug even when it causes problems in someone’s life or health. Chronic ecstasy abuse can lead to dependency as the brain and body become accustomed to the drug’s effects.
Someone addicted to ecstasy might start to feel that they need to take it to have a good time or that they can’t have fun without it. They may even start to use it to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression.
Ecstasy works by increasing the activity of several important neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Over time, ecstasy addiction can hijack the brain’s reward system, increasing the intensity of cravings as well as making it harder to enjoy life without it.
The dangers of ecstasy addiction
Ecstasy addiction can lead to many serious health consequences, not least the risk of overdose. Due to the tolerance that can build up as a result of ecstasy addiction, it is often taken in higher doses than intended or is mixed with other substances, such as alcohol. Signs of ecstasy overdose include:
- Blurry vision
- Elevated body temperature
- Irregular heart rate
- Very high blood pressure
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
If you believe that someone is experiencing the symptoms of an ecstasy overdose, contact the emergency services immediately.
Other long-term effects of ecstasy addiction include cognitive impairment and problems remembering things. Studies have shown that MDMA addiction can lead to impairments in both short and long-term memory.
Ecstasy addiction can also reduce the brain’s ability to produce serotonin naturally, leading to prolonged periods of very low mood and depression. Addiction to MDMA has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
What causes addiction to ecstasy?
At Linwood House, we understand that every person’s addiction story is unique and that we each have our own reasons for becoming addicted to ecstasy. However, there are certain factors that can increase the risk of MDMA addiction.
Repeated ecstasy use leads to dependence on the drug and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer available. These symptoms can include:
- A sense of detachment from oneself
Some people continue to take ecstasy to avoid these withdrawal symptoms. This can also lead to a growing tolerance to ecstasy, causing people to take more and more just to feel the same effects.
Underlying mental health issues may also play a part in ecstasy addiction. Some people who suffer from conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may ‘self-medicate’ with ecstasy.
Signs of ecstasy addiction
The signs and symptoms of ecstasy addiction include:
- You can’t meet your responsibilities because you use ecstasy
- You spend a lot of time trying to obtain, use or recover from ecstasy
- You try to reduce or stop using but can’t do it
- You get cravings for ecstasy
- You have a negative mood or depression when you can’t use ecstasy
- You experience memory issues
- You have problems with sleep
- You have less of a sex drive than before
- You begin to feel anxiety
- You have difficulty thinking about how to carry out tasks
- You continue to use the drug despite the problems it causes
Five fast facts about ecstasy
1. Statistics for 2022 show a decline in ecstasy use among sixteen to twenty-four-year-olds. The figures show a drop of 72% compared to two years previously.
2. Ecstasy pills may contain cocaine, amphetamine, caffeine, methamphetamine, anaesthetics such as ketamine and an over-the-counter cough medicine ingredient called dextromethorphan.
3. The most common health problems with ecstasy are hyperthermia (a high increase in body temperature) and liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure.
4. Ecstasy can make you hear and see things that aren’t there. These hallucinations can tip into psychosis.
5. MDMA is the scientific term for ecstasy, and ‘Molly’ is a common slang name.
Getting help for ecstasy addiction at Linwood House
If you’re concerned about your ecstasy addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to Linwood House. We can take care of any physical dependency issues and treat your mental health. You’ll have the expert support you need to sustain long-term recovery from ecstasy addiction.
Contact us today to find out how ecstasy rehab at Linwood House can help you.