What is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is one of the many club drugs that are abused in society today. “Ecstasy,” “Molly” and “E” are street names for MDMA, one of the fastest-growing club drugs in the world. By 2011, this drug was prompting over 10,000 visits to the emergency room in users under 21 years of age each year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Since its introduction to the underground rave scenes in the early 1980s, Ecstasy has grown in prevalence throughout the world, most of all in the U.K. and U.S. Although deaths from Ecstasy are relatively low, Ecstasy does pose the risk of hyperthermia (heat stroke), hyponatremia (water intoxication) and, in rarer cases, heart attack or suffocation.

Effects and Dangers of Ecstasy Abuse

Young people use Ecstasy because of its ability to engender a strong sense of euphoria, reduce social anxiety, stress or fear, and enhance tactile sensations, introspection and empathy. Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms and side effects include anxiety and depression after its primary effects wear off. Unlike its primary effects, which last up to a few hours, the secondary effects of MDMA (especially depression) can linger for as long as a week afterward.

Ecstasy is most dangerous when combined with alcohol, which, like many depressants, can produce the opposite effects that stimulants usually create. Those with existing heart, blood pressure and breathing issues are also at a higher risk of heart attack or suffocation – the latter due to MDMA’s tendency to cause sleep apnea. Kidney and liver failure, as well as bleeding in the lungs, although rare, can also occur with overdose. Ecstasy use can lead to heat stroke, water intoxication and suffocation, though its death toll is relatively low.

The real danger of Ecstasy lies in its effect on the regulation of body temperature. Due mostly to its release of three major neurotransmitters, combined with its stimulation of the nervous systems, Ecstasy can prevent the body from feeling the sensation of overheating, allowing the user to get dangerously hot without realizing it.

The threat of hyperthermia can also cause death in indirect ways. Because it is common knowledge among many Ecstasy users that overdose will run the risk of overheating, many people, especially inexperienced users, will overhydrate, leading to hyponatremia, or water poisoning. When the body takes in too much water, its sodium levels become unbalanced, causing the organs to swell. Although this is not critical to organs that have room to expand, the brain does not. If the brain expands too much, the brain stem will be crushed, leading to coma or death.

Treatment for Ecstasy at Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health is a leader in the field of addiction and mental illness treatment, providing a high level of care to teen patients, including those abusing the drug called Ecstasy.

Ecstasy addiction can be treated at by the expert staff at Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego keeps abreast of cutting-edge information on Ecstasy addiction treatment. We specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy, which treats the mental dysfunctions that lead to drug abuse and other problems. Group therapy also helps patients to find a healthier way to cope with their problems. Our treatment programs for Ecstasy addiction are personally tailored to fit the specific needs of each individual, offering the best chance for a lasting recovery.

Accredited by The Joint Commission, our Rancho San Diego facility provides Ecstasy addiction treatment with a high level of care. If you are interested in learning more about Sovereign Health’s Adolescent Programs, contact our admissions team at our 24/7 helpline.

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