MDMA recovery begins with education on the subject. Whether it’s you or someone you love experiencing addiction, the signs can sometimes be masked. Recognizing the dangers and signs of MDMA addiction can help stop matters from getting worse.
What is MDMA?
Ecstasy or MDMA also referred to as Molly, is a unique drug. With both hallucinogenic and stimulant effects, it provides users with an altered perception of reality.
MDMA stands for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It’s a synthetic drug with psychedelic and stimulant properties. MDMA increases blood flow and neurotransmitters to increase energy. Many report feeling excited and happy when they use it, as well as physically warmer.
You may also have a distorted sense of time and your surroundings. Some physical senses may feel enhanced. For example, colors may be brighter, or textures may feel softer or more engaging.
If you or someone you look is suffering from MDMA addiction, please know that recovery is possible. Through the highest quality of treatment, you can begin to feel like your real self again. We encourage you to keep reading about the effects of MDMA to better understand the dangers of this drug.
What are the Effects of MDMA on Your Brain and Body?
The main effect of MDMA is to flood the brain with serotonin, a mood-altering neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter is responsible for pleasure, sleep regulation, and heart rate.
When the brain has more serotonin, the person feels empathetic and emotionally closer to those around them. The comedown from MDMA abuse is notorious for its intense depression, fatigue, and physical lethargy.
Effects from MDMA begin between 20 to 40 minutes after taking the drug, depending on the dose, purity, and method of consumption. Most people take MDMA orally. There may be some nausea as the body digests the drug.
About an hour to 90 minutes after taking it, you will hit peak effects, with intense psychedelic and emotional alterations.
The drug’s effects last for about eight hours. Even if you are not feeling the peak effects, you are still experiencing an impact on the drug. Side effects may feel more physical, which can be uncomfortable or dangerous.
Short-term effects associated with taking MDMA include the following:
- Muscle tension
- Involuntary teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Dehydration, especially when the drug is mixed with alcohol
- Elevated body temperature, leading to heat exhaustion or stroke
- Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate
- Feeling chills or sweating, almost like the flu
- Blurry vision
People take MDMA for the mental effects, like feeling high, feeling connected to others, increased energy, or mild hallucinations. But the physical effects are the most dangerous part of abusing this substance.
Many people have become too dehydrated, suffered from heatstroke, or had cardiovascular events after taking MDMA. People have been hospitalized and have even died due to these adverse health effects.
Is MDMA Addictive? How Can I Recognize the Symptoms of MDMA Addiction?
MDMA can result in addiction through extended use and dependency. An individual struggling with MDMA addiction finds it difficult to control their patterns of abuse. Despite harmful consequences, they can’t seem to stop using the drug.
Recognizing addiction is dependent upon the person. People show varying signs depending on the severity of their addiction, amongst many other factors. Powerful cravings are a common tell-tale sign of MDMA addiction.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of MDMA addiction can help you decide to make that first step in recovery. Some of the signs and symptoms of MDMA addiction include:
- An inability to stop using: An individual may find themselves attempting to stop, with no result of actually doing so. All of these failed attempts never actually result in MDMA recovery.
- Using MDMA as a coping mechanism: A person with addiction commonly feels the need to take the drug or carry out the behavior to deal with their problems.
- Obsession: A person may become obsessed with a substance, spending more and more time and energy finding ways of getting their substance, and in some cases how they can use it.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms are a result of a person’s physical and chemical dependency on the drug. These can include cravings, constipation, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, sweats, as well as depression and anxiety.
Other physical signs of MDMA addiction can include:
- Overactive or under-active
- Repetitive speech patterns
- Dilated pupils
- Clothes do not fit the same
- Weight loss
- Change in eating habits
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Lack of personal hygiene
Long-Term Effects of MDMA Use
A comedown occurs as the aftermath of taking MDMA. This is similar to a hangover one may receive from alcohol, but significantly worse. Comedowns are most associated with substances like MDMA, which drastically changes brain chemistry. This leads to an imbalance of neurotransmitters that takes at least a day to repair.
These comedown symptoms are associated with MDMA:
- Dry mouth
- “Brain zaps,” similar to what is experienced with antidepressant or gabapentin withdrawal
- Physical shaking and weakness
- Appetite changes, especially eating more
- Feeling depressed or anxious for more than a day after taking MDMA
Routinely using MDMA can result in severe mental harm due to chronic serotonin depletion. This can even change the receptors on neurons in your brain, so you may develop mental illnesses or make existing ones much worse.
This also increases your risk of substance abuse, both of MDMA and other drugs, With help, MDMA recovery can become a possibility. You can regain control of your brain with MDMA addiction recovery services such as inpatient rehabilitation.
Dangers of MDMA Continued: Overdosing
Harm from MDMA can increase depending on the environment in which it is abused. For example, people who take MDMA in a nightclub and then dance for hours are more likely to experience dehydration and heatstroke. This is because they are in a hot, crowded environment and not drinking water.
The following are signs of heatstroke caused by MDMA:
- Elevated body temperature
- Changed mood, mental state, or behavior
- Hot, dry skin with no sweating or cessation of sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rosy skin
- Accelerated breathing
- Rapid heart rate
Heatstroke is exacerbated by dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include the following:
- Extreme thirst
- Urinating less
- Dark-colored urine
Symptoms of both dehydration and heatstroke can be masked by the effects of MDMA. If you would normally feel tired, you may be artificially stimulated. If you would normally feel thirsty, the psychedelic effects may mean you do not notice.
If you would normally feel uncomfortable from a fast heartbeat, you may think you are just happy. The mental effects can make the physical effects worse since you are less likely to notice the symptoms.
The Effects of MDMA: Let’s Look at Statistics
In 2013, over 17 million Americans reported using ecstasy in the past according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) also reported in 2013 that, between 2005 and 2011, there was an increase in emergency department admissions of young people who had abused MDMA.
The report noted that mental health effects could last for a week or more. Anxiety, depression, and confusion could last for days as the brain rebalanced serotonin and dopamine levels.
The DAWN report found a 128 percent increase in ER admissions among people younger than 21 years old — up to 10,176 admissions in 2011 from 4,460 in 2005. There was a greater risk for adverse effects, including heatstroke, dehydration, and heart problems, when the person combined MDMA with alcohol.
MDMA Addiction: Recovery Becomes Possible with Treatment
Addiction treatment centers offer help with detox, including medical supervision to ease withdrawal symptoms, and rehabilitation, which involves therapists helping you understand and address your damaging behaviors. You’ll generally receive therapy in a variety of formats, including both individual and group sessions.
Treatment should be comprehensive, dealing with all aspects of life, not just the addiction. Choose a program that offers evidence-based treatment and a full continuum of care, ensuring you have the best chances of maintaining recovery.
Levels of Care for MDMA Recovery
Depending on your schedule and severity of the addiction, one level of care may be more beneficial than the other. Our levels of care offer a wide spectrum of resources and vary in time commitment. Together, we’ll form a plan that suits your needs best. The three main types of care include:
Residential/Inpatient Treatment Programs
Residential treatment is the highest level of care offered at our recovery center. You’ll receive 24/7 medical support and care while maintaining a structured daily routine. This routine will include a combination of treatment services tailored to your needs.
Treatment services include individual therapy, group therapy, medical care, full access to amenities, and peer-to-peer support.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a less intensive option compared to residential treatment. Members of a PHP will travel to our facility three to five days a week for several hours each day.
Similarly to residential treatment, you’ll undergo many of the same evidence-based therapies and methods. If you have serious obligations outside of treatment, a PHP can be an ideal fit for you.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient treatment requires the least amount of commitment, while still providing high-quality care. Members of an outpatient program will travel to our center for treatment and be able to return home after. There are different programs within the outpatient treatment, such as intensive outpatient programs and standard outpatient programs.
Seek Help and Give Us a Call Today!
Our state-licensed addiction recovery center offers MDMA recovery resources that can help you overcome addiction. Through evidence-based methods such as therapy and support groups, you can regain control of your life. Our goal is to help you step into long-term sobriety and to help you regain a sense of fulfillment.
Our caring addiction recovery team can guide you through the enrollment process and get you started right away. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to find your location and reach out to us. We’re here for you the moment you make that first call!