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Ecstasy Overview

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-Ecstasy ), popularly known as ecstasy or, more recently, as Molly, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception. MDMA was initially popular among White adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene or at “raves” (long dance parties), but the drug now affects a broader range of users and ethnicities. MDMA is taken orally, usually as a capsule or tablet. The popular term Molly (slang for “molecular”) refers to the pure crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules. The drug’s effects last approximately 3 to 6 hours, although it is not uncommon for users to take a second dose of the drug as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. It is commonly taken in combination with other drugs. For example some urban gay and bisexual men report using MDMA as part of a multiple-drug experience that includes cocaine, GHB, Ecstasy , ketamine, and the erectile-dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra).

Ecstasy Abuse Treatment

There are no specific treatments for MDMA abuse. The most effective treatments for drug abuse and addiction are cognitive behavioral interventions that are designed to help modify the patient's thinking, expectancies, and behaviors, and to increase skills in coping with life's stressors. Drug abuse recovery support groups may be effective in combination with behavioral interventions to support long-term, drug-free recovery. There are currently no pharmacological treatments for dependence on MDMA. Antidepressant medications might be helpful in combating the depressive symptoms frequently seen in MDMA users who have recently become abstinent.

Ecstasy Signs of Abuse

  • Colds or flu
  • Depression
  • Needing to use more to get the same effect
  • Dependence on ecstasy
  • Financial, work and social problems
  • Mixing ecstasy with other drugs

The effects of taking ecstasy with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause: enormous strain on the heart and other parts of the body, which can lead to stroke; strain on the body, and more likely to overdose.

Effects of Ecstasy Abuse

MDMA acts by increasing the activity of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The emotional and pro-social effects of MDMA are likely caused directly or indirectly by the release of large amounts of serotonin, which influences mood (as well as other functions such as appetite and sleep). Serotonin also triggers the re-lease of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, which play important roles in love, trust, sexual arousal, and other social experiences. This may account for the characteristic feelings of emotional closeness and empathy produced by the drug; studies in both rats and humans have shown that MDMA raises the levels of these hormones. The surge of serotonin caused by taking MDMA depletes the brain of this important chemical, however, causing negative after effects - including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and anxiety — that may occur soon after taking the drug or during the days or even weeks thereafter. Some heavy MDMA users experience long-lasting confusion, depression, sleep abnormalities, and problems with attention and memory, although it is possible that some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA (especially marijuana).

Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms

Giving up ecstasy after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. Withdrawal symptoms should settle down after a week and will mostly disappear after a month. Symptoms include:

  • Cravings for ecstasy
  • Aches and pains
  • Exhaustion
  • Restless sleep
  • Agitation
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety and depression

Ecstasy Abuse Statistics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funds the Monitoring the Future survey (MTF), which is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. In 2010, 4.6 percent of 12th-graders, 4.7 percent of 10th-graders, and 2.4 percent of 8th-graders reported they had used Ecstasy in the past year. In 2000, 8.2 percent of 12th-graders, 5.4 percent of 10th-graders and 3.1 percent of 8th-graders reported they had used Ecstasy. African American students showed considerably lower rates of Ecstasy use than white or Hispanic students in the 2010 MTF survey. In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published the Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Among persons aged 12 to 49, the average age at first use for Ecstasy was 19.4 years. In 2010, an estimated 695,000 Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) Ecstasy drug users, meaning they had used an Ecstasy drug during the month prior to the survey interview. The 2010 current use estimate is similar to that from 2009. The rate of current Ecstasy use among youths aged 12 to 17 declined to 0.3 percent in years 2004 through 2007, but increased to 0.5 percent in 2009 and 2010. To put overall Ecstasy use in perspective, in 2010 the illicit drug category with the largest number of current users among persons aged 12 or older was marijuana use (2.4 million), followed by abuse of pain relievers (2 million), tranquilizers (1.2 million), Ecstasy (0.9 million), inhalants (0.8 million), and cocaine and stimulants (0.6 million each.

References
http://www.drugabuse.gov
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs
http://www.usa.gov/
http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/factsheets.shtml
http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/drugportal/drugportal.jsp

Individualized detox protocols are carefully monitored and tailored to address detox symptoms. As part of our holistic approach, our detox incorporates traditional detox with biofeedback sessions.

Clients being treated in our residential program reside with us for the specific amount of days established in their individualized addiction treatment program.

Our treatment model is rooted in the belief that it is our utmost responsibility to do whatever we can to prepare our clients for life outside of treatment.

In addition to our traditional therapeutic treatments we offer holistic and alternative therapies such as: yoga, chiropractic care, medical massage, personal training and art therapy.