The risk of ecstasy addiction has increased as the drug has steadily grown in both popularity and strength. Ecstasy is composed primarily of 3-4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA), which, over the years, has been produced cheaper and more efficiently as evidenced by ecstasy’s current incarnation: molly. Molly is a more potent form of ecstasy whose prevalence has overtaken the weaker chemical compounds marketed as ecstasy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Whatever the street name or exact composition, ecstasy is a dangerous and often fatal drug with long-lasting effects to both the individual and society. Drug rehab and treatment centers have been faced with treating the awful effects and symptoms of ecstasy addiction.
Symptoms and Effects of Ecstasy Use
The symptoms and effects of ecstasy use can be traced to the chemical interactions taking place between MDMA and a brain under its influence. MDMA is a stimulant characterized by amphetamine-like effects. MDMA triggers the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin – a neurotransmitter – affects a number of brain- and body-functions, including:
- Sexual desire
- Behavior in certain social settings
Because of serotonin’s effects on behavior, its excessive release caused by MDMA triggers in users a number of euphoric effects, including:
- Acceptance of others and of one’s surroundings
- General euphoria that becomes heightened by a user’s increased sensitivity to touch, light, sound, and other stimuli
These effects may be coupled with such symptoms as teeth-clenching, increased body temperature, dilated pupils, chills, sweating, and blurred visions.
Beyond ecstasy’s euphoric effects, there are a number of short- and long-term risks associated with its use. In the short-term, the loss of inhibitions associated with MDMA use may cause a user to make dangerous decisions that he or she may not otherwise make, such as engaging in risky sexual behavior or driving while intoxicated. Furthermore, ecstasy and molly (no matter how pure it is purported to be) are often “cut” with other harmful agents that may include illicit drugs. Long-term effects include a decreased ability to learn, memory loss, an inability to regulate temperature by the body, and depression.
Lastly, whether in the short-term or in the long-term, because serotonin affects so many of the body’s functions (and because ecstasy is so often cut with unknown chemical agents), ecstasy use may prove fatal regardless of previous or prolonged use.
Ecstasy Addiction Treatment & Rehab
Though ecstasy’s exact addictive properties remain a topic of debate, the dependence on ecstasy often necessitates addiction treatment and drug rehab. Further, because users are often drawn to MDMA’s euphoric effects as an escape, a dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders may be required in order to better root out the cause of an individual’s likelihood of dependence. If you or a loved one is suffering from ecstasy addiction, please call Cornerstone Recovery Center – a drug rehab treatment center in South Florida – and take the next step in breaking free of MDMA dependence. You may yet find that life can prove beautiful on its own and without the aid of life-threatening substances.