MDMA is a designer drug commonly referred to as ecstasy. Since its creation, it has caused controversy. The drug started as a possible therapeutic tool but quickly evolved into a wildly popular and frequently abused party drug. Yet, this drug has been re-approached over the last few years and re-appraised for its therapeutic benefits. Today, there are still many questions surrounding how ecstasy affects the brain. For instance, how much is too much? What is ecstasy’s effect on the brain? Can it really help people with mental disorders? The team at Harmony Hills knows that expanding one’s understanding and education can help get treatment and give support.
Our team of counselors and therapists are skilled and informed about the latest approaches to treating mental health disorders. In our stimulant addiction treatment program, individuals struggling with the fallout of MDMA addiction or abuse can find the help they need. We can help you manage the effects of ecstasy and mental health issues, giving you the tools you need to heal. To learn more about our services and relapse prevention therapy in Florida, call 855.494.0357 today.
A Brief Look at the History of Ecstasy
In 1912, pharmaceutical company Merck created MDMA as a chemical intermediate synthesis. In other words, it was just something that pharmacists could use to make other things. They put it away until the 1950s when the United States Army started using it in testing. Then, in 1979, researchers started to experiment with the drug in therapeutic standards when they realized the empathetic side effects it offered. They thought it could help create a state of openness that would encourage more rapid therapeutic change.
After this, it exploded onto the streets, where it became the third biggest party drug on the markets besides alcohol and cocaine abuse. Over time, as more and more illegal manufacturers began creating it, it became more impure. Now, they laced it with countless other chemicals such as amphetamines, caffeine, dextromethorphan, or ketamine. However, it’s important to know what pure ecstasy does to the brain and how a cocaine addiction treatment program can help.
These days, MDMA can be ingested orally or anally, snorted, and injected. It is interesting in its chemical makeup because it reacts much like a combination of amphetamines and hallucinogens. Although it does not create hallucinations, many people report having heightened senses during their use. The amphetamine aspect consists of the increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and blood pressure increase.
Studies have been performed to decide whether or not MDMA is as addictive as cocaine, and evidence so far points out that it is not. While animals in labs will choose to be administered MDMA, correlation to humans varies as they would for cocaine. Many people only use it in certain environments and situations, such as concerts or rave parties.
Ecstasy’s Effect on the Brain
MDMA increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain. Many studies are currently being performed on its potential therapeutic value because of how MDMA interacts with serotonin levels. For example, SSRIs such as Prozac, which is used in depression treatment programs, must have a certain serotonin level in the brain before they can have any effect. These medications don’t release serotonin; they rely on it. MDMA, on the other hand, actively dumps high levels of serotonin into the receptors. This reaction creates those feelings of joy and euphoria.
Studies have shown that minimal amounts taken rarely of pure MDMA, result in no permanent brain malfunctions. However, when taken often and in large amounts, there can be serious side effects such as:
- Damage to your memory
- Emotional instability
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Heightened risk of seizures
- Organ damage and potential failure
The most dangerous aspect of MDMA is that most people take it in combination with other drugs. Many users report using it in conjunction with substances such as alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, sedatives, and marijuana. The side effects of these other drugs, combined with MDMA, can result in dangerous body temperatures and side effects affecting the heart and nervous system. MDMA can amplify its amphetamine-like effects in large amounts, creating a clenched jaw, jitters, dry mouth, appetite suppression, and nausea. At high levels of usage, body temperature can increase to dangerous levels. This is why many people often dehydrate and die during rave concerts, as they are usually overheated but too high to notice.
Why Should You Seek Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction?
If you are abusing or addicted to ecstasy, it is critical to find treatment for a variety of reasons, including:
- Ecstasy affects the brain and compromises the user’s future.
- Overdose is very possible, causing severe problems or fatality.
- Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression can be severe and long-term if not treated.
If you or someone you love has an ecstasy addiction, entering treatment is one of the best steps to take for a healthy recovery and life free from addiction. While in treatment, addicts begin to understand their issues with drug abuse and receive the mental health care required to address those issues. This presents a level of emotional stability that makes quitting ecstasy easier without a return to use. For more information about how treatment for addiction to ecstasy and mental health issues can be useful, call Harmony Hills today at 855.494.0357.
Reach Out to Harmony Hills
So while the verdict is still out on whether or not MDMA can create long-lasting effects on the brain, all of the data available to us doesn’t really consider the fact that many people are using it recreationally on the street are mixing it with other drugs. Here at Harmony Hills, we ask what sort of situations they might be in? What kind of physical and mental condition might they be in? How long has the individual been using the substance? Asking these questions puts our team of expert addiction treatment professionals in the best possible position to support recovery.
Discover what we have to offer and get your questions answered by calling us today at 855.494.0357.