Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

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Drug Treatment Guide

ecstasyWhat is Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a recreational psychoactive drug that is also known as MDMA, Molly or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. People take this synthetic stimulant to induce feelings of euphoria, empathy, and love. These effects can last anywhere from three to six hours.
While MDMA can be snorted, smoked, or injected, most people take the drug orally for a longer and smoother experience. Molly is known as a party drug and has strong links to rave culture and electronic music.

What are the Effects of Ecstasy?

This drug is known to heighten sensations and lead to an increased sense of empathy and euphoria. MDMA has also been linked with a wide range of adverse effects, however, including: paranoia, insomnia, teeth grinding, blurred vision, memory problems, fatigue, and addiction.

Like all illegal drugs, there is also a problem with the purity of ecstasy pills, which often contain adulterants that can lead to medical complications and even death. The long-term abuse of ecstasy has been linked with numerous adverse psychological effects, including anxiety-related disorders and depression disorder. ecstasy-abuse Regular MDMA use at high doses has been shown to produce brain lesions and marked neurotoxicity, which can lead to cognitive impairments, reduced memory, and sleep problems.

What are the Signs of Ecstasy Abuse?

Ecstasy abuse has been linked to a wide range of physical and psychological health problems, as well as social and interpersonal problems. While this drug does not cause physical dependence in the same way as alcohol or opioid drugs, heavy users may experience severe emotional and motivational withdrawal symptoms when they stop using.

Signs that someone may be abusing MDMA include:
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unusual burst of energy
  • Impaired judgment
  • Unable to sleep – staying awake for days
  • Confusion
  • Changes in vision
  • Anxiety
  • Grinding and clenching of teeth
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Those who abuse this drug are at high risk of becoming dehydrated and overheated. This can cause organ failure of left untreated. Other may experience heart failure, respiratory problems, kidney failure, seizures, nerve damage, brain damage and even death.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction

MDMA addiction does not respond well to medication treatment. Common treatment models for ecstasy addiction include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Contingency management
  • 12-step programs
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention

These treatments can be applied in a residential or outpatient setting, with access to treatment largely dependent on the needs and expectations of each individual client. Relapse prevention programs also play an important role during treatment. During these sessions, patients are taught how to identify potential triggers, avoid high-risk situations, and develop new coping mechanisms to make better lifestyle decisions.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse is common during drug addiction recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), between 40 and 60 percent of all recovering addicts return to using drugs or alcohol. Dedicated relapse prevention techniques and systems are needed to help reduce relapse rates. By learning to recognize warning signs during the early stages of relapse, recovering drug addicts can learn how to avoid the impulsive and compulsive responses widely associated with drug addiction.


  1. Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4760, DAWN Series D-39. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  3. Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health [PDF]. (2015, September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  4. Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from

Last updated on July 19th, 2017 at 07:58 pm

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