What Are the Consequences of Ecstasy Abuse?
October 10, 2018
For over two decades, ecstasy has continued to be one of the most popular party drugs, both in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Many people over the age of 25 can remember the news stories that came out in the mid 90’s about how ecstasy would burn holes the size of golf balls through the user’s brain at even the very first use, with videos of people dancing in basement clubs with strobe lights firing by.
So if we have been instructed of the dangers of ecstasy abuse, why is it that so many of today’s partygoers are still eager to get their hands on it, and it’s closely related cousin, Molly?
Well, for people reading this blog, assumingly, yourself or your loved one is struggling with an ecstasy abuse problem. If that person is you, you know gosh darn well why you choose to continue to use the drug, despite the physical and mental hangovers that follow a night of rolling.
If you are concerned for your loved one, who you suspect may be struggling with ecstasy abuse, and wondering why they would ever subject themselves to the drug, here are some of the most common side effects that users seek out in the drug:
- Feeling of Euphoria
- Feeling of connection and love
- Raised Energy levels
- Visual hallucinations
- Pleasurable sensations in the body
Or at least, that’s the goal. However, there are a lot of dangerous side effects that can result from ecstasy abuse – and can be amplified for users who are mixing the drug with other drugs or alcohol.
When Rolling Goes Wrong
Users generally eat ecstasy with the intention of partying, having a good time, dancing to music at a concert or festival. However, over the last several years, there has been a massive influx in fake ecstasy being sold to users (i.e., EDC festivals) that are causing accidental deaths via dehydration, stroke, and heart failure.
For users who are taking ecstasy and mixing them with other drugs, the intensity can be dulled which can often result in the user being unaware of how their body is being affected by the drug. Some of the negative side effects of taking ecstasy are:
- Dry Mouth
- Feeling Cold
- Jaw Clenching
- Excessive Thirst and Perspiration
- Restless Legs
- Lack of Appetite
- Abdominal Pain
- Increased heart rate
- Heat Stroke
- Hyponatremia (drinking too much water)
If you have ever been to a music festival, concert, or party and ingested ecstasy, you can pretty much guarantee that someone, somewhere, advised that you drink a lot of water. Hyponatremia occurs as a result of the individual overcompensating their excessive dry mouth and sweating by drinking more water.
However, MDMA causes water retention, due to its interactions on the hypothalamus, which is the control center of the brain that regulates body temperature and water balance. So, when a person who has eaten ecstasy drinks excessive amounts of water, they end up overcompensating and actually flooding their system, which can be fatal.
The Short-Term Effects
Any ecstasy user can tell you about the bleak and dreary hangover that occurs after a night of rolling. Most commonly, fatigue, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, difficulty concentrating, and light sensitivity plague the users the next day. Many people report feeling extremely depressed afterward. This is due to the intense boost of serotonin from ecstasy abuse that depletes the brain, leaving users feeling worn out, purposeless, and blue.
The Long-Term Effects
Although there has been no real evidence stating that ecstasy burns holes into the brain, there have been increases in reports of ecstasy abuse and addiction over the last several years. Just like with any other drug that shocks the serotonin levels in the brain, users will continue to use and increase doses of ecstasy in order to re-create the first (and usually best) experience they had from the drug.
Frequent ecstasy abuse over a period of time and in large amounts has been shown to lead to not only addiction but also:
- Increased rates of depression
- memory impairment
- Mood Swings
But what about the brain holes? According to two researchers who published a study performed on humans and animals in the year 2000, while ecstasy use does not burn holes into the brain tissue, frequent or heavy use,
“…may exhaust neuronal energy sources and antioxidant defenses, leading to damage… the possible risk of neurotoxicity must be considered when assessing the potential administration of MDMA to humans.”
In other words, excessive ecstasy abuse can lead to a weakened immune system, and an adverse effect of the structure and function of the central nervous system, which in this case, means a user will experience depression or anxiety more easily.
Real Life Consequences
In more recent years, more and more teens and twenty-somethings have been getting caught or arrested either under the influence of MDMA or in possession of large amounts of pills. Festival events have been cracking down on the drug trade among event goers, resulting in thousands of arrests every year, with a majority of individuals being between the ages of 16 and 30.
Another very real, and very dangerous consequence of ecstasy abuse – is the amount of drugs being sold under the pretense that they are pure MDMA, when in reality they are a research chemical that has similar effects, but can actually be closer to methamphetamine than to ecstasy.
These falsely distributed chemicals are what are usually at play when newsreels on CNN or your local channel report about teenagers dying from ecstasy at festivals. The danger arises usually because the chemicals look the same as MDMA, but have much more dangerous side effects, or have not been created safely by the manufacturer. This has been the cause of hundreds of accidental overdoses and partygoer deaths.
Do You Need Treatment?
Even though a significant amount of controversy still surrounds addiction, whether it pertains to how it’s being treated or what money should go where, if you are currently addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, you can get help.
Contact the professionals at our ecstasy treatment facility right now. We can help you address the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of your addiction in ways that guide you towards long-term, successful recovery. You do not need to keep using – you have the power to make the decision to get help. Call us today.