Ecstasy is a hallucinogenic drug in the same category as the drugs LSD (Acid), PCP (angel dust), and mescaline. The chemical name for ecstasy is 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, which gives rise to the drug’s clinical name, MDMA. Chemically, MDMA (or Ecstasy) is similar to the methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Ecstasy is usually obtained and ingested as pills or capsules, but these pills rarely contain pure MDMA. The pills are often diluted or “cut” with cheaper additives such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in cough syrup), cocaine, and heroin.
Since the additives are often unknown, ecstasy can be particularly dangerous and lead to addictions apart from MDMA. MDMA is also commonly referred to as E, X, molly, rolls (being high on MDMA is sometimes called “rolling”), beans, adam, thizz, skittles, and stacks. MDMA pills are often brightly colored, resembling candy, and are stamped with logos or characters on them just as a clothing brands or automotive companies create a logo for their brand.
If you suspect that your child may be using ecstasy or any other drug, it is important to get the help and support they need to achieve recovery. Contact one of our drug rehab centers in St. Louis, Columbia, or Kansas City to learn more about our treatment options and how our ecstasy treatment program can help.
Effects of Ecstasy on the Body and Brain
MDMA is a Schedule 1 narcotic. This means it has no medicinal use. LSD (from which MDMA is derived) was once believed to be a promising drug in the treatment of various psychosomatic conditions. This has since been discredited. Due of these origins in brain treatments, MDMA’s primary effect is on the brain.
MDMA causes the brain to release massive amounts of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine as well as the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin. These brain chemicals are normally associated with feelings of love, friendship, empathy, sexual arousal, and other social experiences. As a result, the brain sends signals of happiness, comfort, and sexual attraction for much longer and in much greater amounts than it normally would, explaining why the high from MDMA causes users to believe they feel incredibly good. However, these misguided feelings of love and connectedness can lead to irrational behavior.
Signs & Symptoms of Ecstasy Use
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of that a person may be high on ecstasy include:
- Rapid eye movement
- High body temperature
- Transfixation on sights and sounds
- Pupil dilation
- Overly affectionate
- Blurred vision
- Involuntary teeth clenching and grinding
Dangers of Ecstasy Use
Like any drug, ecstasy use comes with a variety of potential dangers and risks. The most common short-term side effects and dangers include:
- Impaired judgment
- False sense of affection
- Sleep problems
- Severe anxiety and paranoia
- Drug cravings
- Muscle tension
- Faintness, sweating, or chills
- Engaging in risky sexual behaviors
Because ecstasy causes the body to release excess amounts of serotonin and other neurotransmitters used to regulate moods and rapidly consume these the after-effects of the drug can be damaging. Some of the lasting and long-term effects of ecstasy use can impact the entire body and can be dangerous to overall health. Long-term side effects include:
- Long-lasting brain damage affecting thought and memory
- Damage to portions of the brain that regulate critical functions such as learning, sleep, and emotion
- Degenerated nerve branches and nerve endings
- Depression, anxiety, and memory loss
- Kidney failure
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Cravings drive a person to use ecstasy over and over, even when they know it is harmful
Learn More About Our Ecstasy Treatment Options for Teens & Young Adults
Because MDMA directly affects pleasure chemicals in the brain, addiction is a very real and harmful risk. Additionally, the other drugs often unknowingly mixed with MDMA have addictive properties of their own and my worsen a struggle with ecstasy addiction. Separating oneself from a drug that can seem so cool, especially to kids who want to have fun, is difficult. MDMA is often used in social settings such as clubs, music festivals, raves, and parties, and it may become impossible for someone suffering an ecstasy addiction to go to these events without chemicals.
If you suspect ecstasy use in your teen or young adult, ecstasy treatment through substance abuse counseling and other drug abuse treatment programs can help. Contact one of our drug rehab centers today to learn more about our ecstasy treatment options and how we can help. Reach us in St Louis at 636-532-9991, in Columbia at 573-256-8020, and in Kansas City at 816-941-4000.