MDMA is a synthetic drug that typically produces a euphoric high for users. In some cases, it can have psychedelic effects; for this reason, it is sometimes associated with LSD.
Originally derived from amphetamines in the early 1900s, ecstasy was used for its appetite-suppressing properties and could be acquired on prescription. It was a rarely used substance until the 1970s when it began being used as an alternative psychotherapy method in individuals living with PTSD, addiction, and depression.
MDMA then made its way into the mainstream through club nights, music festivals, and raves, where it was and is commonly abused until this day. For this reason, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rescheduled MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, categorizing it as a substance without any medical use.
Typically the effects of MDMA last between 2 and 6 hours. This substance has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties, and it works by stimulating serotonin activity in the brain, which affects the body and mind.
Users tend to report feelings of increased energy, joy, and empathy. They also may become more trusting and compassionate of others, friends, and strangers.
Ecstasy affects your need for sleep and food, with users typically reporting a decreased appetite and increased warmth and activity. Ecstasy users report many other associated side effects.
It is common for these effects to feel positive and enjoyable for the first few hours after use; however, less positive side effects tend to occur after the euphoria wears off. After the body has metabolized the MDMA, users will commonly experience difficult and distressing aftereffects, also known as a comedown.
Depending on how much the drug is used, the effects will vary. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that a standard dose of MDMA will see the user experience the most intense effects 15 to 30 minutes after the onset of symptoms.
The effects of the drug usually last between 3 and 6 hours. However, some symptoms have been known to last for days or weeks. After the initial dose, like many drugs, the user is likely to search for the same feelings from the first high. This can result in them taking increasing quantities of the drug. This affects the length of time that MDMA stays within the body and increases the risks of adverse side effects.
It is common for users to become addicted to the effects of ecstasy. Individuals may begin to feel they cannot have a good time without the drug, and they spend a lot of time thinking about and acquiring the drug.
Signs of an ecstasy addiction could include:
An individual’s tolerance to the substance will increase reasonably rapidly with regular use; despite taking the same dose or more, the drug will have fewer effects. This often leads users to take higher doses to feel the same euphoria. Over time, ecstasy use depletes serotonin levels in the brain, which gives you the ecstasy ‘high.’
When we talk about the body’s ability to metabolize drugs, we use the term ‘half life’. This refers to the amount of time taken for the initial concentration of the drug to reduce by half. After one half-life, 50% of the dose taken remains in the body. Research has found that it can take approximately forty hours, or five half-lives, for 95% of ecstasy to go from the body.
The length of time MDMA stays within the system depends on several factors, including dosage, body composition, metabolism, and other drugs in the body. Furthermore, different tests have varying sensitivity and different detection windows. Although it is not possible to give a specific time frame, ecstasy is detectable for approximately:
The length of time MDMA stays within the system is variable. Furthermore, different tests have different sensitivity and detection times. Although it is not possible to give an exact time frame, an individual may test positive approximately:
The cycle of addiction is a complex condition. Therefore, medical supervision is strongly advised to keep people on the right track to recovery. Every drug addiction is unique, and so is the recovery. A quality rehabilitation center offers a variety of treatment options. Thus, incorporating flexibility to suit each client’s recovery goals and needs. Most recovery plans begin with detox, which flushes the body of substances and the associated toxins. Here we look at some of the elements that may be in an addiction treatment program.
Detoxification is the process of ridding the body of substances. This is a crucial first step in your journey, allowing you to focus on the psychological aspects of recovery. There are no FDA-approved medications for treating ecstasy addiction, but comprehensive drug detox programs can provide a secure environment with medical supervision to manage the distressing symptoms of withdrawal.
Ecstasy withdrawal is not usually harmful. However, it can be uncomfortable. Individuals may experience exhaustion, brain fog, loss of appetite, anxiety, and depression. If you choose a holistic healing program, your medical supervision will treat any co-existing conditions, such as depression or anxiety, which may trigger your drug abuse.
Inpatient programs are recommended for individuals with a history of substance abuse or co-existing mental health conditions. If you choose this option, you will live in a safe, residential setting and determine several therapy modalities and 24/7 support.
Outpatient programs enable you to stay within your own home and fulfill necessary responsibilities while attending treatment. This can be an effective option for those with a supportive home environment or a milder form of addiction.
Talk therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are often used in ecstasy addiction treatment. These techniques help people identify and alter the thoughts and behaviors contributing to their substance abuse and find healthier coping mechanisms. Additionally, talk therapies run in individual sessions or during group therapy. Finding a support group can be combined with CBT, as clients find support from others who truly understand their challenges.
If you are struggling with ecstasy addiction, know that help is available. At Empowered Recovery Center, we understand the difficulties of overcoming substance use disorders and have experienced professionals to support you throughout your journey. With our evidence-based treatment options tailored to your individual needs, you can find healing in a safe and caring environment.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you or someone close to you overcome an MDMA addiction.
Contact our team to find out how we can help you