Perhaps the most popular of the “club drugs,” ecstasy (MDMA) is often viewed as safe. It’s actually pretty risky, though. MDMA can, and does, damage users’ mental health. In rare cases, ecstasy overdose can even cause death.
EFFECTS OF ECSTASY
When someone takes MDMA, their brain releases a splurge of serotonin, which leads to feelings of euphoria. A lot of stimulants do this, even caffeine and nicotine. What makes MDMA so popular is its flavor of euphoria. As a recreational drug, it has a unique ability to enhance the social side of one’s behavior and interaction– or at least how we perceive it in the moment.
While on MDMA, you feel extra connected to the people around you. The high may seem innocuous, but once it wears off, users are left with the same crash symptoms you’d get from crack or meth: mood swings, depression, fatigue, etc. Users who repeatedly get high and crash are likely to develop a dependency and a tolerance.
SYMPTOMS OF WITHDRAWAL
If you quit or dramatically reduce your MDMA intake after weeks of regular use, you should expect the following withdrawal symptoms. Most are psychological, but some are at least mildly physical. (Notably, an ecstasy overdose is marked by perspiration and increased heart rate.)
constipation or diarrhea
fatigue and lethargy
feeling lightheaded or dizzy
inability to sleep
loss of appetite
soreness of the jaw
lack of motivation
problems with memory
DURATION OF ECSTASY WITHDRAWAL
MDMA withdrawal symptoms typically manifest within hours of last use. The physical symptoms listed above usually subside in a couple of days. Depression and anxiety can linger for weeks. If those feelings are the cause of your MDMA use rather than an effect, they probably won’t improve until you address and correct the underlying causes.
TREATMENT OF ECSTASY WITHDRAWAL
No matter which drug you’re quitting, detox is the best way place to start. Then comes counseling. Most residential treatment programs include detox facilities which monitor and medicate patients to ensure that they beat their acute withdrawal. Once in treatment (which is usually outpatient for this drug) licensed therapists can help MDMA addicts understand and correct their underlying psychological drives.
Don’t let you or someone else’s ecstasy abuse go unaddressed because “It isn’t addictive.” Even psychological addictions are serious. If it’s a problem, it’s a problem.