Ecstasy Addiction: Abuse Signs, Effects & Treatment

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Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Do you have a problem with ecstasy and worry that the drug has control over your life? You might find that you need to use a small or high dose before you leave the house or that your drug usage makes you want to spend more time at home or with your friends than doing the things you need to do. There’s a chance that you might look at the treatment for ecstasy addiction because a close friend or loved one uses the drug. We will help you learn more about ecstasy and how you can get treatment for yourself or a loved one.

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

What Is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is an illegal street drug with street names that include E, MDMA, the love drug, X, and Adam. MDMA can also be a different drug that produces similar effects. Both drugs act as a stimulant and can induce hallucinations. You cannot legally own or use MDMA in the United States or Canada. While Canada outlawed the drug in 1976, the United States banned the use of ecstasy in the 1980s.

Appearance and Usage

The two most common ways to use ecstasy include snorting and swallowing it. Ecstasy is available as a pill or powder. The pills are often round and white in color, but it depends on who makes them. Some dealers sell tablets that have other designs and come stamped with decorations or phrases on the top. You may find ecstasy sold in different shapes and colors. The powdered version is usually gray or white in color and resembles small crystals. If you taste ecstasy, you’ll notice that it has a slightly bitter flavor.

To use the powdered version, the person will place a small dab on their gums and rub it into their mouths. They usually use a small dose and wait to feel the effects. If the effects take longer or they feel nothing, they will increase the dose. There is also a way to take ecstasy called bombing, which is when the user wraps the powder in rolling paper and swallows it. It’s common to drink large amounts of water when taking ecstasy.

Common Effects of Ecstasy

It takes an average of 15 minutes for the user to feel the full effects of ecstasy. It causes the body to release more serotonin, which can act as a stimulant and give the user more energy. The serotonin boost also provides a euphoric feeling that can make the individual feel happy and content. Ecstasy may also increase the dopamine and norephedrine found in the body, which may increase their chances of feeling addicted to the drug and cause an elevated heart rate.

Side Effects of Using Ecstasy

There are many side effects of using ecstasy such as tremors, teeth clenching, blurred vision, muscle cramps, and nausea. Users may also suffer from chills and sweats and have tense muscles or feel faint. There is a chance that users may suffer from dehydration too.

Ecstasy and Overdose

Though some claim that ecstasy is a safe drug, anyone who uses it has the potential to suffer from an overdose. An overdose can happen when the person uses too much of the drug. Some of the signs that someone had an overdose while using ecstasy include:

• Seizures and tremors
• Losing consciousness
• Panicked thoughts and feelings
• High blood pressure
• Fainting

If you suspect someone is overdosing on ecstasy, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Call 911, and let the operator know what you see and that you need an ambulance. You should stay on the phone with the operator until help arrives. In some cases, the paramedics will ask that you go to the hospital with your friend. Depending on the symptoms they have, paramedics may treat the person on the spot.

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

When you know someone with an ecstasy addiction, you will want to learn more about the drug and what you can do to help. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the research into an addiction to ecstasy is mixed. While some found no proof that the substance is addictive, others found that it can lead to addiction.

Signs of Ecstasy Usage

You can look for ecstasy abuse signs and symptoms to find out if someone you know abuses this drug. In addition to the changes that you see when someone is on the drug, you may also notice some withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms present themselves when someone who usually abuses ecstasy does not have access to the substance. The common signs of ecstasy withdrawal include fatigue and depression. You might notice that the user loses interest in their favorite things and that they seem down or sad. Other withdrawal symptoms include difficulty concentrating and loss of appetite.

How Long Do the Effects of Ecstasy Last?

People often use ecstasy at clubs and raves and other parties where they’re in large groups. They may have someone who watches over the group to keep everyone safe, but this is not always a guarantee. You should keep an eye on anyone who uses ecstasy because the effects can last quite a bit. The effects of ecstasy often start within the first hour of using the drug and can last for up to six hours. In some rare cases, users continue feeling the drug’s effects for days or longer.

Dangers of Use

Those who use ecstasy in certain situations increase their risks of suffering an overdose or from other side effects. They might dance and do other things without drinking water, which causes them to overheat. The hotter their bodies run, the greater their chances are of having seizures and muscle failures. Ecstasy usage can also cause swelling in the brain, which may lead to brain damage and death. Studies found that the long-term effects of using ecstasy are reversible if the person stops taking or abusing the drug.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 2.6 million people over the age of 12 used ecstasy within the last year. This organization also found that teens in high school and younger kids in junior high admitted to trying or using ecstasy. No matter how old the person who needs addiction treatment is, we can help you find and choose the right facility. We also offer support if you admit you have a problem with this drug.

Types of Treatment

You have different options when it comes to getting help for an addiction to ecstasy. Most treatment centers offer inpatient or residential programs. Long-term residential treatment allows you to spend six to 12 months in the program and includes 24/7 care. Short-term treatment centers offer shorter stays of no more than six weeks. There are also outpatient programs that some of our clients prefer.

Residential Programs Versus Outpatient Programs

When you seek help for your addiction or the addiction of a loved one, you need to consider the pros and cons of both residential and outpatient programs. Residential programs let you move away from home and stay away from other addicts who used ecstasy with you. These programs often offer more support because you can choose therapy sessions that benefit you.

With outpatient care, you can maintain any commitments that you have such as going to school or working a job. These programs often cost less and let you choose the professionals who will work on your case.

Addiction Treatment Steps

Treatment centers that offer help for ecstasy users usually require that the client goes through an assessment first. The assessment consists of both a physical exam that the doctor performs and a medical history that the doctor takes. These steps allow the doctor to learn more about your addiction, such as how long you used ecstasy and whether you experienced any negative side effects in the past. Other steps in the process include detox and therapy sessions.

Ecstasy Detox

To ensure that you stop taking ecstasy, most treatment centers offer a detox session. You can enter on a Friday and finish the detox by the end of the weekend, but you can also pick a time that works for you. Detox helps you eliminate the ecstasy left in your body and feel ready to work on your addiction. It may include prescription medications to treat your withdrawal symptoms and health care workers who watch over you to make sure that you eat and stay hydrated.

12 Steps to Recovery

A type of outpatient program that might benefit you is a 12-step program. The name comes from the 12 steps used in Alcoholics Anonymous, which later spawned similar programs for drug addicts. Many treatment centers offer 12-step programs as well as programs that you can join as an alternative to inpatient care. This type of program adds a form of social support and helps you feel like part of a community. You’ll work directly with others who abused ecstasy. If you complete a residential program, 12-step meetings can help you keep working on your recovery.

When to Seek Help for Ecstasy Abuse

The best time to seek help for your ecstasy abuse and addiction is when you no longer have as much control as the drug does. Do you find yourself spending more time with people who use the drug than you do with those who are clean and sober? Have you developed a habit of using ecstasy early in the morning before you head to work or school? Maybe you find that you need to take a dose just to get through the day. Those are all signs that you should seek help. Some of the other signs of drug addiction that you can look for in another person or yourself include:

• Interpersonal conflicts with family and friends
• Changes in appearance
• Acting euphoric for no reason and having a relaxed look
• Lack of interest in activities and people
• Changes in sleep patterns and habits

You can also look for some of the physical signs of ecstasy abuse such as dilated pupils, an increase in thirst, and excessive sweating, which is often the result of dehydration. Those who use a higher dose of ecstasy may suffer similar side effects along with symptoms such as anxiety, changes in their behavior, irritability, vomiting, and hallucinations. If you see several of these symptoms in someone who uses ecstasy, you may need to seek help for them.

Get Help for Ecstasy Addiction

Though there is no clear research to show that ecstasy has addictive properties, those who use it can develop a dependence on the substance. Ecstasy users like the euphoric feeling that the substance produces, which can lead to hypersexuality, risky behavior, and a variety of other problems. Some of these problems, such as muscle failure and dehydration, are potentially dangerous. We want to help you choose the right ecstasy treatment center for you or anyone in your life. Call us today to see how you can get the ecstasy addiction treatment that you need.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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