While first introduced as a “club drug,” ecstasy is now used and abused much more widely. Its combined effects include feelings of extreme warmth and pleasure, an increase in energy, and distortion of time and reality. The drug, which goes by the chemical signature 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), increases the activity of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Following ingestion, typically a pill but sometimes in liquid or powder form, users experience ecstasy’s effects for up to six hours. Its ability to enhance one’s mood, lower inhibitions and cause an extreme sense of alertness made ecstasy a popular nightclub drug. It featured prominently in party scenes, known as:

  • E
  • X
  • XTC
  • Love Drug
  • Molly

Ecstasy is not only a stimulant but a hallucinogen and can distort a person’s perception of reality. Because the drug leads to increased sexual behavior, users are at a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Since additional drugs like cocaine, ketamine, cough medicine and other synthetic materials can be cut into ecstasy pills, users may not always know what they are ingesting. Negative side effects from the drug may begin to be felt immediately by the user.

Risks and effects

Risks and effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle cramps
  • Distorted vision and thoughts

Chronic users may experience symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety, depression and a loss of appetite. Ecstasy can also cause a rise in internal temperature, resulting in organ failure that can lead to death. It places extreme stress on the heart, and long-term research indicates that heavy use contributes to a loss of cognitive ability and memory.

How Elan Treats Ecstasy Addiction

Elan partners with a number of highly reputable inpatient detox facilities, as detox is often indicated in the early stages of treatment for ecstasy addiction. Later, when your body has begun to clear the drug, the transition to outpatient treatment at Elan will be as seamless as we can make it. At Elan Recovery + Wellness, we use a number of treatment methods to help our guests understand, manage, and emerge from addiction to ecstasy, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Addiction education
  • NA meetings
  • Adaptive testing software, which helps us assess your mental health daily
  • Complete evaluation by a psychiatrist
  • If indicated, psychotropic medication to rebalance the brain chemistry
  • Weekly visits with our psychiatrist
  • Management of medications by our advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner

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