Ecstasy abuse and addiction is still a big problem in Idaho as well as in the Midwest/Northwest. Detox and rehab are often needed in order for people to stop taking this drug. Once a person becomes addicted to it, it is not easy to stop on one’s own.
This drug is one that has somewhat fallen out of the limelight because of the opioid epidemic. But that does not mean that its use is not still prevalent all over the country. Ecstasy is extremely dangerous for a number of reasons, and yet, people still continue to use it.
We want people to be aware of the risks they take when using Ecstasy. We also want them to understand that all hope is not lost just because they are addicted. The right treatment can make such a difference, and it can lead to a life that is free from substance abuse.
Ecstasy was first created by Merck Pharmaceutical in 1912. In the 1970s, it was marketed as a psychotherapy medication. But it was not until the 80s that it became a popular street drug. Most countries have made it illegal, and it has no approved medical uses as of 2018.
The main ingredient in Ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, or MDMA for short. This is a synthetic drug that leads to altered perceptions of reality and changes in mood. Chemically, this drug is very similar to stimulants and hallucinogenic drugs.
There are several ingredients in the Ecstasy we know today, which is only available on the street. The amount of MDMA each pill contains is believed to be much smaller than the drugs of the 70s and 80s. Today, a single pill can contain:
Ecstasy became insanely popular as a recreational drug in nightclubs and raves; a trend that came full-circle in the 90s. This is due to its psychoactive effects and the way it increases energy and pleasurable sensations. The pills come in a variety of colors and may have cartoon images pressed into them.
On the street, Ecstasy may go by several street names, such as:
But regardless of what it is called, this is a very dangerous drug. Users rarely know the ingredients of the pills they take, and they often drink alcohol at the same time. This can be a deadly combination.
If you’ve ever seen Ecstasy portrayed on television or in the movies, then you may have noticed that it’s viewed as the “love drug.” This is generally how Ecstasy got its name, because it gives you an increased sense of self-esteem due to the way it increases serotonin levels. The result is excessive happiness and enhanced feelings of desire. It’s also been shown to improve sex, and the high can last for up to six hours.
While these “positive” feelings are all quite true, they’re a huge price to pay for even the short term side effects of choosing to use Ecstasy. These can include:
When you’re using Ecstasy, you also may not be able to properly interpret what’s happening around you. You may harm yourself or other people, and you can even develop organ failure with short term use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ecstasy can have several long-term effects. Most concerning is the fact that it changes the brain’s chemistry. That suggests that it causes serotonin neurons to become damaged.
When this drug was tested on animals, serotonin and its metabolites became damaged. Also, those same animals were studied seven years after only brief exposure. Their brains still had not returned back to normal.
Ecstasy impacts many of the same neurotransmitter systems in the brain that other drugs target. Research has shown that animals will self-administer this drug, which is a clear indicator of its addictive potential.
Having said that, sporadic users may not become addicted to this drug. But their substance abuse is still cause for concern, and continued use is likely to lead to an addiction.
Once a person becomes addicted to Ecstasy, they are likely to exhibit the following symptoms:
Some of the addictive behaviors a person may exhibit can include:
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If you are addicted to Ecstasy, it’s important for you to reach out for professional help instead of trying to quit on your own. Most people who try to stop using this drug on their own are not successful. It’s common for them to even turn to other drugs in an effort to fill the void that Ecstasy has left them with.
If you decide to attempt to quit using Ecstasy cold turkey, you may experience many of the following:
Also, it’s important to remember that because Ecstasy is rarely the same each time you take it, once you stop taking it, you might experience withdrawal symptoms that are much different from the ones on this list. In addition, the side effects during each use can vary too.
Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe, and you can even experience medical complications that require treatment by medical professionals. For these reasons, if you want to stop using Ecstasy successful, it’s best to do so through an Ecstasy addiction treatment center that includes a steady, slow drug detox.
Ecstasy has grown in popularity as a party drug in Idaho, as well as elsewhere in the Midwest and Northwest. One high school junior tried it and reported her experience to the Idaho Statesman. She said, “It was kind of the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt before, honestly.”
13% of high school seniors report experimenting with “hard drugs,” and Ecstasy is included among them. In 2014, a call came into the Boise Police Department stating that drug dealers were selling synthetic bath salts and other drugs. They were claiming to sell Ecstasy and LSD. One twenty-three-year-old woman died from an overdose on MDMA during that time.
While it is true that deaths from Ecstasy are rare, it is a drug that can be fatal when it is abused.
First, our patients go through a complete medical detox, which includes taking medications to help with withdrawal. This period generally lasts for about seven days, but it can take longer, depending on the individual and their needs.
Next, patients move on to rehab, where they work on the psychological aspect of their addictions. They learn what caused them to become addicted, and they also learn how to avoid relapsing.
Many of the patients we work with have cross addictions, and most that are addicted to Ecstasy are also alcoholics. Our alcoholism treatment program can help them as well.
Do you have questions about Ecstasy addiction, abuse or treatment? Please contact us today.