MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, can be addictive. This can make it difficult to stop using and even require professional assistance. When a teen is hooked on Ecstasy, it can cause increased cravings for the drug. And when a teen tries to ignore the cravings in order to quit, they may experience depression, insomnia, and other uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Ecstasy is a drug that affects two primary neurotransmitters in the brain. These are serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin plays a role in mood, sleep, sexual feelings, sensitivity to pain, and aggression. It can help a person feel very good about life, themselves, and others. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the feel-good chemical. And the other neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, increases levels of energy. Because of these effects, Ecstasy is commonly used at dance parties, clubs, and raves. The drug can increase the ability to dance for extended periods of time.
Yet, Ecstasy is a man made drug. As mentioned above, Ecstasy is sometimes called MDMA, which is short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Another name commonly used by teens is Molly. Ecstasy is usually taken orally, in tablet or capsule form, and its effects last 3-6 hours. Once ingested, the drug takes about 15 minutes to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. In about 45 minutes, a teen will begin to experience a high. The drug produces the following effects:
- a significant increase in heart rate
- increase in blood pressure
- high levels of alertness
- loss of a sense of time
- possible change perception
- increased levels of energy
At the same time, a teen or young adult can also experience negative consequences right away including:
Additionally, there can be other consequences, once the drug has worn off, such as:
- sleep disturbance
- persistent anxiety
- panic attacks
- trouble concentrating
It’s also important to know that Ecstasy can be extremely dangerous in high doses. Also, what makes this drug dangerous is that it’s man-made. It includes a mix of already dangerous ingredients. For instance, caffeine, amphetamines, and PCP can be added to increase its effects. Another danger of using this drug is the risk of hyperthermia. When teens are engaging in vigorous activity, such as dancing, the drug can interfere with the ability to regulate temperature. Overheating and hyperthermia can be the result of the drug’s interference with the brain and the body. In this way, with the use of this drug, dancing can become destructive and harmful to the body.
If you were ready to quit using Ecstasy, you may have trouble putting the drug down. If you think you might be addicted to ecstasy, there are ways to get help in order to make quitting easier. You might consider the following options:
- Talk to a parent about your experiences.
- If you feel you can’t go to a parent, find another adult you trust.
- Talk to a drug counselor or therapist at school.
- Join a support group.
- You may need to check yourself into an addiction treatment center.
These are suggestions for facing a possible addiction to Ecstasy. If you feel you might have a problem with the drug, seek out the support you need.
Paradigm Malibu is a teen mental health and addiction treatment center in Malibu, CA. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit our blog for helpful mental health and addiction recovery tips.
© Paradigm Malibu