MDMA Dependence Is Real
Ecstasy is generally through to be non-addictive. However, ecstasy does have a dependence potential….especially in those who use ecstasy more frequently, and in greater amounts.
Do you suspect you’re physically dependent on ecstasy?
In this article, we cover more about the nature of ecstasy dependence, how it is different from addiction, and how you can treat it. At the end, we welcome your questions and feedback. We do our best to help all our readers who seek answers. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate inquiries in a personal and prompt manner.
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Do you feel sick when you stop use?
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What is Ecstasy Dependence?
Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug that has the potential to alter your brain’s chemistry. Chemically, it is made of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, a substance that targets the brain’s synapses and floods them with the neurotransmitter called “serotonin”. After the effects of MDMA wear off, there is a deficit of serotonin in the brain…so you experience a “crash” or withdrawal.
With long-term, chronic use, ecstasy can make some individuals feel like they can only function normally when the drug is present in their body. To clarify: long term use of ecstasy is considered to be the use of 2 x 10mg per kilo per day taken for four consecutive days.
Still, MDMA is most commonly used occasionally, at parties and in clubs. This makes the occurrence of physical dependence to ecstasy not very likely. Still, dependence on MDMA can occur.
Does Ecstasy Dependence = Addiction?
MDMA addiction and dependence are somewhat different conditions.
DEPENDENCE develops as your body, brain, and central nervous system adapt to the presence of ecstasy. Typically, MDMA dependence manifests in a person using ecstasy in the following way:
1. Repeated use of ecstasy can cause tolerance and make the drug less efficient for you. As MDMA produces less of the desired effects you are after, users are likely to increase amounts of the drug to feel high, energized, and euphoric.
2. When you are dependent on ecstasy, you also feel withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop use. Withdrawal appears when your body has already accustomed to having ecstasy in the system and needs it constantly in order to maintain homeostasis. Symptoms of ecstasy withdrawal may include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of motivation
- Sleep disturbances
ADDICTION is characterized with an obsessive-compulsive drug use and drug seeking behavior. A person dependent on ecstasy may use the drug to achieve effects or avoid withdrawal, but a person with an ecstasy addiction problem will continue to use the drug despite repeatedly experiencing negative consequences of drug use. Addiction is hard to control and usually makes the drug a priority in your life.
Ecstasy Dependence Signs and Symptoms
A dependence syndrome requires at least three of the following signs or symptoms :
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when ecstasy use is reduced or stopped.
- You have developed tolerance to ecstasy.
- You use ecstasy longer, more frequently, or in higher amounts than intended.
- You experience a strong desire to take the drug
- You experience difficulties controlling the drug use behaviour.
- You notice a progressive neglect of alternative pleasures.
If you are struggling to understand MDMA dependence and its effects, it is wise to seek the advise of professionals who can answer your questions and provide options for help.
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What Does Ecstasy Dependence Look Like?
Regular MDMA user experience adaptations in the serotonin and dopamine systems that are associated with addiction. Still, ecstasy dependence may be more psychological than physical. Often, related behaviors, such as increased impulsivity, create a drive for people to seek and use MDMA…even in the face of negative consequences to:
- Family life
Plus, most people who become dependent on ecstasy experience fatigue, low mood, anxiety and sleep disturbance when they try to quit. Clearly, some people report problems with their use. In these cases, drug tolerance to MDMA occurs and cases of self-reported withdrawal have been documented.
How to End Ecstasy Dependence?
There are several methods effective for treating ecstasy dependence, and they all start with a medical checkup.
STEP 1. Medical Health Evaluation. Ecstasy use can causes damage to your body organs, specifically the heart, kidneys, and the nervous system. Going through an initial assessment and evaluation process can determine your overall health. Some of the serious conditions caused by ecstasy abuse, such as heart disease or hypertension, must be given medical attention before ecstasy abuse treatment can begin.
STEP 2. Medical Ecstasy Detoxification. The next step in ecstasy dependence treatment is detox. In order to clear your body of toxins, you quit using MDMA under medical supervision. This treatment usually does not involve gradual tapering or dose reduction. So, withdrawal symptoms are something that you can expect with all certainty. However, there is no need to worry. Health providers at medical detox will monitor your state closely and provide all the supportive care you require to.
STEP 3. Rehabilitation Therapy Programs. Rehab is highly recommended for the treatment for ecstasy dependence. This is because dependence and addiction are highly correlated. Usually, drug-dependent users are also addicted to their drug-of-choice. Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and counselling sessions are integrated into your long-term recovery plan and aim to help you stay off drugs. These therapies can help you rediscover your goals in life, understand the role of stressors in initiating drug use, and to adopt new coping strategies to prevent future drug use.
Got Any Questions?
We hope to have helped you find answers to many of your questions regarding ecstasy (MDMA) dependence. If you have any additional questions or are looking to find information on ecstasy addiction treatment options, please CALL the number listed on the top of our page or send us a comment via the designated section at the end of the page. We do our best to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.
Reference Sources: NCBI: Is ecstasy a drug of dependence?