MDMA, either "Ecstasy" or "Molly", is a club drug that is often used by young people at dance parties, music festivals, nightclubs and raves.
An Overview of MDMA
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, they produce feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and altered sensory and time perception, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Methods of use involve:
- Ingesting in tablet form
- Snorting in powdered form
That doesn't sound so bad, right? Do you feel like trying it out too? Wait until you find out about its side effects.
How MDMA Affects the Brain
It is best to start with the effects of MDMA in the brain. It increases the activity of three brain chemicals, namely dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, as reported by the NIDA. Here are their effects:
- Dopamine, the brain chemical linked to pleasure and reward, causes heightened energy and produces euphoria.
- Norepinephrine, a brain chemical involved in stress response, causes increased blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate.
- Serotonin, a brain chemical associated with appetite, mood, sexual arousal, and sleep, causes emotional closeness, empathy, and enhanced socialization.
Short-Term Negative Effects of MDMA Abuse
It takes around 15 minutes to an hour for MDMA to start taking effect, aside from the positive effects stated above, here are its drawbacks:
- Blurred vision
- Chills and/or sweating
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Nausea or faintness
- Teeth grinding and involuntary jaw clenching
Health Consequences of Chronic Abuse
Serious consequences of long-term MDMA abuse include brain lesions and hemorrhages, convulsions, neuronal damage, and organ damage or failure. Problems with cognition and memory are also common in long-term MDMA users. Temperature regulation may also be affected.
Addiction to MDMA and Withdrawal Symptoms
Researchers know that MDMA targets the same brain chemicals that are affected by other addictive drugs. However, some users experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when regular use of the drug is reduced or stopped, such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Attention and memory problems
- Lack of Concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Lowered sexual drive
- Sleep problems
Death From Overdose
According to the NIDA, MDMA can cause problems with the body’s ability to control temperature, especially when it is used in active, hot settings (like dance parties or concerts). On rare occasions, this can lead to a sharp rise in body temperature (known as hyperthermia), which can cause liver, kidney, or heart failure or even death.
Is Pleasure From MDMA Worth the Risk?
If you've read all the consequences of MDMA abuse stated above, you should be discouraged of its use at this point. When it comes to MDMA consumption, there are too many risks involved in exchange for a short-term reward. Club drugs, in general, have high potential dangers associated with them. They can ruin your life, especially if you end up depending on them to escape reality or to seek pleasure.
Seeking Help for MDMA Addiction
Are you or your loved one struggling with MDMA addiction? Have you tried so hard, yet you still can't overcome it on your own? Perhaps it is time for you to seek treatment. A rehabilitation center can give you the support you need to change your life.
Arizona Drug Treatment Centers
The good news is that treatment centers in Arizona offer a range of comprehensive recovery programs that often involve addiction counseling, inpatient or outpatient rehab, medication-assisted therapy and support groups. Together, these programs provide the greatest potential for long-term recovery from drug addiction.
If you wish to look for available treatment centers in Arizona, there are ways to check on websites such as:
They also have reviews from people who underwent therapy, so you get more information about each treatment center.
Picking Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab
At inpatient MDMA rehab centers, patients live in the facility while receiving treatment, offering the most intensive level of care and guidance. These are ideal for replacing negative social influences with a new support network of people with similar experiences and struggles with addiction.
Outpatient therapy candidates must have a good support network at home, which should encourage avoidance of MDMA use. Intensity may vary; some require daily attendance, while others offer 2-3 sessions per week.
Treatment for MDMA Addiction
There are no specific medical treatments for MDMA addiction, as stated by the NIDA. Some have found Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helpful for treating MDMA addiction. During CBT, patients learn to recognize and correct problematic behavior patterns associated with the substance abuse issue being treated. However, more research is needed by scientists to determine the actual effectiveness of CBT for MDMA addiction.
Another method of MDMA addiction treatment is Contingency Management (CM). CM reinforces positive behaviors and sobriety. Patients are rewarded for completing treatment-related goals, such as staying sober for a certain length of time.
Other common treatment methods for MDMA addiction include:
- Group Counseling
- Individual Therapy
- 12-Step Programs
- Medication-assisted Therapy
Each patient responds differently to various treatment methods, so your addiction treatment program will depend on your personal circumstances, the length of time you’ve abused MDMA, your physical and mental health, and your personal preferences and needs.
MDMA is a club drug that provides physiological effects that help them do well in social settings, like parties, nightclubs, and raves. However, its use is accompanied by unpleasant short-term effects, as well as long-term health consequences, and it may even lead to death upon overdose. It is shown to have the potential to cause addiction, accompanied by hazardous withdrawal symptoms, which makes it difficult to cure dependency towards the drug. Seeking help for MDMA addiction is recommended, to increase the chances of recovery. Arizona offers a lot of treatment facilities for MDMA addiction, as well as various treatment programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, that one may benefit from when seeking help.