Although it was first developed during World War 1, Ecstasy most recently came to prominence in the early 90’s on the ‘rave scene’. Sometimes known as the ‘love drug’, it causes users to experience euphoria and a sense of harmony with their surroundings and other people, particularly those who are also using it. It is both a stimulant and a hallucinogen, and causes the release of a chemical known as serotonin in the brain, which allows the user to experience an elevated mood and has an antidepressant effect. It is usually distributed as a tablet, and is often brightly colored and marked with logos or other graphics. MDMA (commonly known now as ‘Molly’) is a powder which is usually supplied in a capsule.
Back in the 70’s, some therapists used Ecstasy as a method of treatment, believing that it helped patients to connect with their feelings and emotions, despite the fact that this treatment was never formally approved by the FDA.
A little more than a decade later, the FDA listed Ecstasy as a Schedule I substance – this is because it was determined that it was there is a high risk of abuse, and no legitimate medical purpose. Following its re-categorization, it rapidly became a popular street drug, particularly amongst the younger generation. As well as the currently popular ‘Molly’, it is also known as ‘E’, ‘Adam, ‘Love Pill’ and Eve’.
In short, the answer is ‘no’. Although it is not physiologically addictive, some people will develop a compulsion to take it. The lack of physical addiction does not make it any less likely that the drug will be abused, as the enjoyment of it can quickly drive it’s use to levels where it becomes a problem. If you are concerned about yourself of a loved one, you might wish to explore drug rehab centers in Florida to seek out appropriate treatment.
Although deaths from overdose are rare, this does not make it a ‘safe’ drug. Underlying heart conditions, heat stroke and many other factors can contribute to causes of death in ecstasy users. Additionally, possession of the drug is illegal and in many places conviction for offences related to the possession, distribution or manufacture of E will result in lengthy jail terms.
Signs of abuse of E or MDMA are frequently similar to those of other drugs, and it can be difficult to ascertain which chemical is being abused. However, as a general rule of thumb, sudden changes in behavior such as developing new friendship groups, a sudden loss of interest in hobbies, activities or pastimes that were previously enjoyed, missing money or possessions and disturbed sleep patterns are all symptoms of a dependence on MDMA. It is important that if you observe these behaviors and are concerned about their effects, you speak to a drug rehab center in Iowa prior to attempting detox.
There are some very obvious signs of Ecstasy use, particularly rapid eye movement and clenching of the jaw. You might find that there is an intense focus on the senses, sweating and/or chills and an unusual level of affection. People who are using MDMA are frequently very sensitive to changes in temperature, and you may observe them removing or adding layers of clothing, or opening and closing windows and doors to try to regulate their body temperature.
The intensity and duration of the effects of ecstasy depend on several factors. These include the environment, other drugs or alcohol, the dose and composition of the drug that has been taken (in many cases, it can be ‘cut’ with other drugs such as cocaine) and also the on the individual who has taken the substance. Generally speaking, the effects can last up to three hours, but side effects can last for much longer with some users reporting negative effects many weeks later, particularly if use is heavy or prolonged.
It is frequently hard for someone using E recreationally to see the negative effects of their drug abuse, particularly in the case of MDMA where mood is usually enhanced. Although sometimes all that is required is a single conversation, sometime it is necessary to have an intervention to help the person abusing MDMA to understand the negative consequences of their drug abuse.
There are many positive ways to treat a dependence on Ecstasy. This might include an initial period of detox, followed by individual psychotherapy, group recovery meetings and abstinence maintenance. If there is a dual diagnosis, it might be helpful to employ a course of antidepressant medication, as it is possible that the original use is connected to ‘self-medicating’ for an undiagnosed psychiatric disorder. Many E users will also use other drugs, which make it particularly important to seek professional advice prior to attempting detox, as this can be particularly challenging.
It is important that the treatment plan that you chose caters to the individual concerned rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach – the core reasons for any type of substance abuse can be many and varied, and it is essential to treat them at the same time as dealing with the effects of dependency, or the likelihood of long term recovery is much lower. You can visit slorecoverycenters.com for more advice and information, and once you make the decision to make contact you can be assured that you will receive empathetic, holistic care with continuing support for as long as you require it.