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Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Millions of adults use Ecstasy, or MDMA, every year. It’s a “club drug” commonly known by its users as ecstasy, Molly, or simply “X.” This can lead to ecstasy addiction issues that result in a need for treatment.

Though MDMA is often considered relatively harmless compared to other drugs, it can be psychologically addictive and contribute to short- and long-term health effects.

Vogue Recovery Center offers evidence-based ecstasy addiction treatment, with primary locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. Pursuing treatment at Vogue can help you or a loved one address the reasons you misuse MDMA. Additionally, you can learn healthy coping skills to achieve and manage a fulfilling life in recovery.

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What is Ecstasy / MDMA?

Ecstasy is also known as MDMA. MDMA is short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a drug originating from the root bark of a sassafras plant. Ecstasy is commonly taken orally as a powder or pill and occasionally sniffed. It’s an illegal drug associated with the “party scene” taken primarily by teens and young adults who often refer to it as “Molly” or “X”.

MDMA appears in various forms, including:

  • Crystallized powder
  • Gel caps
  • Pills

Powdered ecstasy can be pure in form or cut with bulking agents and other chemicals such as caffeine, opiates, stimulants, or other harmful substances.

Combining ecstasy with other drugs is called “candy-flipping”. Some of these drugs include LSD and other hallucinogens, like peyote and psilocybin mushrooms, and Ketamine (Special K), a drug developed as an animal tranquilizer.

In the “rave” environment, MDMA is often used to accent the drug’s effects with music and lighting, enhancing the user’s experience. The psychostimulant effect at these clubs and festivals often leads to large consumption of ecstasy by attendees, creating a culture formed around the feelings that the drug gives.

Effects of Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug that affects the central nervous system (CNS). When substances influence the nervous system, they can change brain functioning and alter functions such as behavior, logic, reasoning, emotion, and consciousness.

When MDMA enters your brain, the neurotransmitter serotonin is released, causing feelings of euphoria, connectivity, and general mood elevation. Some users report experiencing hallucinations and a low appetite. Ecstasy temporarily inhibits the natural creation of serotonin, which makes you crave more of the drug, leading to chronic mood instability, impulsivity, psychosis, or cognitive impairment.

Ecstasy addiction sometimes goes hand-in-hand with rave and concertgoers who want to decrease inhibitions and heighten their sensory experiences. Other users say they use MDMA to increase insight while meditating or to obtain a closer relation to the collective consciousness or a power greater than themselves.

As with other substances, everyone reacts differently to MDMA. Some reasons people return to MDMA are the immediate positive effects they feel. These can include:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased comfort in social situations
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings of connectivity with others
  • Joy
  • Increased compassion and empathy
  • Increased energy levels
  • Increase of senses and pleasure response to senses

Short-Term Effects of Ecstasy

MDMA can cause several unwanted short and long-term effects. A single dose of ecstasy can prove toxic and create adverse reactions, though most negative effects come from long-term use. With short-term use, ecstasy increases catecholamines, which cause blood vessel constriction and an elevated heart rate, which can lead to high blood pressure, dehydration, and a spike in body temperature. Under some circumstances, these effects can be life-threatening.

Other short-term effects of Ecstasy can include:

  • Teeth clenching
  • Sleep disorders
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive issues
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sweating
  • Erectile dysfunction

Some adverse effects can last for up to a week after mild to moderate use of ecstasy. These include:

  • Lockjaw (Trismus)
  • Lack of sleep/insomnia
  • Moderate to severe fatigue
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Impulsive thinking
  • Boredom and restlessness
  • Memory challenges

Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy

Research is inconclusive on the long-term effects of regular MDMA use. Some evidence shows adverse reactions in people who use large doses for an extended period.

Moderate users are considered people who have consumed less than 100 tablets in their life. Higher-risk users are considered those who have used more than 100 tablets.

Regular, high-dose ecstasy users have shown some brain damage and neurodegeneration in several areas of the brain. They may also experience reduced gray matter density, increasing potential risk for movement, learning, memory, and attention problems.

Long-term effects of Ecstasy can include:

  • Attention and focus issues
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Increased risk-taking and impulsiveness
  • Depression, especially between use
  • Inflammation of the central nervous system

Signs of Ecstasy Abuse

Ecstasy addiction is classified in the DSM-5 as a hallucinogen use disorder with criteria for mild, moderate, or severe. With excessive use, MDMA users may become psychologically or physically dependent. People who use MDMA tend to use other substances like alcohol or marijuana, which may cause more serious signs of addiction and abuse.

Any drug that’s taken front and center in an individual’s life can come with common addiction symptoms, such as:

  • Needing ecstasy (MDMA) to function in certain situations
  • Inability to quit or cut back on MDMA use
  • Preoccupation with where you’ll get more ecstasy and when you’ll use it again
  • Planning out events and experiences around ecstasy use
  • Avoiding events or experiences that don’t include estasy
  • Changes in mood and appetite
  • Neglecting responsibilities like work and school
  • Narrowing your social circle to people who use ecstasy or other drugs
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial or legal problems due to MDMA use
  • Dishonesty about drug use or situations tied to drug use
  • Continuing to use despite negative consequences

Ecstasy (MDMA) Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the most predominant withdrawal symptoms of ecstasy is depression, which can last up to a week after the last use. You may also experience anxiety and some memory loss that can increase both anxiety and depression. Whether you need detox depends on how much and how long you’ve used MDMA and if you’re using alcohol or other drugs as well.

Your body can build up a tolerance to MDMA with regular use. Since it releases a large amount of serotonin, it can take your brain weeks or months to replenish serotonin levels naturally after taking ecstasy. If you use the drug more than once every three months, withdrawal symptoms like depression can become especially severe.

MDMA may not be as dangerous as other drugs like cocaine, alcohol, or opiates, but it can lead to complications and psychological difficulties. Along with severe depression, MDMA (Ecstasy) withdrawal and detox may include:

  • High levels of anxiety
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy

How is Ecstasy Addiction Treated?

If you are continuing to use ecstasy (MDMA) despite its negative impact on your physical or mental health, relationships, and life, you may be experiencing addiction. An intensive therapy program can help you make a positive change. If you’re using other substances like alcohol or other drugs as well, professional treatment in ecstasy rehab is even more critical.

Vogue Recovery Center provides expert psychotherapy and a multidisciplinary approach for a customized, goal-oriented treatment experience. We draw on the science of addiction medicine and holistic applications so treatment is effective and engaging. Our treatment approach addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual effects of addiction. Our home-like environments and welcoming staff offer abundant comfort and a clear path to restoration.

Types of treatment for ecstasy addiction may include the following:

Medical Detox

Ecstasy / MDMA withdrawal usually doesn’t require medical detox unless you’re using it with other substances. Instead, medical staff at an addiction treatment center will help you manage withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and depression while you begin addiction treatment. Providers may prescribe clinically appropriate medications to help stabilize mood, ease insomnia, and reduce anxiety during drug detox.

medical staff at an ecstasy addiction treatment center will help you manage withdrawal symptoms

Inpatient Treatment

Many people need time and space away from life’s usual triggers to begin their recovery. Residential inpatient treatment at a drug rehab center provides a high level of structure and support. You’ll live in residences with other clients in treatment. Usually, these are similar to comfortable dorm rooms or apartments, depending on the treatment center. You attend individual and group therapy during the day and participate in recovery activities at night.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides you with ongoing care to keep in touch with your treatment team and attend additional group and individual therapy sessions to support your ongoing sobriety. Not everyone will require the same treatment plan. 

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) – Partial hospitalization programs usually provide programming as residential treatment, but you live at home while attending. This option is ideal for those who need more structure but can commit to living at home while in recovery.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – Intensive Outpatient is an introduction back into life outside of a treatment setting. These programs usually have day or evening hours so you can work around your work, school, or home responsibilities.
  • Outpatient Program (OP) – Outpatient treatment is the last step in your professional addiction treatment. This is usually 1-3 hours a week to check in with your addiction team and attend group therapy for support for your recovery.

Treatment Approaches

Specific treatment methods are effective for people with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Some of these substance abuse treatment methods include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy programs
  • Medication management for mental health disorders
  • Therapies that address trauma
  • Ongoing addiction resources like 12-step groups

When you understand the reasons why you’re using drugs and alcohol to cope, you can begin to do the work of addiction recovery. We’ll help you address these underlying issues, recognize your strengths, and gain the coping skills to maintain sobriety when you leave us.

Does Insurance Cover Ecstasy Addiction Treatment?

Most major insurances include coverage for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, including time in an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility. Insurance may pay for ecstasy addiction treatment partially or in full.

If you need help navigating the complexities of insurance coverage for ecstasy addiction treatment, our admissions team can help. We offer complimentary insurance verification and work directly with your provider to determine out-of-pocket costs.


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Looking for Help?

Recovery is hard work, but it’s worth it. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to ecstasy, contact us. We can help.

We have locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. We work with various insurance companies and may accept your Medicaid coverage depending on the plan and treatment location.

Vogue Recovery Center has helped thousands of clients recover from addiction. Life is better in recovery. Don’t wait another day to get help.

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