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Ecstasy Addiction

Ecstasy Addiction Has a Lasting Effect on the Brain

Ecstasy, or MDMA (short for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a hallucinogenic drug which stimulates the central nervous system. It creates feelings of euphoria in the brain and also acts as a stimulant, which makes it a popular party drug at all-night raves and other such dance parties. Once upon a time in the 1970s, MDMA was used by psychotherapists during therapy sessions to help patients feel relief from their anxieties and discuss their deepest fears. Today, you can find ecstasy in tablet form. Recently, however, a purer form of MDMA known as “Molly” (short for “molecular”) is available in a crystalline form, often swallowed in capsules.

Some studies show that ecstasy use has a much lower likelihood of developing into a full-blown addiction compared to similar drugs like meth and cocaine. However, it should be noted that any substance or behavior which triggers a dopamine response in the brain can become addictive. This includes ecstasy.

Getting Help for an Ecstasy Addiction

The danger behind prolonged or extensive use of ecstasy has a lot to do with the specific types of brain damage that the drug causes. Notably, it also has to do with how long that damage tends to linger in the brain. For starters, ecstasy wreaks havoc on the serotonin system in the brain. The intense damage that ecstasy does to the serotonin transport neurons produces a domino effect in parts of the brain responsible for memory and speech. Some studies show that even brief exposure to this particular drug can yield damage in the brain that persists for many years after the fact.

Compared to other addictive substances, it is much more difficult to develop a physiological dependence on ecstasy. Therefore, breaking an addiction to MDMA is primarily a psychological one. This means that, unlike other substances, most people who struggle with ecstasy abuse won’t require a supervised medical detox or an extended stay in a residential rehab facility. Some may even be able to start their recovery with outpatient therapy as opposed to putting their life on hold and checking into a residential rehab treatment center.

It’s important to understand that an ecstasy user will have long-lasting neurological effects from their MDMA use. These cognitive effects may linger for many years, even after sobriety has been achieved and they have undergone addiction treatment. Due to MDMA’s influence on the brain’s serotonin system, these effects will also have an impact on their psychological well-being for many years to come.

The First Step: Asking for Help

If you or someone you care about is suffering from an ecstasy addiction, help is available. A quick phone call to one of our addiction specialists can help you find the resources you need to get yourself or a loved one on the road to recovery today.