What is Ecstasy Withdrawal?

What is Ecstasy Withdrawal?

Ecstasy targets many of the brain’s neurotransmitters which flood it with serotonin and leave a deficit. Ecstasy can stay in the system for 4-6 hours before a crash occurs. Anxiety and paranoia including problems with concentration and memory, irritability, aches and pains are common withdrawal symptoms. Find out more about ecstasy withdrawal and how it affects individuals.

Ecstasy Withdrawal

Ecstasy, or MDMA, has long been a drug of choice for people who like to party and experience lowered inhibitions along with euphoric feelings, increased energy and tactile experiences. Ecstasy is commonly used along with other drugs and affects the brain. It can be habit forming. Long term use of ecstasy is known to cause a negative impact on brain cells, especially in women. The drug is less addictive than other recreational drugs but meets addiction criteria such as tolerance, dependence, withdrawal effects and craving the drug. Ecstasy triggers activity in the brain’s neurotransmitters and releases excessive amounts of serotonin in the body. Serotonin depletes in the brain with ecstasy use and is the main reason for withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, depression, drug craving and sleep disturbances to occur.


The crash from an ecstasy high may bring up feelings of paranoia and irritability. People also may experience confusion and difficulty concentrating. Depleted serotonin levels make a person feel a lack of motivation and drive. Physical pains include lightheadedness, digestive issues, constipation, aches and pains, loss of appetite and sleep problems such as insomnia and teeth grinding in one’s sleep.

How Withdrawal Feels

Ecstasy withdrawal is much like dysphoria which includes symptoms such as:

Feeling tired


Inability to concentrate





Unpleasant dreams

Seeing or hearing things

Exacerbated symptoms when used with other drugs

What Can Help

Withdrawal from ecstasy takes time and patience. The biggest thing is to note there are few to no medications recommended for long term recovery. A combination of things can help including:

Detox and tapering: heavy users of ecstasy may need medical support for detox or tapering programs to help wean off the drug. Detox may be complicated by use of multiple drugs to enhance or lengthen duration of effects. Addiction experts can help a person through safely.

Symptom management: musculoskeletal pain during withdrawal phase usually is due to excessive activity or dancing while high. Ibuprofen and Tylenol can be used including a warm bath for relaxation. Constipation, nausea and GI issues may occur. It is important to drink plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated.

Control cravings: cognitive behavioral interventions can help educate a person and bring some changes that help the person handle life’s stresses. Speaking to a sober friend, development of healthy coping skills and avoiding places that trigger use are helpful tools.

Blueprints for Recovery understands the challenges facing young adults when approaching recovery. A balanced approach is used for each unique individual to support sustained growth in treatment for a long term recovery. Call us to find out how we can help the young adult in your life get well.


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