Ecstasy Drug Info – What Is It, Signs and Symptoms of Use, Dangerous Effects
Can Ecstasy Cause Addiction?
Ecstasy is a common street name for the drug MDMA, or in other words – 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is considered to be illegal, that is, it has been classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. It is a synthetic drug, and it works as a stimulant that is very popular among teens. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2013, the rate of MDMA use is highest among individuals with ages 18-25.
MDMA is also known by the name Molly. Ecstasy differs from Molly in the sense that Molly is MDMA sold as a white powder or in a crystal form, while Ecstasy is available as a tablet or pill. Molly and Ecstasy can be spiked with other substances that might be difficult for the user to determine: Heroin, Cocaine, LSD or Rat Poison. Pure MDMA is not easily available.
What Are the Symptoms of Ecstasy Addiction?
Ecstasy is often consumed with other substances, which makes it very difficult to determine its symptoms. However, there are some primary effects of this drug that might prove to be a helpful warning sign:
- Extreme levels of happiness or Euphoria
- Unusual expression of feelings
- A rise in capacity for empathizing
- Increase in the intensity of sensory perceptions such as touch and sight
- Clenching of teeth
- Feeling thirsty
- Impulsive actions
- Low anxiety and depression.
A user might not become an addict from just using the drug. But according to one study, 43 percent of users that have been surveyed displayed signs of dependence. Psychological dependence consists of irritation when the substance is unavailable and constant cravings.
MDMA users display the following signs associated with any kind of substance abuse:
- Change in social groups
- Unable to meet responsibilities regularly
- Reluctance to socialize when the drug is not available
- Displaying secretive behavior and lying
- Legal and financial problems
- Hiding the drug
- The inability to quit in spite of problems caused by it.
When the addict stops consuming the drug, they might experience extreme withdrawal symptoms which hint at the level of addiction. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on a lot of factors such as how long the substance has been used, how heavy the usage is, and how frequently the user engaged in it. Withdrawal symptoms can range between being unbearable and being unpleasant.
How Ecstasy Is Harmful to Your Body
MDMA can cause some adverse changes to the body thereby affecting the health. Cases of fatal overdoses are rare in case of MDMA, but they can cause death in some instances. It can lead to severe symptoms such as faintness, high blood pressure, panic attacks, seizures and loss of consciousness.
How is Hyperthermia related to Ecstasy usage?
MDMA is often associated with extreme physical activity over long periods of time. This is because of the stimulant capabilities of this drug and the environment in which it is usually consumed. This leads to a very rare but significant effect – a substantial increase in the temperature of the body. This condition is known as hyperthermia. MDMA interferes with the ability of the body to regulate temperature, thereby leading to dangerous consequences in warm environments. Hyperthermia, if not treated promptly, might cause muscle breakdown which in turn leads to failure of the kidneys.
Impact on Cardiovascular Functions
The body is able to absorb the drug at a high rate into the bloodstream. However, inside the body, the drug interferes with the regular process of metabolism which makes it difficult for the body to digest the drug. This leads to unexpectedly high levels of blood pressure when additional doses of MDMA is taken. This leads to the worsening of cardiovascular functions and other dangerous effects. MDMA also affects the metabolism of other drugs which are used as adulterants.
Impact on Psychological Conditions – Neurotoxicity
Ecstasy also leads to adverse psychological conditions such as neurotoxicity in the user. It can induce hallucinations and psychosis and also cause depression and anxiety. This leads to erratic behavior and sudden outbursts of anger. There is a significant decline in the mental faculties especially during the hours following the drug use. It can affect the memory of the individual and hinder their decision-making capabilities. This lasts as much as a week or more depending on the level of usage. MDMA makes a huge impact on the user’s capabilities to process information. Performing complex or skilled tasks become potentially dangerous, especially if it is a risky task. A person driving a vehicle under the influence of this drug might be more prone to causing accidents.
Ecstasy use develops as a result of the tendency to experiment or out of curiosity. A continued use of this drug has the potential to develop into an addiction. Some common signs of being addicted to MDMA consists of using the drug frequently and increasing the dosage over time. An addict is unable to feel good or normal without consuming the drug regularly. Even though the substance might have negative consequences for the user, they continue to engage with it.