MDMA is a chemical officially known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, and it’s the main psychoactive ingredient in the club drug universally known ecstasy, and more recently called “molly.”
MDMA is both a stimulant, which raises your energy level, and a psychedelic, which causes skewed perceptions of time and a heightened enjoyment of sensory experiences.
When MDMA is taken, the activity of neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, is altered, and the communication between nerve cells in the brain is affected. High doses may be toxic to nerve cells that contain serotonin, and long-term cell damage can cause serious mental health problems in those who abuse ecstasy.
The effects of MDMA include feelings of great emotional warmth, mental stimulation, decreased anxiety, and a sense of wellbeing. Effects last between three and six hours, and users often take a second dose of ecstasy once the effects begin to wear off.
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Ecstasy is most commonly abused by adolescents and young adults who take it to enhance the clubbing or rave experience. It’s commonly taken with other substances like alcohol and marijuana, which increase the risk of dangerous – or fatal – health effects, overdose, and engaging in dangerous behaviors like having unprotected sex and driving while under the influence.
During an ecstasy “trip,” the pleasant feelings may be accompanied by unpleasant side effects including:
In some cases, using ecstasy may cause dangerous or fatal conditions, including:
Negative effects of a single dose of ecstasy often last a week or more after use and typically include:
Long term health effects that may result from repeatedly abusing ecstasy include:
The signs of ecstasy abuse include:
Taking ecstasy with other substances of abuse can increase the risk of overdose. Alcohol can mask some of the effects of ecstasy, which may lead to users taking additional doses, and ecstasy can mask the effects of alcohol, which may lead to an alcohol overdose. Signs and symptoms of an ecstasy overdose include:
Secondary addictions are typically behavioral addictions that are caused by drug abuse. These include eating disorders, gambling, and sex addictions, which may stem from the enjoyment of these activities while under the influence or from underlying issues of abuse or co-occurring mental health disorders.
While dependence on ecstasy hasn’t been well studied or documented, it’s possible to become mildly physically and strongly psychologically dependent on the drug. Comprehensive treatment through a drug rehab program is essential for learning how to modify destructive attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to regular abuse.
Drug treatment therapies like motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy help patients become more self-aware of the issues surrounding abuse.
Motivational interviewing helps patients identify their own internal motivation for wanting to get off – and stay off – drugs. This is an essential component of treatment, particularly for those who are ambivalent toward their abuse of ecstasy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients to identify harmful thought processes and behaviors and replace them with healthy ways of thinking and behaving. It also helps patients develop skills and techniques for coping with cravings, triggers, and underlying issues surrounding the abuse.
After the successful completion of treatment, an individualized relapse prevention program is developed to help promote abstinence for a greater chance of enjoying long-term recovery. Talk to an addiction specialist today at Drug Treatment Centers Fort Pierce and don’t hesitate to begin recovery. (772) 882-3621
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