MDMA Addiction Facts and Statistics

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.

Last updated Jul 22, 2020 at 4:04PM | Published on Sep 5, 2014 | Types of Drug Addictions

Ecstasy, the name most people associate with MDMA, which is short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Also known as Molly on the streets, MDMA is a fine powder pressed into a small capsule for oral use. Another synthetic drug can be highly addictive; it produces feelings of euphoria, making it popular among teenagers and young adults. Let’s explore some MDMA addiction facts and statistics to learn more about the disease of addiction and how we can help those struggling with drug abuse. 

What is MDMA?

Ecstasy is a synthetic psychoactive drug with amphetamine and hallucinogenic-like properties. MDMA has a similar chemical structure to methamphetamines, which are highly addictive and cause brain damage. Initially, ecstasy as a diet aid pill; then, it was experimentally used during counseling sessions to remove people’s inhibitions. However, today MDMA is a Schedule I substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which means MDMA is not for medical treatment. 

Other street names for MDMA include Molly, Adam, Xtc, X, Hug, Go, Hug Drug, Beans, and Love Drug, to name a few. Due to its status as a Schedule I substance, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly is not used in medical treatment.

Facts About MDMA Addiction

5 Interesting MDMA Addiction Facts You Should Know

Unlike other addictive drugs, there’s not much research around the effects of MDMA on the body. Touted as a “club drug,” in the United States, some people even believe ecstasy has no addictive power. However, these MDMA addiction facts might prove otherwise. 

1. MDMA is a Popular Club Drug

For decades, ecstasy use was mostly linked to the nightclub culture among teenagers and young adults. The effects of ecstasy are almost instantly, and people feel a rush of euphoria and joy, which is why they often use it when partying.

To this date, it remains a popular nighttime clubbing drug. Most people in their 18s and early 30s use the drug when clubbing. In one study, the sample group reported a 70 percent rate of lifetime use, with 22 percent reporting taking club drugs recently. 

2. Ecstasy Abuse and Addiction Keeps Rising

While we see a decline in heavy drug use, MDMA keeps on the rise. Each year, hundreds of new users get hooked on the drug, with the average first-time user being around 20 years old. However, what’s even more troublesome is that MDMA has a higher rate of abuse among underage kids than other drugs. 

3. Most MDMA Pills Are Not Real

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of MDMA is that most pills aren’t pure. According to a report, nearly half of the pills examined were tainted in some capacity, with some cases containing no MDMA at all. On many occasions, tablets contain toxic substances that can lead to seizures, strokes, and even death. The chances of buying MDMA that isn’t pure in the streets is about 55.2%. 

4. Most MDMA Users Struggle with Co-Occurring Dependencies

MDMA users are known as “polydrug” users or people with co-occurring dependencies, meaning they struggle with more than one type of substance abuse disorder. According to the American Journal of College Health, 46 percent of college students who used this drug also used cocaine, compared to 2 percent of college students who did not use MDMA. The study found that of all MDMA users, 38% also use inhalants, another 38% use LSD, and about 17% use heroin. 

5. Addiction to MDMA Is Not Well Documented 

Research that explains how ecstasy can be addictive is scarce; it still has a high potential to be addictive. Some studies point to ecstasy being addictive, though to a lesser extent than other substances. However, since MDMA addiction can be challenging to recognize, many individuals believe it doesn’t exist.

Unlike other drugs, MDMA addicts don’t experience obvious withdrawal symptoms, which leads to continued use of ecstasy until someone develops a physical dependency and then an addiction. Even when MDMA is not the only drug causing dependence, it can be a piece of a multi-drug patchwork of addiction.

MDMA Addiction Statistics

MDMA Addiction Statistics

Throughout the years, MDMA addiction statistics continue to prove its popularity among the younger demographic. Its reputation of being a club or party drug remains intact, making it exciting for new generations. The more we learn about these Ecstasy statistics, the more awareness we can share with younger generations.

  • More than 1 in 10 people between the ages of 18 and 25 have consumed some version of ecstasy.
  • Over 22,000 people were hospitalized due to symptoms related to MDMA in 2011.
  • The strength of ecstasy is increasing, and the drug in 2016 was five times as strong as it might have been in 2009.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 36% of high school seniors report that ecstasy is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain.
  • Around 92% of those who begin using ecstasy later turn to other drugs, including marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin.
  • The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates Ecstasy users number approximately 9 million worldwide.
  • Emergency room visits due to ecstasy have increased by more than 1,200% since its popularity in clubs. 
  • Less than 29 percent of people who use MDMA can correctly assess the quality or chemical components that made up this substance.

MDMA Addiction Treatment

Addiction to ecstasy is highly prevalent, but those ready to break the addiction cycle can find hope in treatment. While ecstasy withdrawal symptoms can be mild when they use other substance addicts often experience intense symptoms. When people experience withdrawal symptoms, they go back to taking it even more to control their symptoms.

It’s paramount to speak with an addiction treatment specialist to determine the best way to start seeking help for bath salt addiction. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our MDMA addiction recovery programs include:

  • Medical Detox: A clinically supervised detox process held in addiction treatment centers ensures the patient’s safety and makes the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible. 
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs: After detox and maybe a partial hospitalization program, patients can choose an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that gives them the flexibility to attend school, work, or care for family members while still attending addiction treatment. 
  • Long-term Recovery Programs: It’s easy to relapse after treatment; almost sixty percent of people relapse. Long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety, especially when people with alcohol addiction tend to struggle with related problems all their lives. 
  • Group Therapy: As part of an drug addiction treatment program, patients often find group therapy helpful. So our team integrates Narcotics Anonymous (A.A.) meetings and other group therapy settings to assist in the recovery phase. 

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, seek help immediately. Call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction center specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.

Our philosophy revolves around treating each patient on a case-by-case scenario because we know no two addiction stories are alike. Start walking towards your recovery, and we’ll be here supporting you and your family every step of the way. Please don’t wait another day to start addiction treatment–your life depends on it. 

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Cite This Article
Geraldine Orentas. "MDMA Addiction Facts and Statistics." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Last updated Jul 22, 2020 at 4:04PM | Published on Sep 5, 2014, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/mdma-addiction-facts/.

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