Our Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab provides a specialized ecstasy addiction treatment program to anyone who depends on this specific substance and is ready to begin recovery. Our professional medical team will design an individual detox protocol and treatment plan that will suit every patient’s needs. Then, digging down to the root of the addiction, a dedicated doctor, nurse, or licensed therapist will help patients safely go through withdrawals and enter their new lives, maintaining sobriety.
What Is MDMA (Ecstasy)?
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), better known as “ecstasy,” “Molly,” or “E-bomb,” is a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen. It produces an energizing effect, but it has also been described as an entactogen—a drug that can increase self-awareness and empathy.
The term “ecstasy” refers to MDMA in tablet or capsule form, which is the most common way the drug is taken. Researchers have determined that many ecstasy tablets contain not only MDMA at different concentrations but also several other drugs or drug combinations that can be extremely harmful and even life-threatening. When a substance is mixed or “cut” with other drugs or harmful substances to make it more potent or addictive, the process is referred to as lacing a drug.
“Molly” is another name for ecstasy/MDMA and is slang for molecular. Molly is the crystalline powder form of MDMA, which is usually sold as a powder or in capsules. Some people mistakenly believe that Molly is a purer form of drug that doesn’t contain contaminants that are often found in ecstasy, but this isn’t true.
In fact, many drugs sold as Molly that were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have shown that these substances often contain drugs that aren’t even Molly.1 For instance, epidemiologists from Washing state and Florida reported in 2013 that drugs being sold as Molly were actually methylone, another synthetic stimulant that’s commonly found in “bath salts.”
Ethylone, a synthetic stimulant similar to methylone but with differences in how it binds to the brain, replaced methylone in 2015 as the main substance sold as Molly. This means that for people who take Molly, they often don’t know what they’re actually taking, which places them at risk for serious health complications.
Drug dealers may add or lace MDM with other substances to make their products seem weightier, allowing them to sell less for more. Certain substances – such as methamphetamine, the anesthetic ketamine, caffeine, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, heroin, phencyclidine (PCP), and cocaine – may also be used to lace drugs to make them more addictive and potent, allowing the drug dealer to build a consistent and addicted clientele.
However, even if a person is to only consume MDMA, then a user may become addicted to the side effects, which include:
- An increased sense of pleasure from physical touch
- Enhanced energy
- Increased alertness
- Loss of time
- Strengthened feelings of connectedness with others
- The user feels a state of euphoria
Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse
The physical effects of ecstasy can interfere with the body to regulate temperature or metabolism. Chronic users may experience certain types of cognitive or memory tasks to be extremely difficult. Also, ecstasy affects the heart, and the majority of users share common side effects of ecstasy, which include fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and difficulty concentrating.
The drug’s primary effects are in the brain on neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, sleep, and pain tolerance. It is highly advised not to mix this drug with other substances nor to quit rapidly without proper treatment.
Not all MDMA side effects are pleasurable. In a nutshell, adverse side effects of ecstasy include:
- Depersonalization (mild detachment from oneself)
- High blood pressure
- Hot flashes or chills
- Illogical or disorganized thoughts
- Increased body temperature
- Involuntary jaw clenching
- Lack of appetite
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle or joint stiffness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Panic attacks
- Restless legs
In the hours after using the drug, ecstasy can significantly reduce perception and prediction of motion. For instance, users may struggle to perceive whether they’re in danger of crashing into another car while driving under the influence of MDMA. Once the drug is metabolized in the body, its metabolites or byproducts can interfere with the body’s ability to break down the drug.
As a result, additional doses of MDMA can increase the risk of toxicity or overdose. Additionally, combining MDMA with other substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, amphetamines, or marijuana, may also increase the risk of adverse health effects.1 As scary as this sounds, the good news is that our ecstasy addiction treatment center offers the medical services required to help long-time users safely regain their physical and mental health.
Ecstasy (MDMA) Addiction Symptoms
Knowing the signs of ecstasy abuse and addiction can help you recognize what’s happening to a loved one and even help you realize if you need help. Most people who abuse ecstasy or Molly experience increased energy and confidence, and they tend to believe that everyone around them is their friend. As a result, they may be more social and empathetic.
Some additional signs of ecstasy abuse include:
- A sense of euphoria
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Desire to touch or be touched
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Feeling in love with someone
- Heightened emotions
- Heightened sensory perception
- Inability to feel, or reduced sense of, pain
- Increased capacity for empathy
- Increased positive sensations
- Mild confusion
- Muscle tension
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Staying awake for days at a time
- Teeth clenching
- Unnatural, long-lasting energy
In addition to these symptoms and the adverse effects we previously mentioned, brain damage is also a possible danger of MDMA abuse. Anxiety, depression, confusion, and memory problems can result from ecstasy-related brain damage.
Our Addiction Treatment for Ecstasy
During the rehabilitation component of treatment, the MDMA abuser will engage in a variety of different therapies, including one-on-one counseling, small group, family educational lectures, relapse prevention groups, and didactic lectures. Due to the number of different chemicals in ecstasy, the medically assisted detox process can be complex. Thankfully, our highly trained staff of professionals and licensed therapists can ensure safety and effectiveness throughout the recovery process.
If you or a loved one is addicted to ecstasy, help is only one phone call away. Contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers today to learn more about our MDMA addiction treatment or other forms of Massachusetts substance abuse treatment.
- NIH – What is MDMA?