Ecstasy (MDMA) addiction
Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is a synthetic psychoactive drug that has remained popular among young adults for decades and is a favoured drug in the party scene. According to recent statistics, 1.1% of people aged sixteen to twenty-four have used the drug in the past year, but while some may consider ecstasy just a harmless bit of fun, ecstasy addiction is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences.
Ecstasy addiction: what you need to know
- Ecstasy addiction refers to a compulsive pattern of drug use characterised by the inability to stop despite the harm it is causing.
- Ecstasy is a Class A drug in the UK which carries sentences of up to 7 years in prison for possession and up to life in prison for supplying.
- Tolerance to ecstasy can develop quickly, meaning you need more of the drug to feel the same effects.
- Ecstasy usually refers to the pill form of the drug, whereas MDMA is usually a crystal or powder form.
- Ecstasy and MDMA also go by the nicknames Pills, E, Beans, MD, Mandy, Molly, Crystal, and Dizzle. Ecstasy pills may also have their own particular brand name with a logo imprinted on the pill, for example, M&M, Superman, Rolex and Mitsubishi.
How does ecstasy addiction develop?
Ecstasy addiction develops as a result of repeated and regular use of the drug, causing the brain to become dependent on the increased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine that ecstasy produces. Over time, the brain will reduce its natural production of these neurotransmitters, instead relying on ecstasy, and this can lead to long-lasting changes to the balance of brain chemicals.
The development of ecstasy addiction usually occurs in several stages. Initially, you may experiment with the drug as a way to have fun or out of curiosity, leading to occasional or social use. This may progress into more regular use, becoming riskier as a pattern of abuse emerges. Eventually, you will become reliant on ecstasy and may find yourself unable to stop taking it despite the harm it is causing.
Do I have an ecstasy addiction?
Ecstasy addiction can be difficult to recognise, especially in the early stages. However, there are some signs that can help you determine if you or a loved one may have an ecstasy addiction.
Some of these signs include:
- Compulsive use of the drug despite negative consequences
- Inability to control drug-seeking behaviour
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining or using ecstasy
- Tolerance to the drug, needing higher doses to achieve the same effects
- Withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using ecstasy
Answer the following questions honestly to determine if you may have an ecstasy addiction:
- Have you experienced negative consequences, such as relationship problems or health issues, as a result of your ecstasy use?
- Have you tried to stop using ecstasy, but have been unsuccessful?
- Have you neglected responsibilities or activities in favour of using ecstasy?
- Have you experienced financial problems as a result of your ecstasy use, such as spending more money than you can afford on the drug?
- Do you feel anxious or irritable when you can’t use ecstasy?
- Have you engaged in risky behaviour, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex, while under the influence of ecstasy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Banbury Lodge can help you to put a stop to your ecstasy abuse and addiction and take the first step towards living a healthier, happier life.
Is ecstasy dangerous?
Ecstasy is typically used for its euphoric and empathogenic effects, however, it is important to note that ecstasy is not without its dangers. Its use can have serious negative impacts on physical and psychological health.
One of the most significant risks is the drug’s impact on body temperature regulation. Ecstasy can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature, leading to dehydration, muscle breakdown and kidney failure. This can be particularly dangerous when used in hot environments like nightclubs or during prolonged physical activity such as dancing.
Other physical side effects of ecstasy use can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Cardiovascular issues
- Damage to brain and internal organs
- Nerve degeneration
Psychologically, the effects of ecstasy can be equally concerning. In the long term, ecstasy use can have serious negative impacts on psychological health, including:
- Increased risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced cognitive function
On top of these physical and psychological side effects, the illegal production of ecstasy can be particularly dangerous, and even deadly. Ecstasy is made in labs and is often cut with cheaper substances, for example, fentanyl and para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), greatly increasing the risk of lethal overdose.
Who is at risk of ecstasy addiction?
Ecstasy addiction poses a risk for anyone who consumes the drug, no matter their age or gender. There are some factors that may increase the risk of addiction developing, however, and these include:
- Genetics: some people are genetically predisposed to ecstasy addiction, so if you have close family members who also suffer from a substance use disorder, you could also be at risk.
- Age: if you take drugs from a young age you are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to ecstasy as you will be more susceptible to the drug’s effects.
- Mental health: if you suffer from underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may take ecstasy as a way to cope and this can contribute towards ecstasy addiction.
- Environment: environmental factors, such as peer pressure, stressful life events and a lack of social support, can also increase the risk of developing an addiction to ecstasy.
- Frequency and amount of use: the more frequently and heavily you use ecstasy, the more likely you are to develop an addiction.
It is important to note that ecstasy addiction is complex and can arise from a number of environmental, psychological and genetic factors. If you or someone you know is struggling to stop taking ecstasy, our expert guidance can help you to break free and start healing.
Ecstasy addiction: truths and lies
Ecstasy is well-known as the “love drug” due to its euphoric and mood-enhancing effects. However, behind this mask lies a dangerous addiction that can ruin lives.
The lies that ecstasy addiction will tell you are plentiful. It’ll tell you that it’s just a harmless party drug, that it won’t cause any long-term damage and that you can stop anytime you want. But these are all falsehoods that can lead to a devastating addiction.
The truth is that ecstasy addiction can cause significant harm to your physical and mental well-being. As well as the potential for long-term and permanent damage to your health, ecstasy addiction can take a toll on your personal relationships, work and finances.
Ecstasy addiction can push you to neglect other important responsibilities and can lead to a loss of interest in formerly enjoyed hobbies. All in all, dependency on this drug can impact every single corner of your life.
Recognising the lies of ecstasy addiction is the first step in recovery. Are ready to take back the power, prevent any further damage and start living a more fulfilling life? If so, Banbury Lodge can offer you all the resources you need to kick your compulsions.
Getting help for ecstasy addiction
When it comes to ecstasy addiction treatment, Banbury Lodge offers a structured and supportive environment where you can begin to heal. Our programme includes ecstasy detox, therapy sessions and aftercare provided by highly qualified medical professionals. We focus not only on the addiction itself, but on you as a whole, helping you to tackle any issues you may be facing. After completing ecstasy rehab, you will leave feeling like a rejuvenated, more empowered version of yourself.
If you are ready and willing to take on the rewarding challenge of recovery and overcome your drug addiction, call our admissions team today.