The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 3.6% of 12th graders have used ecstasy. Young people are more susceptible to developing an addiction to ecstasy, but ecstasy and other forms of MDMA affect multiple age groups. In 2014 a national survey found that over 17 million Americans over the age of twelve have previously taken some form of MDMA.
People who purchase illicit MDMA often do not realize drug dealers tend to mix it with other substances to increase their product sales. The majority of MDMA seized in the course of police cases contain one or more of the following:
The psychoactive drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is often referred to colloquially as ecstasy or Molly. Other names for MDMA include:
Ecstasy comes in the form of a crystalline powder, and people consume it in the following forms:
Even a single instance of ecstasy use could potentially result in serious illness, injury, or death. Short-term health changes include:
The physical health effects increase with continued use. Long-term changes include:
As both a stimulant and mild hallucinogenic, the signs of MDMA abuse may vary between individuals. However, the following are known mental effects of taking the drug:
Most effects begin within half an hour and can last up to six hours. The extent of MDMA abuse dictates the degree of damage to your brain and other systems and whether the damage is reversible. Bingeing is a feature of MDMA use and significantly increases the health risks.
Not everyone who takes ecstasy will become addicted or develop a substance use disorder. However, both short- and long-term effects of taking the drug impact mood and thought patterns leading to changes in behavior. If you are worried a loved one may be abusing MDMA, check for the following typical signs:
Not everyone will show outward signs of addiction. Others may display one or all of the ones listed above. Local and national resources are available to treat MDMA abuse. If you recognize some of the signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one, get help today by speaking with your doctor or reaching out to a local rehabilitation facility.
Ecstasy is known as a “party drug” and remains popular with younger individuals. Therefore, specific groups of people have a higher chance of developing SUD involving MDMA. Below are associated risk factors:
MDMA was initially part of the “rave” and party scene used primarily by young adults under 20. However, the age range has been rising since 1999, and currently, MDMA abuse is most prominent among people ages 18 to 25. In addition, some research suggests gay and bisexual individuals are more likely to abuse MDMA.
MDMA can cause permanent brain damage when taken in large amounts or over a long period. Even a single instance of ingesting any form of MDMA can cause irreparable damage to organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. The dangerous nature of the drug and severe side effects makes tailored treatment essential. Community and private facilities provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapies to treat MDMA addiction.
Medication can help decrease physical and psychological symptoms caused by MDMA. Accompanied psychotherapy is necessary for successful long-term sobriety. Specific therapies known to provide relief and useful recovery tools for individuals with SUD include: