Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, mandy, molly, and pills, is one of the most used drugs in the UK. The synthetic drug is both a hallucinogen and a stimulant, causing enhanced mood, energy, emotional warmth and a distorted sense of time.
Despite this, ecstasy can also produce dangerous side effects that can lead to serious health issues including addiction. If you or your loved one are displaying signs of ecstasy addiction, it is time to reach out for help.
What is ecstasy?
Ecstasy comes in various forms but is usually taken as a white/grey powder or as pills with different colours and shapes. These pills often have designs stamped on them, such as popular brand logos and characters, to downplay ecstasy’s addictive nature.
Powdered MDMA is usually taken via the nasal passages or by rubbing it on the gums (gumming). Typically, it takes around 30 minutes to kick in and lasts two to four hours on average. After the initial dose starts to fade, people may take more doses to maintain their high. When this high wears off, users may experience a so-called “come down”, leaving them feeling extremely low for several days.
This can lead down a path of developing an addiction to the drug as users take more ecstasy to avoid this unpleasant experience.
Understanding ecstasy addiction
Ecstasy addiction is a condition characterised by the compulsive use of ecstasy despite the negative consequences.
This disorder changes the brain’s decision-making, motivation, memory and reward centre functions. These changes are driven by large amounts of neurotransmitters released when ecstasy is abused. These are dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin and the positive emotions these chemicals provoke lead the brain to want more.
When people take ecstasy regularly, their body builds up a tolerance, leading them to consume more to get the same effects. This can develop into physiological and psychological dependence.
At this point, the body has adjusted to the constant presence of ecstasy, so when the drug’s concentration is altered (i.e. when a person stops taking ecstasy), they experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These are classic signs of ecstasy addiction.
How do I know if I am addicted to ecstasy?
It can be difficult to spot the symptoms of ecstasy addiction, with the symptoms being different from person to person. However, in addition to cravings and withdrawal symptoms, here are some other common signs of addiction to ecstasy:
- Wanting to stop taking ecstasy but not being able to
- Uncharacteristic mood swings
- Not able to meet responsibilities in relationships and at work
- Getting into new legal or financial trouble due to ecstasy use
- Having high levels of energy
- Developing irregular sleeping patterns
- Staying awake for long periods
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Pupil dilation
- Clenched jaw
- Losing interest in activities that once brought joy
- Changes in social circles
If you recognise these ecstasy addiction signs in yourself, it may be time to seek professional help, so contact us today.
The effects of ecstasy
The effects of ecstasy vary from person to person, though there are some effects that people commonly experience. These include:
- Increased feelings of ‘love’
- Increased heart rate and body temperature
- Involuntary jaw clenching
- Blurred vision
- Increase in energy levels
- Muscle cramps
- Sleep issues
- Decreased appetite
- Memory and attention problems
- Disinterest in sex
Dangers of ecstasy abuse
Ecstasy is usually taken in clubs where people are already hot from dancing, the lack of ventilation and the large number of people. However, because ecstasy raises body temperature, it can quickly cause overheating or dehydration so many people on ecstasy drink a lot of water to cool down.
This can be very dangerous as ecstasy influences the levels of ADH – the hormone that controls urine production. When you then drink too much water, it impacts the body’s salt balance which can have potentially fatal consequences.
Another issue is that ecstasy is an illicit street drug, commonly cut with other chemicals like amphetamines, stimulants, caffeine and bath salts to make it cheaper for the producers. This combination makes ecstasy abuse unpredictable, increasing the chances of an overdose. People may also consume it with other drugs, such as alcohol and cannabis which can also pose a risk.
Further risks of taking ecstasy include:
- Increased frequency of colds and sore throats
- Individuals with asthma, heart conditions, and blood pressure problems are more at risk
- Memory issues
- Increased risk of mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- Liver, kidney and heart issues
- Fatal overdose
Is there help available for addiction to ecstasy?
At Oasis Recovery Centre, we provide a relaxing atmosphere and expert staff to treat ecstasy addiction using evidence-based techniques.
The first stage of recovery is an ecstasy detox. This must be done under medical supervision with around-the-clock care to ensure a successful outcome.
Undergoing ecstasy rehab is the next step towards overcoming addiction to ecstasy during which you will participate in various forms of therapy to get to the root causes of your ecstasy abuse so you can break the cycle of addiction. Our compassionate staff will help make this challenging journey easier for you.
Contact Oasis Recovery today
You don’t need to battle your ecstasy addiction alone. Remember that help is at hand and while taking the first steps away from ecstasy addiction can be scary, recovery is possible for everyone.
If you spot any of the signs of ecstasy addiction in either yourself or a loved one, contact Oasis Bradford today. We can guide you on the journey to a bright future, free from ecstasy addiction.