The Effect of Ecstasy
Ecstasy is a powerful hallucinogen. It works by altering the activity of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. When this happens users experience alterations in their experience of thoughts and feelings. According to a DEA report, ecstasy use causes changes in perception, including euphoria and increased sensitivity to touch, energy, sensual and sexual arousal, need to be touched, and need for stimulation.
A myth persists that ecstasy is a safe drug but this is hardly the case. According to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse “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 it as a Schedule I drug. A Schedule I drug is defined as a drug 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 using this substance can put the individual at risk of developing an ecstasy addiction.
While users take the drug in pursuit of the positive sensations it may produce they may find themselves experiencing a number of negative side effects including:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Lack of appetite
- Reduced interest in and pleasure from sex
- Significant reductions in mental abilities
Ecstasy can also dangerously distort the brain’s chemistry. Prolonged usage can cause the brain to produce less serotonin. As a result, some studies suggest that heavy MDMA users 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.”
When someone abuses ecstasy it can put their physical and mental health at risk. Because of this it is best that anyone using ecstasy halt their use as soon as possible. However this may be harder than expected if they have developed an addiction which may cause them to experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop their use. 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 help through ecstasy addiction treatment.