The “party drug” known as Ecstasy, Molly and MDMA (abbreviated from 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is an illegal synthetic, psychoactive substance. Ecstasy acts uniquely as both a stimulant and a hallucinogen. Popular among young adults and adolescents, Ecstasy enhances sensory perception and creates greater feelings of euphoria, empathy, connection and sexuality. Long-term use has the potential to reduce sexual drive and interfere with the serotonin system. Prolonged or consistent use of the drug may lead to Ecstasy addiction and abuse.
Common Street Names
Ecstasy/MDMA in its many forms has several street names that include:
- Disco Biscuit
- Love Drug
- Hug Drug
- Lover’s Speed
- Scooby Snacks
In the most restricted drug classification, MDMA has been assigned Schedule I status by the Federal Drug Administration. MDMA has no current medically accepted usage and has a high potential for Ecstasy addiction and abuse.
Drug History and Trends in Usage
MDMA was first patented in the early 1900s by a German pharmaceutical company. In the 1970s-1980s, research therapists experimented with the potential effectiveness of Ecstasy use in psychotherapy sessions. The rise of recreational use got MDMA outlawed in 1985 through an emergency ban. It was later given Schedule I status by the DEA and has remained illegal in the United States since.
The names Ecstasy and Molly refer to substances containing 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, which is often abbreviated as MDMA. MDMA is synthetically made into tablets and powder. MDMA tablets are often visually enhanced with bright colors and logos to increase their appeal. They are either swallowed or crushed and snorted. MDMA can be smoked, though it is rare.
Taking MDMA, Molly or Ecstasy presents several dangers to the user. Makers frequently cut the tablets or powder with other drugs or chemicals unknown to the individuals taking them, thus increasing their harmfulness. These other chemicals can create unanticipated side effects or destructive combinations.
Examples of added drugs include methamphetamine, ketamine, cocaine, over-the-counter cough suppressants, caffeine and ephedrine. Some tablets claiming to be Ecstasy do not contain MDMA at all and are actually similar but less potent chemicals. Thanks to the low potency of these alternate chemicals, chances of overdose increase due to additional dosing.
MDMA became popular as a club or party drug, particularly at “raves,” but has multiplied in use and spread into larger demographics in recent years. It remains popular among younger individuals such as adolescents, young adults and college students. Its ability to intensify sensory input and connection has given it a reputation for enhancing sexual experiences.
MDMA is often intentionally used together with other substances like alcohol and marijuana. One co-abuse trend, called “candy flipping,” is the combination of MDMA and LSD.
Side Effects of Ecstasy
Aside from the feeling of an MDMA high, negative side effects can include depression, sleep problems, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, tremors, chills, muscle cramps, faintness, nausea, blurred vision, muscle tension, sweating, hallucinations and involuntary teeth clenching. Though the effects of MDMA typically wear off in four to six hours from taking the drug, some side effects can persist or occur even weeks later.
MDMA can interrupt its own breakdown process within the body. If this happens, the body may contain dangerously high levels of MDMA and be at risk for overdose. MDMA overdose can inhibit body temperature regulation and potentially cause organ failures and death due to hyperthermia. Other unintended consequences of MDMA are severe dehydration and long-term damage to the serotonin system, memory and learning.
Signs of Ecstasy Addiction and Abuse
Ecstasy has an inaccurate reputation as a safe drug and can have life-threatening effects. Ecstasy or Molly addiction symptoms and signs of abuse may be noticeable by loved ones. Unusual mood changes and increased feelings of empathy and connection may stand out. The physical side effects noted previously could also indicate the need for an individual to receive Ecstasy addiction treatment.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Ecstasy
MDMA may cause psychological addiction and physical dependence after prolonged recreational use. In addition to Molly addiction symptoms, withdrawal symptoms may exhibit in the following ways:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Intense cravings
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle rigidness
- Panic attacks
Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction and Abuse
Conflicting views exist on Ecstasy addiction treatment best practices. No drugs are currently approved to assist in the Ecstasy addiction detoxification process. However, individuals who struggle with Ecstasy addiction should seek help from qualified, experienced addiction specialists who can guide them through the multiple aspects of psychological addiction and physical dependence.
Let our experienced addiction professionals at White Sands Tampa help ease the withdrawal process and treat your ecstasy addiction safety and comfortably. Don’t wait another minute. Call now at 1-877-640-7820.