MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is also known as ecstasy and is commonly referred to nowadays as Molly. It can be taken in either crystal or white powder form: rubbed into gums, dissolved in drinks, smoked, and inhaled through the nose. The most popular way to take MDMA is in a pill – often mixed with other substances and properties. This is generally known as an ecstasy tablet, and it was popularized in the 1990s at rave-music scenes. MDMA provides a euphoric feeling, hence it being more commonly known as ecstasy.
Despite its euphoric reputation, molly is an extremely dangerous drug. Unless tested, it is impossible to know what exactly has been mixed or added to a certain pill or batch. The people who manufacture these pills are drug dealers, not scientists – which makes understanding and regulating this drug particularly difficult. MDMA’s chemical composition categorizes it as a hallucinogenic. These can sometimes temporarily change a person’s outlook on life. This chemical element can, however, have a much longer-lasting and adverse effect on a person’s psychological state – especially when abused.
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Overcoming an MDMA addiction is incredibly daunting. Its reputation as a ‘club drug’ means it is often underestimated. Harmless, casual use, can soon become an addiction, and addressing the issue is difficult. It is, however, possible. At Cornerstone, our highly-qualified and experienced drug specialist treatment team are here to help you beat your addiction. Our psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and medical professionals are all dedicated to providing you with unique and customized treatment plans, to ensure your recovery.
What does MDMA/Ecstasy do?
As mentioned, the emotional and psychological implications of taking MDMA can be dramatic. It is an artificial substance that contains a similar chemical make-up to amphetamine and other hallucinogenic drugs. As the brain releases serotonin and dopamine, users experience feelings of intense joy, intimacy, love, and extended energy. It is considered to be a mood-intensifier. But as with any drug, the high is quickly followed by a low. As Ecstasy leaves the body, your dopamine levels drop considerably, making you feel sad, irritated, and sometimes depressed. These feelings are of course all heightened as the person’s drug use increases.
Like most drugs, an MDMA addiction can open doors to other types of substance abuse. Users may become addicted to more than one drug, and therefore increase their susceptibility to other health conditions. If not treated by specialist drug addiction units, MDMA addiction can cause serious long-term, physical and psychological damage. It is far more dangerous than its ‘party drug’ reputation suggests.
Is MDMA/Ecstasy Addictive?
There is a lack of evidence that links MDMA to any physical dependence or major withdrawal symptoms. Users do, however, risk being overwhelmed by their MDMA addiction – the most important thing in their life. People have been known to prioritize their molly addiction over work, school, relationships, hobbies, and family. What seems a harmless and ‘social’ drug, can quickly develop into an addiction, with users psychologically dependent on MDMA. As your MDMA intake increases, your tolerance also rises – forcing you to take more in order to reach that desired euphoric sensation. As with all drugs, increased consumption can quickly turn into addiction and dependence. There is little suggestion that MDMA causes physical addiction, but substances ecstasy is ‘cut’ (mixed) with – like opiates and benzodiazepines – can be incredibly addictive. If taken in large quantities, a physical addiction to these particular components is likely.
Causes of MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction
At Cornerstone, we understand that most addictions develop through a psychological process called ‘Positive Reinforcement.’ This is when a person is pushed to continue patterns of behavior, due to the outcome being positive; if what we do feels good, we will continue to do it.
With MDMA, the positive reinforcement is the ‘high’: a person can feel relaxed, euphoric, confident, and focused. People will always be in search of a positive effect, and if they struggle to access it naturally, they will eventually rely solely on MDMA for that feeling. This pattern of behavior is usually the difference between addiction and occasional or one-time use. Research has also identified a number of other factors that can make certain individuals more prone to addiction:
- If a person has family members who struggle with substance abuse, this type of behavior may be normalized or even encouraged.
- If a person suffers from certain mental health conditions – like depression or anxiety – they may rely on MDMA as a means of controlling or managing symptoms.
- Traumatic or stressful circumstances – like divorce, bereavement, or unemployment – may provoke MDMA use to overcome or negate the issue.
Signs and symptoms of MDMA/Ecstasy addiction
Signs and symptoms of ecstasy use will vary. They will be determined by your experience as an MDMA user: how much you take, how often, and what particular form you use. From our experience, we have identified some general indications to look out for, that suggest you or a loved one has developed an MDMA addiction. Symptoms of someone on molly can include:
- Increased and regular use of MDMA, even when there is no ‘occasion.’ It may be taken daily and be seen as normal.
- Dependence on higher quantities to reach the same ‘high.’ This occurs as a result of increased tolerance.
- Continued use of MDMA, despite experiencing issues related to drug use. This may include strains on family or friends, poor performance at work, or relationships suffering.
- An enhanced priority on using MDMA above all other tasks.
- Sourcing and spending money on MDMA in times of financial hardship.
- Hiding, lying, or becoming defensive about drug use when questioned.
- Using MDMA as a form of self-medication to alleviate symptoms associated with mental health conditions.
Self-Help Tips for Dealing With the Initial Stages of MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction
The early stages of any addiction can often be the most difficult; it is hard to know where to begin. Here are some useful suggestions that will hopefully make the early stages of an MDMA addiction much more manageable:
- Be open and honest with your loved ones about how much and how often you take MDMA.
- Make changes to your life: try and eliminate negative influences and people that have previously enabled or encouraged your MDMA addiction to materialize.
- Prepare to make significant changes that will allow you to engage in treatment and eventually recover from your addiction.
- Accept that change is challenging – especially when trying to combat addiction. Try and remain motivated and determined throughout the difficult early stages.
Free MDMA/Ecstasy Addiction Assessment at Our Orange County Treatment Center
If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, are showing signs of an MDMA addiction, then we offer a free, confidential, and comprehensive assessment. Early stages and indications of addiction can be frightening; it is usually a great relief to discuss these with one of our experienced professionals. At Cornerstone, our assessments are safe and non-judgmental. We are here to discuss and plan the best options for you, or your loved one and welcome any questions that you may have. For those worried about early signs, this is a cost-effective and simple way of addressing those fears and outlining the best way to beat them.
Read more: Drug Rehab Center in Orange County
MDMA/Ecstasy rehabilitation at Cornerstone of Southern California
At Cornerstone, our drug addiction treatment programs usually last around 28-days. This intense treatment takes place at our facilities, where you will stay and be assisted by our professional team of medical experts. Practitioners at Cornerstone have extensive experience in clinical treatment for drug addiction. All of our Orange County treatment programs are flexible, accessible, and safe, and take place in non-judgmental spaces designed to assist you with your treatment at every stage. Our range of therapeutic methods enables us to create unique and tailored treatment programs that suit your addiction. We are here to help you explore the deeply-rooted causes of your addiction and plan for your future free-of-drugs. We are firm believers in honesty and transparency between patient and practitioner and always place you at the center of any treatment program.
After being assessed by our drug addiction specialists and psychiatrists, we determine how long you will be staying with us. There is no set time limit for this, as every addiction is different and the duration of your stay will depend on this. Our MDMA addiction treatment is built upon the 12-Step Addiction Treatment Model – provided by the Alcoholics Anonymous Organization (AA). This treatment is based on empirical evidence and customized for each patients’ needs. Recovery is shaped by a set of guiding values and beliefs; inspired by spiritual influences that teach both humility and self-worth. These values challenge addictive and toxic behaviors and the thought processes that fuel addiction. Cornerstone’s MDMA/Ecstasy treatment program consists of:
- A complimentary drug addiction assessment.
- An optional 7 to 10-day withdrawal detox, which includes medical assistance, stabilization, education, and specific medication.
- One-to-one and group therapy programs.
- Couples and family therapy.
- Information to seek legal support.
- Licensed recovery homes for post-treatment.
If you would prefer not to take part in a residential treatment program, we also offer day treatment, or outpatient treatment, depending on your particular circumstance. At Cornerstone, our MDMA treatment options can be used one of two ways: as a first admission point into treatment; or as you begin to reduce the quantity and intensity of treatment, usually for those who have gone through an intensive residential program. This largely depends on the severity of your addiction, and the type of support you feel is most appropriate.