Ecstasy: A powerful hallucinogen
A stimulant and psychedelic drug, ecstasy works by altering the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which further leads to alterations in thoughts and feelings. This can also cause changes in perception and result in euphoria, sexual arousal and increased sensitivity to touch.
Many people harbor the myth that ecstasy is a safe drug, but it is hardly the case. In fact, at times, its use can turn out to be fatal. According to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “MDMA can cause a dangerous increase in body temperature that can lead to kidney failure. MDMA can also increase heart rate, blood pressure, and heart wall stress.” Once the body loses its ability to regulate its temperature, the kidneys, liver or heart may fail, leading to death.
The DEA classifies the drug under Schedule I, with a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. This means that an individual using this substance runs the risk of developing an ecstasy addiction.
Users take the drug in pursuit of positive sensations, without realizing that it can often result in a number of side effects. Some of them are:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Lack of appetite
- Reduced interest in and pleasure from sex
- Significant reductions in mental abilities
Regular use of the drug can also distort the chemistry of the brain and cause it to produce less serotonin. As a result, some studies suggest that those into excessive MDMA use experience extended periods of confusion, depression and memory loss. According to a recent report, University of Liverpool researchers found that “ecstasy users showed significant reductions in the way serotonin is transported in the brain. This can have a particular impact on regulating appropriate emotional reactions to situations.”
In order to produce its range of effects, ecstasy triggers reactions from several brain chemicals that regulate a number of feelings and emotions and help regulate essential body functions, such as sleep and hunger. Therefore, ecstasy abuse can up the risk of suffering from various physical and mental health complications. Because of this, it is best to stop using ecstasy as soon as possible. However, this may be harder than expected if they have developed an addiction to it, which may cause them to experience challenging withdrawal symptoms.
Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and can include fatigue, loss of appetite, depression and trouble concentrating. To avoid these symptoms and ensure a long-lasting recovery, it may be best to seek a professional ecstasy detox treatment followed by therapy sessions at a certified rehab center.
Treatment for ecstasy addiction
A comprehensive treatment for ecstasy addiction involves a medically assisted detox followed by intense behavioral therapies or counseling sessions. Along with the same, social support from family and friends as well as any other support and intervention is recommended so that the recovering individual does not feel left out when going through the challenging phase. It also helps him/her in staying motivated toward recovery.
While a supervised detox helps in getting rid of the toxic substances from the body and handling the drug’s initial, intense withdrawal symptoms, therapy or counseling sessions help in uncovering any underlying causes of addiction and identifying trigger situations.