A popular club drug called MDMA, which stands for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is considered a global phenomenon, as millions of users ingest it and dance all night to electronic music and laser lights. MDMA abuse can be dangerous and results in many side effects.

This popular club drug is used by many teenagers and adolescents to enhance their state of mind, gain a sense of euphoria, lose inhibition, and increase feelings of closeness and sensuality. Other common names for this synthetic night club drug include Ecstasy, XTC, Adam, E, X, clarity, Stacy and Molly. MDMA is a synthetic amphetamine made from MDP2P (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone) as a precursor. MDP2P in turn is generally produced from piperonal, safrole or isosafrole.

The Dangers Of MDMA Abuse

Ecstasy or MDMA is most dangerous when combined with any type of depressants such as alcohol of benzodiazepines. Depressants create the opposite side-effects of stimulants. MDMA is known to cause myocardial infarctions, kidney failure, liver failure, heat stroke and suffocation. MDMA is most known for its effects on temperature deregulation in the body, resulting in excessively high temperatures, eventually causing the organs to shut down. MDMA addiction affects individuals of all ages.

MDMA usually comes in a tablet or pill form, but users have been known to swallow it in liquid form or snort it in powder form. This drug often is not pure, and many users will mistake this for “bath salts.” As with any synthetic drug, you never know what you are actually getting. The effects of MDMA usually last between three to six hours, but many users will take a second dose to sustain the high. Symptoms of MDMA abuse can include:

  • Change in mental status
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperthermia
  • Headache
  • Ataxia
  • Blurred vision, halos
  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Anorexia
  • Diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
  • Sexual dysfunction

MDMA users commonly develop bruxism (jaw clenching), resulting in enamel erosion and dental decay. Because many MDMA users have an oral fixation and grind their teeth, it is very common to see clubgoers with lollipops or even pacifiers to alleviate their oral fixation without damaging their teeth.

The Most Life-Threatening Danger Of MDMA Use

Hyperthermia, or excessive body temperature, is the most critical side effect from MDMA. Hyperthermia leads to extremely high temperatures, resulting in organ failure and even death. Body temperatures rise slowly, and many MDMA users are not aware until it may be too late.

Due to the extreme rise in body temperature, many MDMA users will excessively hydrate to prevent hyperthermia; however, over-hydrating also has its negative effects. Over-hydration can lead to lower sodium levels in the body, resulting in cerebral edema, or brain swelling. Cerebral edema can result in coma, brain death and/or death, as it is very challenging to correct.

Although the possibility of MDMA addiction is still under scrutiny, as many professionals are unsure whether this drug is truly addictive, it is known to be dangerous.

MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms

After moderate MDMA use, users may experience the following withdrawal symptoms of MDMA:

  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness and aggression
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased interest in and pleasure from sex

MDMA Treatment

Studies are very controversial regarding whether MDMA is addictive. Although there is no medication used for MDMA treatment, behavioral therapy may be helpful. Because it is unsure whether addiction occurs, it is also unclear whether MDMA detox can occur. Although there is no specific MDMA addiction treatment, cognitive behaviorhal therapy, dialectal behavior therapy, neurofeedback and cognitive remediation are proven therapies to help individuals with any type of addiction.

Treatment For Teens At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego

The expert staff at Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego stays current on the most updated information regarding treatment and effects of MDMA abuse. The treatment programs at Sovereign are individualized and tailored to meet each patient’s needs. Each human responds differently to disease states, the treatments and the side effects and, therefore, Sovereign works diligently to treat the individual and not the disease.

To learn more about Sovereign Health’s adolescent treatment programs, please contact our admissions team at our 24/7 helpline.

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