The drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, combines the effects of stimulants and hallucinogens, making it one of the most popular party drugs worldwide. Also known as “ecstasy,” MDMA changes the user’s energy and sensory experiences. This drug can cause risky behavior and potentially dangerous health risks. Using MDMA regularly can also lead to ecstasy addiction.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to ecstasy or uses it frequently, Gateway Foundation can support you. Our MDMA drug rehabilitation treatment centers in Illinois help patients stop using harmful drugs.
WHAT IS ECSTASY/MDMA?
Ecstasy is the street name of a modified methamphetamine — 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA. This illegal synthetic drug is a powerful stimulant with hallucinogenic properties commonly found at raves, clubs, music festivals and similar events.
The drug is used to heighten the party experience, enhancing a user’s senses of sight, sound and touch. It’s also thought to promote feelings of happiness and friendliness. Taking MDMA can have serious and potentially fatal consequences. The drug produces many adverse side effects — and some pills sold as ecstasy contain either little or no MDMA at all. Users never know what fillers have been used or what side effects they may produce.
Other names for MDMA include:
Ecstacy has been given a Schedule I drug classification by the DEA, meaning it has a high risk of misuse and has no accepted medical uses.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOLLY AND ECSTASY
While Molly is another name for ecstasy, there is technically a difference between the two. Ecstasy describes the designer version of MDMA found in pill or tablet form. Molly is MDMA’s white powder or crystal-like form. Both Molly and ecstasy can potentially be cut with other ingredients, such as:
- Rat poison
HOW IS MDMA/ECSTASY USED?
MDMA comes in a few different forms. However, it’s commonly seen as a small white or colored pill, often stamped with words, pictures, symbols or a logo. Two pills may be touted as ecstasy, but even if they share the same symbol, they may have different ingredients and thus different effects.
Ecstasy is also sold in the form of lollipops or baby pacifiers to help with the clenched jaw side effect produced by the drug.
WHAT DOES ECSTASY DO TO YOU?
MDMA has an immediate stimulating effect. People take the drug for the euphoric and intoxicating feelings it creates, including heightened sensory perception and exaggerated tactile sense. Ecstasy can produce noticeable behavioral changes, such as:
- Hyper alertness
- Unusually high energy levels
- Long hours of wakefulness
- Exaggerated pleasure from touch
When someone becomes addicted to ecstasy, they may continually seek out dance parties and raves where the drug is used, even when this behavior damages their personal or professional life.
HISTORY OF ECSTASY
MDMA was first developed for medicinal purposes in 1912. The drug, known as Methylsafrylaminc, was used to control bleeding. MDMA gained popularity among psychiatrists in the late 1970s and early ’80s who used the drug to enhance communication with patients during sessions. They believed it improved patient insight about their problems.
Around the same time that MDMA was being explored in psychiatric settings, the drug exploded on the streets. It started as a rave drug in Europe and slowly made its way into the United States. By the 1990s, ecstasy was extremely popular among college students looking to party.
In 1985, however, the DEA banned MDMA and placed it on the list of Schedule I drugs, where it remains today. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that 21 million people use ecstasy globally.
HOW ADDICTIVE IS ECSTASY? HOW DOES ECSTASY AFFECT THE MIND AND BODY?
Research shows that MDMA could have fewer addictive properties than other addictive drugs, but its use can still cause harm. Ecstasy affects three types of brain chemicals: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The brain releases more of these compounds when exposed to MDMA, reducing their presence in the brain.
MDMA’s impact on the brain can cause symptoms such as:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Memory and attention issues
- Jaw clenching
- Joint and muscle stiffness
- A rise in body temperature
An MDMA overdose can result in the following life-threatening symptoms:
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Loss of consciousness
Regular ecstasy use for an extended period may also damage the brain. Studies suggest that people who regularly use MDMA have reduced brain activity in areas related to many important functions.
TYPES OF TREATMENT FOR MDMA ADDICTION AND USE
If you think you have an addiction to ecstasy, an MDMA drug addiction rehabilitation center can provide treatment. Treatment for MDMA addiction tends to focus on behavioral therapy, which is where the patient works on their thoughts and feelings related to the drug. Many people who use MDMA also use other drugs, so they may need treatment for multiple substance use disorders.
A person with a hallucinogen use disorder may receive treatment services like:
- Medical support: A clinic may prescribe medication for you that can help you manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Specialized and group therapy: Addiction treatment centers can offer a wide range of therapy programs, including group counseling.
- Social support and care plan coordination: Some providers have treatment plan coordination and referrals to social services.
Every patient has a unique experience with MDMA addiction treatment that depends on their symptoms and provider.
BENEFITS OF GETTING HELP FROM AN ECSTASY/MDMA DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER
An Illinois ecstasy drug addiction rehabilitation center can help you stop using MDMA and improve your well-being. These clinics can empower you to:
- Rebuild relationships with loved ones and friends
- Return to a stable life at work, school and home
- Manage the physical and mental symptoms of substance use disorders
With a personalized treatment plan, you can set and achieve recovery goals to take your life back from drugs.
SIGNS OF ECSTASY USE DISORDER AND ADDICTION
Someone with a hallucinogen use disorder can have difficulty telling if they have one. You or someone you know might have an addiction to MDMA when showing these signs:
- Feeling frequent and uncontrollable urges to use MDMA
- Needing to take more ecstasy than before to get the same effects
- Prioritizing MDMA over work, school and social connections
- Dedicating an excessive amount of time and money to getting and using ecstasy
One of the professionals at an MDMA drug rehab treatment center can also screen you for addiction. They can then create a care strategy that will help you recover.
TREATMENT APPROACHES AT OUR ILLINOIS ECSTASY/MDMA DRUG ADDICTION REHABILITATION CENTER
Gateway’s ecstasy/MDMA drug treatment programs in Illinois involve a personalized approach to care. Our team believes that addiction has a wide range of interconnecting issues that we need to address for a successful recovery.
To treat all aspects of addiction, our care services include:
- Identifying underlying issues: Our addiction professionals will help you determine any factors that contribute to your MDMA use.
- Encouraging emotional wellness: We support every patient in finding passion in life outside of drug use.
- Building a support network: Services like group therapy empower patients to find community in each other.
- Treating medical symptoms: Addressing the physical effects of addiction makes it easier for patients to focus on a successful recovery.
We provide the resources you need to stop using MDMA and other dangerous drugs.
At Gateway, we have more than 50 years of experience working with patients in the Chicago area. We provide evidence-based treatment in a compassionate and accepting environment. To schedule your first appointment, send an online message to us.