Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug with both stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. It generally comes in tablet form in various colors and is often stamped with one of various logos (stars, hearts, four-leaf clovers etc.). Its primary ingredient is MDMA (methylenedioxyphenethylamine), which is classified as an amphetamine and gives the user intense euphoric and empathogenic effects. Despite popular belief, MDMA addiction is possible and it requires the attention of an ecstasy addiction treatment program.
Ecstasy has emerged as a drug of choice in raves and dance clubs across the country and its users will often feel intense feelings of empathy, a sense of freedom from inhibitions and a heightened sensitivity to touch. These effects last roughly four to six hours, after which the user will start to crash and move towards feeling the exact opposite; feeling tired and depressed.
How Does It Work in the Brain?
The MDMA in Ecstasy increases the activity of three neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Like with other amphetamines, these neurotransmitters are released from their storage sites, which results in higher levels of neurotransmitter activity. Compared to methamphetamine, MDMA causes a greater increase in serotonin release and a smaller increase in dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s involved in the regulation of pain, appetite, sleep and mood.
This excessive release of serotonin causes the euphoric effects in the user. This release of serotonin is so excessive, that it causes the brain to become depleted of serotonin, which then contributes to the negative effects that the user will experience hours after the initial effects wear off.
Users may start to crave the drug’s hallucinogenic properties, which causes many to develop psychological addictions to the substance. In order to overcome these addictions, users have to find comprehensive ecstasy addiction treatment that helps them overcome the psychological aspects of addiction.
- Dilated pupils
- Muscle cramps
- Profuse sweating
- Tight and clenched jaw
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Long hours awake
- Acting awkardly empathetic
- Unusual levels of energy
- Acting delusional
- Involuntary eye movements
- Severe depression
- Hallucinations (if taken in high enough doses)
Symptoms of Ecstasy Withdrawal
Like with other drugs, abusing Ecstasy for a prolonged period of time can lead to an increased tolerance, which puts the user at an increased risk of overdose and other health complications. This drug has such a profound impact on the brain that users who have stopped using the drug after constantly being on it do tend to suffer a range of problems such as:
- Severe anxiety
- Cognitive impairment
What Happens If I Don’t Find Ecstasy Addiction Treatment?
Ecstasy abuse can lead to long-term brain damage if goes untreated, especially if it is being used along with other drugs, which is often the case. Prolonged Ecstasy abuse can lead to long-term changes in brain chemistry.
- Damage to brain functioning in learning, emotions and sleep
- Degenerating of nerve endings and nerve branches
- Kidney failure
- Cardiorespiratory problems
Don’t let ecstasy addiction control your life for another day. Call 855-416-8202 to learn how Morninside Recovery can help you.
“I would go to clubs every night of the week. I’d eat whatever pills they were selling that night. I was a freelance graphic artist working from home. But instead of designing on my computer, I’d be sleeping off the drugs. I knew it had to end.” – Morningside Alumni