Ecstasy Symptoms and Warning Signs
Despite its innocuous-sounding name and recent rise to stardom in popular culture, ecstasy has a dark and dangerous side.
Signs of Ecstasy Abuse
Knowing the signs of ecstasy abuse can help you recognize what’s happening to someone you love.
Most people who use ecstasy or molly experience increased energy and enhanced self-confidence, believing that everyone around them is their friend.
Some of the common signs of ecstasy use include:
- Dilated pupils
- Unnatural, long-lasting energy
- Inability to feel, or reduced sense of, pain
- Desire to touch or be touched
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Staying awake for days at a time
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The Dangers of Ecstasy
Ecstasy is responsible for many deaths and thousands of hospital visits each year, proving it is not as harmless as dealers would like users to believe.
The leading cause of ecstasy-related deaths is hyperthermia, or overheating.
Many negative side effects, both short- and long-term, can come about as a result of using ecstasy. In today’s world, few people have access to pure MDMA. Many dealers sell pills that are cut with other ingredients, ranging from cocaine or heroin to caffeine and rat poison. For this reason, the effects of an “ecstasy” pill can be hard to predict.
Immediate Side Effects of Ecstasy Abuse
Negative side effects of ecstasy use can come about while the user is still under the influence or after they have come down from their high. Some of these common side effects also include:
- Impaired judgment
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Blurred vision
- Teeth clenching or grinding
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Long-term Effects of Ecstasy Abuse
Continued use of ecstasy can confuse the brain’s reward and pleasure centers as well as cause long-term damage to nerves, the brain and other vital organs. These long-term side effects also include:
- Nerve degeneration
- Depression, anxiety and memory loss
- Kidney failure
- Long-lasting brain damage
- Cardiovascular collapse
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Recognizing an Ecstasy Addiction
Ecstasy abuse usually begins out of curiosity or experimentation, but continued abuse can devolve into addiction. Signs of addiction include using the drug frequently and being unable to have fun or feel normal without it. Addiction is characterized by an unnatural compulsion to use the drug without regard to negative consequences.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders rates ecstasy addiction from mild to severe and outlines 11 criteria for diagnosing an addiction. Learn more about the symptoms of addiction.
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Intervention for an Ecstasy Problem
Recognizing an ecstasy addiction is only the first step in helping someone overcome their problem. The next step is to talk to them about it and make a plan for them to get help.
Because of the common myth that ecstasy is not addictive, many users deny they have a problem. If someone you care about is prioritizing their ecstasy use over responsibilities, relationships and their health, it’s important to bring it up to them in a loving way. Learn more about how to stage an intervention.
Ecstasy Withdrawal, Treatment and Next Steps
A person addicted to ecstasy may exhibit physical and/or psychological signs of withdrawal when quitting use. Withdrawal symptoms arise because the body and mind are chemically dependent on ecstasy to achieve feelings of normalcy.
Quitting ecstasy without medical involvement is unlikely to cause any major health problems, but a medical detox may help alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms can include insomnia, depression and hallucinations.
There are several ways to find recovery from an ecstasy addiction. Treatment may include behavioral therapy, 12-step programs and inpatient rehabilitation. Through the treatment process, addicts are forced to confront their problem. They will then require a strong support system to stay clean. Find a treatment center that specializes in ecstasy addiction now.
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