MDMA, the shortened form of chemical 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is a synthetic psychoactive. You probably know it better as ecstasy or molly. This drug has similar characteristics as amphetamine (a stimulant) and mescaline (a hallucinogen). MDMA appears as a crystalline white powder, which is then compacted into tablets or put inside capsules and taken orally.
While the drug was most popular among white teens and young adults in the club and rave scene, MDMA’s popularity has since broadened to encompass a wide range of users. In a 2014 national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, about 609,000 people age 12 and up reported using Ecstasy within the previous month.
MDMA works by increasing the activity of three neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Prolonged use of MDMA consistently floods your system with these chemicals. To adjust, your brain produces less of these neurotransmitters or blocks the receptors for them. This forces you to constantly take the drug just to feel normal, but consistent drug use leads to tolerance, which means you have to take more and more of the drug just to get the same effect.
Addiction is a vicious cycle of chemical dependence. Some of the most commonecstasy addiction symptoms include:
Offering effects of both a stimulant and hallucinogen, MDMA primarily creates feelings of euphoria and increased energy mixed with intense emotional warmth and empathy towards others. The hallucinogenic effects also cause distortions in how you perceive time and the world around you.
However, some common side-effects of this initial high include:
Research shows that some users of MDMA report feelings of dependence as the drug targets some of the same neurotransmitter systems as other addictive drugs. This addiction can lead to reckless behavior that could push away those you love while also forcing you to spend time and money obtaining the drug.
The increased closeness resulting from ecstasy could lead to unsafe sexual practices, a risk factor for contracting HIV, hepatitis, and other STDs. In high doses, MDMA can cause a sudden increase in body temperature which can cause dehydration, muscle breakdown, and kidney or heart failure leading to death. These effects can be even more harmful when ecstasy is used with alcohol.
*All these risks are compounded even more by the fact that many ecstasy tablets and molly capsules contain other drugs mixed into the MDMA.
Along with counseling and therapy, medicine plays an important role in recovering from MDMA abuse. As repeatedly using the drug leads to chemical imbalances, medication hopes to rebalance the body while curbing cravings and managing withdrawal symptoms.
There are currently no approved pharmacological substitute treatments for MDMA abuse, though detox facilities may administer antidepressants or anti-anxiety-medications to help patients better cope with withdrawal symptoms. The most effective treatments for MDMA involve cognitive behavioral therapy, which is designed to adjust a patient’s thoughts, expectations, and behaviors while providing skills for managing common stressors.
Detox often leads directly to longer programs that aim to provide you with the tools, motivation, and mindset for long-term sobriety and good health. Nearly all 30-, 60-, and 90-day rehabilitation programs require detox. By detoxing in a supervised environment with medically trained professionals you set yourself up for success on your path to recovery.
Georgia Drug Detox is dedicated to helping you find and select a detox program that fits your personal needs and gets you on track for recovery. It is important to complete your detox surrounded by supportive professionals who specialize in treating your specific addition, not just addiction in general. Contact us today at (678) 771-6411 and we will walk you through the process today.