Home Drug Rehab Ecstasy & MDMAT Treatment Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction:

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Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction:

Though physical dependence is uncommon for MDMA/Ecstasy use, but it is possible to become psychologically addicted to the drug. The pleasurable effects produced by the drug push the user to use the drug over and over again. Being a popular party and nightclub drug, MDMA abuse is common among teens and young adults. It is a usual practice by the users to hide the abuse but there may be some signs and symptoms that can make the process of finding out whether a loved one is suffering from substance abuse easy.

Table of Contents:

  • 1.What are the signs and symptoms of MDMA/Ecstasy abuse?
  • 2.What are the effects produced by the drug?
  • 3. How does MDMA affect the brain?
  • 4.What are the other risk factors associated with MDMA use?
  • 5.MDMA Overdose

Signs and Symptoms of MDMA/Ecstasy Abuse:

A number of behavioral changes can be observed in a person abusing Ecstasy such as:

  • A change in social circle
  • Strange and secretive behavior
  • Lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
  • Poor performance at school or office
  • Aggressiveness
  • Increased sex drive
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Stealing things and money go get the drug
  • Changed routine

Look for these things around the house or car of the suspected users to discover the truth:

  • Rolled paper or dollar bills used to snort crushed pill
  • Remains of the pill
  • Syringes

Deterioration in the health of the user can also be noticed due to increased interest in abusing the drug and decreased interest in eating or any other activity.

What are the effects produced by the drug?

Ecstasy has become a popular drug because of the desirable effects produced shortly after its usage such as energy boost, emotional warmth, euphoria and pleasure. However, the negative effects produced by the drug outweigh its positive effects. Some of the unpleasant effects produced by the drug include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Aggression
  • Impulsiveness
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Inability to feel pleasure from sexual intercourse
  • Sadness
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased mental capabilities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep

The other adverse health effects produced by the drug may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased body temperature/hyperthermia
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation
  • Dehydration

How does MDMA affect the brain?

MDMA produces its effects on the brain by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters that include dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Like other amphetamines act, MDMA also causes the increased amounts of these neurotransmitters to release and act on the neurons resulting into greatly increased brain activity. Compared to another very potent drug, methamphetamine, MDMA releases more serotonin and less amphetamine. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter concerned with the regulation of sleep, pain, mood, appetite and a few other feelings and behaviors. When excessive serotonin is released by the drug, the users feel a boost in energy and mood. However, because all the serotonin in brain is used at once, it is depleted. Due to this, the user starts to feel down and sad because no more serotonin is available to produce positive effects. This is what is known as crash phase of the drug.

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction

Studies suggest that elongated MDMA use is associated with the destruction of serotonin producing neurons. It has also been found that heavy MDMA users suffer from long term depression, anxiety, confusion, decreased memory and attention span. Impairment in the memory is caused due to damage to serotonin producing neurons. Also for an MDMA user, the regions of the brain associated with cognition, emotion and learning show some differences from the normal brain regions.

What are the other risk factors associated with MDMA use?

It is important to keep the fact in mind that dealers may often sell other substances as Ecstasy that are consumed by ignorant users. Also, some other drugs can be mixed with MDMA. Due to this, a number of unexpected and unanticipated effects are produced by the drug that can be very harmful for the user.

Some young women may take MDMA during pregnancy due to sheer ignorance that it does not produce any harmful effects on the fetus. However, studies suggest that MDMA can affect the development of the fetus adversely so it is important to avoid the drug during pregnancy.

Using MDMA also promotes unsafe behavior. For example, people are more likely to have unprotected sex during a high phase induced by MDMA use. So the risk of unwanted pregnancy and contraction of sexually transmitted infections/diseases increases a great deal.

MDMD Overdose:

It is possible to overdose on MDMA. A number of adverse effects are produced when high doses of MDMA are taken. Even death is possible if emergency healthcare services are not provided. MDMA affects the capability of the body to regulate temperature. It can lead to dangerous increase in body temperature that can sometimes result into kidney failure, liver failure, heart failure and even death.

Some other symptoms of MDMA overdose include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Intercranial hemorrhage
  • Memory impairment
  • Declined cognitive abilities
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle cramping
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irresponsiveness
  • Coma

It is important to be extremely careful while dealing with dangerous drugs like MDMA. If a loved one is suffering from MDMA abuse, much needed medical attention should be provided.


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