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Can Someone Develop a Physical Dependence on Ecstasy?

by | Last updated Oct 2, 2020 at 4:13PM | Published on Mar 30, 2020 | Drug Addiction, Stimulants Addiction

Ecstasy Dependence

Ecstasy is a popular recreational drug that has a reputation for being a club drug. However, one of the biggest dangers of ecstasy is that most people don’t know exactly whats in the drug they take, as most drug dealers blend various substances to obtain it. Despite the unknown, there’s no doubt that someone who abuses drugs can develop an ecstasy physical dependence and an addiction.

What is Ecstasy?

3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy or molly, a form of MDMA, is a psychoactive drug primarily used for recreational purposes. Ecstasy is a Schedule I drug, which means the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers it has no medical use and a high potential for misuse. Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or molly, is illegal to sell, buy, or use in any form in the United States. 

Symptoms and Signs of Ecstasy Use

Drugs like ecstasy produce altered sensations, increases energy, and pleasure. Effects can kick in as quickly as 30 minutes after ingestion. Like other stimulants, ecstasy increases the brain’s production of neurotransmitters that cause changes in the brain to release a surge of dopamine, serotonin, and other feel-good neurotransmitters.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some people use ecstasy regularly, which places them at higher risk of physical dependence. Some immediate signs of ecstasy use, include:

  • Excessive energy
  • Lower inhibitions
  • Feeling more emotional, empathetic, or trusting
  • Sensitivity to light, touch, and sound
  • Feelings of euphoria or giddiness

However, some ecstasy abusers can also experience the life-threatening effects of ecstasy, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of awareness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Restless legs
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness 

Ecstasy Tolerance vs. Dependence vs. Addiction

While research is still unclear on whether or not ecstasy’s addictive potential, it’s known that some individuals can develop a tolerance and an ecstasy physical dependence, it all depends on how the brain and body react to the drug. 

It’s easy for someone to develop a tolerance to drugs. Once they develop a tolerance, their body craves more and more of the drug to experience the same effects as the first time. This is one of the reasons people take ecstasy over time, hoping to recreate that first “high.”

When the body becomes physically dependent on a drug like an ecstasy, people will instantly experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. The physical dependence also has to do with the way these drugs rewire the brain’s reward system. By changing how the brain produces feel-good neurotransmitters, the body will crave these substances to continue to function correctly.

Following these patterns of misuse could potentially lead to an addiction. By this stage, people are already experiencing adverse side effects and consequences of their ecstasy use. However, they can’t stop using the drug despite their best efforts. 

How to Know if Someone Has an Ecstasy Dependence?

Ecstasy users will show symptoms of withdrawal and regular drug abuse signs when they struggle with ecstasy dependence. However, to say someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, they must meet the following criteria:

  • A noticeable change in behavior and personality
  • Inability to perform daily routines without being under the influence
  • Intense cravings to use ecstasy despite negative consequences
  • Life revolves around their drug use
  • Giving up commitments such as work and social life for ecstasy
  • Withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it

Treatment Options for Ecstasy Use Disorder

Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments for ecstasy addiction. However, there are many treatment options available that tackle the addiction itself. 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 a comprehensive approach.

Addiction Treatment Programs

  • 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. 
  • Inpatient Programs: These offer a temptation-free environment that’s designed to help people in recovery. In this case, people check into a living drug rehab facility, and they attend meetings and therapy sessions while remaining in a supervised environment.
  • Outpatient Programs: For those with a mild addiction, an outpatient rehab program might be an option. In this case, they have a more flexible program that allows them to maintain their daily schedule and responsibilities like attending school, work, or caring for their family.
  • 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 a 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. 
  • Individual Therapy: Beyond the detox process, it’s paramount to tackle the addiction focusing on the addict’s mental health. Through individual therapy, people can understand what drives addictive behavior and see if there’s an underlying cause of their addiction.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, 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.

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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