Effects of ecstasy addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

Ecstasy addiction CAN OCCUR. In fact, long term MDMA use can cause physical or psychological harm to user. More on how ecstasy addiction happens and its adverse effects here.

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In this infographic, we explore the mechanism and addictive consequences of using ecstasy. Then, we invite your question or comments at the end.

Believe it, or not

While many people do not believe it is possible to become addicted to ecstasy, the fact is that the euphoric high can compel obsessive psychological need. Some people cannot function without regular ecstasy dosing, regardless of physical dependence. It’s the mental compulsion that characterizes addiction.

Effects of ecstasy addiction (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Addiction = Compulsive use of ecstasy, compelled by the mind. If you cannot function properly without ecstasy, you might be addicted to it.

Mechanism of ecstasy action

MDMA increases the net release of these neurotransmitters from their respective axon terminals:

  • dopamine
  • noradrenaline
  • serotonin

MDMA binds to, thus blocking, the transporter involved in its reuptake.

How addictive is ecstasy?

The risk of ecstasy addiction is relatively low.

Ecstasy isn’t chemically addictive, but it can cause a psychological dependence if frequently used. MDMA affects many of the same neurotransmitter systems in the brain that are targeted by other addictive drugs. It has a strong drug addiction potential.

Q:Is damage caused by Ecstasy permanent or reversible?

A: Both.

Permanent damage ecstasy can cause include:

  • acute liver damage
  • acute liver failure
  • bruxism
  • cardiac toxicity
  • dental erosion
  • heart failure
  • impaired memory
  • kidney failure
  • respiratory difficulties

Reversible damage caused by ecstasy includes:

  • arrhythmia
  • ataxia
  • muscle tension
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • tachycardia
  • xerostomia (dry mouth)

How does ecstasy addiction affects you?

Effects on health:

  • cerebrovascular accidents
  • cognitive disorders
  • loss of appetite/weight loss
  • multiple organ failure

Effects on work:

  • disorientation to time and place
  • instability
  • poor performance
  • slow reactions

Effects on self esteem:

  • carelessness
  • depression
  • lowered self -confidence
  • self-deprecation

Effects on relationships:

  • aggression
  • distancing from family
  • lying, cheating and stealing
  • mood swings
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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