On the surface, drug use might be alluring. The sensations of euphoria, having high-energy and having empathy for others are definitely attractive feelings. When those feelings are induced by MDMA, though, there are dangerous and potentially lethal repercussions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to MDMA, you’ve likely wondered about the symptoms of addiction. In this article we’ll share the scoop on both the short and long-term MDMA health effects and how you can heal from them and get sober for good.
What is MDMA?
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy or molly, is a stimulant and hallucinogenic drug. According to the Department of Justice, this drug is generally used to produce a euphoric and energizing effect, reduce inhibitions and increase feelings of closeness or sexuality.
Ecstasy also distorts a person’s sense of time and concept of reality. It is called an “empathogen,” meaning that it increases a person’s sense of empathy or compassion towards others. This drug is also known for its ability to increase enjoyment of experiences in the user.
How is MDMA used?
MDMA is used most commonly in pill form, although it can also be consumed as a powder. Many people use ecstasy alongside alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. It’s rare to find MDMA in pure forms in pills, as it’s often cut with other substances. This means that its effects are unpredictable and extremely hazardous.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), street MDMA is most commonly combined with ketamine, caffeine, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, heroin, PCP and cocaine.
What are the short-term effects of MDMA?
Depending on the method MDMA is taken, the effects may differ, states the NIDA. When MDMA is taken in capsule form, the effects are experienced roughly 45 minutes after the pill is taken. The high point of the effects occurs 15 to 30 minutes after the initial symptoms and last a few hours but may be felt for days. The following are common effects of MDMA during this time.
- Increased energy
- Increased feelings of empathy (caused by a release of serotonin)
- Increased enjoyment
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Sexual arousal
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramping
- Teeth clenching
- Muscle tension
- Feelings of anger or rage
- Risky behaviors (such as sexual behaviors, driving while intoxicated, stealing, etc)
- Feeling extroverted
- Enhanced perception
- Changes in appetite
- Panic attacks
- Restless legs
- Electrolyte imbalance
People often attempt to stretch out the euphoric effects by taking a second dose as the first wears off. This greatly increases the harm of MDMA and can lead to harmful side effects. Although overdose is rare, other side effects can lead to serious health concerns
What are the long-term effects of MDMA?
The most notable side effect of MDMA when used over the course of time is addiction. An uncontrollable urge to use ecstasy will cause repercussion in relationships, work, school and daily life. Here are notable negative health effects of ecstasy in the long-term.
- According to the journal Psychopharmacology, negative MDMA health effects include cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, hyponatremia, liver problems, seizure, coma, cognitive impairments, mood disturbances and death
- An article in the journal Human Psychopharmacology reports that MDMA can induce dehydration and hyperthermia, resulting in brain swelling or organ failure when too much or too little water is consumed
- MDMA can make regulating body temperature difficult, which can lead to liver, kidney or heart failure
- Even a single use of ecstasy can increase a person’s risk of HIV or AIDS
- According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, MDMA can result in damage to the serotonin system, inhibiting a person’s ability to feel pleasure
- Impaired attention
- Difficulty storing memories
- Sleep disorders
- Decreased cognitive abilities
The long-term effects of repeated ecstasy use are severe. Don’t let mild short-term impacts fool you, this drug is dangerous. The addictive nature of the substance means these drastic consequences are likely to happen to any individual who finds themselves struggling with an addiction to MDMA.
How do I break an MDMA addiction?
In order to counteract the effects of ecstasy, you’ll need to get clean for good. There’s no such thing as a “safe dose” or casual use of MDMA. Even one use can be dangerous. It’s important to leave MDMA in the past, starting now.
If you’re hoping to break an addiction to ecstasy, you’ll need to attend treatment, either through an inpatient detox center or outpatient services. The bulk of your treatment will include one-on-one or group therapy and medication assisted treatment. You may also benefit from intervention for co-occurring disorders or holistic therapy.
You can get the help you need with Rehab After Work. Convenient and flexible scheduling means you don’t have to leave your life behind to pursue sobriety. Prioritize family, career and your personal life while you get the professional treatment you deserve. Call today.