Few recreational drugs have captured the public's attention as much as ecstasy, known for its distinctive effects on the mind and body. This synthetic psychoactive chemical has intrigued and alarmed researchers, medical professionals, and enthusiasts alike as they seek to unravel the profound effects of ecstasy. It is revered by some as a euphoria enhancer and scorned by others as a risky indulgence. We set out on a mission to understand the complex consequences that ecstasy, also known as MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or Molly, has on the human body as we delve into this world of heightened sensations and altered perceptions.
Immediate Effects on the Body
When taken, ecstasy can affect the user's health by causing chills, involuntary muscle cramping, nausea, and sweating. Ecstasy is often taken in environments where excessive physical activity takes place, such as an all-night dance party. In some rare instances, the use of the drug can cause hyperthermia or a significant rise in body temperature. If this happens, professional medical care is needed quickly, as it could possibly result in kidney failure.
Users may experience blurred vision, as ecstasy causes pupil dilation. Most people using the drug will find themselves clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth, leading to temporary pain in the jaw and, in extreme situations, more serious dental conditions. When snorting ecstasy in powder form, the user could suffer from chemical burns and nosebleeds, and long-term snorting could even create holes in the user's nose.
It is important to note that ecstasy’s effects on the brain can have negative consequences for users. MDMA causes increased activity of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. The excess release of these neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine and serotonin, is why people feel a sensation of pleasure and heightened empathy for others while under the influence of ecstasy. Excess release of serotonin can also have a negative effect on the brain, however, by causing a depletion of the neurotransmitter.
This can cause behavioral changes in the user after taking the drug, including changes in regulations of aggression and sleep. These changes in aggression can also highly impact one’s mood. Such effects could potentially be long-term, as well. Regular ecstasy users may experience heightened anxiety, impulsiveness, aggression, sleep disturbances, and lack of appetite. Some users have reported a lack of interest in and pleasure from sexual behavior.
Mental health disorders, including despair, anxiety, and even psychosis, can develop or become worse as a result of this drug. Ecstasy abusers may endure ongoing mood disorders, emotional instability, cognitive decline, and a diminished capacity to handle stress and ordinary difficulties.
In addition to physically affecting the user's brain, ecstasy has a negative effect on mental abilities. As information processing in the brain is impaired, it, in turn, makes activities using motor skills incredibly dangerous (such as when driving a car or operating heavy machinery). The user could also suffer from changes to their memory, lasting up to a week. If the user regularly takes ecstasy, the effects could last even longer.
Ecstasy can negatively affect a user's heart by causing hypertension, tachycardia, and other stressors that coincide with suppressed appetite (this causes concern for users who also suffer from diabetes or low blood sugar), thirst, and sleep. The drug increases heart rate and, in some cases, can reduce the efficiency of the heart. Heart failure can even occur in some individuals. When ecstasy overdoses occur, high blood pressure, faintness, anxiety, and panic attacks can happen. If the overdose is severe, the user could pass out or even experience a seizure.
While it is not proven that ecstasy directly causes liver damage, it has been seen in a small number of users. It could possibly be from other elements of the actual tablet, however. High body temperature has been shown to cause liver damage in animal studies, and as ecstasy increases the user's body temperature, this could contribute to an increased chance of causing liver damage. Some cases of collapsed lungs and exercise-induced asthma have also been connected to MDMA use.
Women may experience irregularities with menstruation, ovulatory dysfunction, and even reduced ovarian reserves. MDMA use while pregnant will most certainly affect the fetus negatively by leading to the possibility of altered brain development in the first trimester, behavioral changes once the fetus is born, and in later stages of pregnancy, delayed development of motor functions. It is suggested that ecstasy could affect a child if the mother is using it while breastfeeding, as well. Men taking MDMA may experience a lowered sperm count, reduced libido, and abnormally-shaped sperm.
Again, the effects of ecstasy will vary from person to person, with the largest factor contributing to these effects being the amount of the drug taken.
Facts About Ecstasy Abuse
Abusing ecstasy can have a variety of negative effects that go beyond the physical. Ecstasy abuse for an extended period of time can have a significant negative effect on a person's relationships, functioning as a whole, and mental and emotional health.
The possibility of developing substance use disorders or addiction is one important effect of ecstasy consumption. Ecstasy abuse that is prolonged and excessive can result in a compulsive pattern of drug-seeking behavior. This is when the user becomes obsessed with obtaining and taking the drug, frequently at the expense of other commitments and activities. A person's personal and professional life may suffer as a result of substance use disorders, making it more difficult to maintain relationships, accomplish goals, and enjoy life in general.
Ecstasy addiction can also impair social and romantic ties. Initial feelings of closeness and connection with people may result from the drug's effects on empathy and emotional openness. However, as the usage worsens, people may eventually become more reclusive, favoring drug use over worthwhile contacts and abandoning crucial relationships. This isolation can exacerbate the negative effects of ecstasy consumption by causing feelings of loneliness, broken connections, and the disintegration of support networks. If you know someone in the midst of such a situation, getting them help is crucial to their well-being.
Addiction and Mental Health Treatment in Pompano
Although our Pompano Beach drug rehab does not offer specific programming for ecstasy abuse, we do provide a wide variety of other services that can benefit those with such an addiction. If someone is currently combining ecstasy with other substances like alcohol, it could be worth pursuing addiction treatment at our facility. Additionally, we provide a number of mental health programs that can address any underlying conditions that could be contributing to the patient’s drug use. There is so much more that our Pompano rehab center has to offer. All it takes is a phone call to discover it for yourself.