Ecstasy is an illegal psychoactive drug, often found on the streets and parties in the UK. Its active ingredient is 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Street names include E, XTC, molly, brownies, eckies, Edward, love doves, M and Ms, sweeties, X, XTC, and Mandy. Ecstasy is typically distributed in tablet form or as capsules with powder inside. Ecstasy is a synthetic drug and is often mixed with other compounds or drugs such as bath salts and cocaine. ‘Molly’ or Mandy (MDMA) is the street name for the pure version of this substance. However, only a small percentage of drugs touted as ‘Molly’ are actually made up of the pure substance.
Ecstasy is classified as a Class A drug; it can’t be prescribed by a doctor, while possession of the drug carries a prison sentence. If you’re caught in possession of ecstasy, the maximum sentence is seven years plus a fine, while supplying the drug carries a harsher penalty of life imprisonment and a fine.
Home Office Statistics show that ecstasy is the second most popular drug amongst young people, with 4.5% of 16-24 year olds using the drug. Furthermore, it’s the third most popular drug amongst 16-49 year olds, with 1.5% of this age group reporting ecstasy abuse.
The proportion of ecstasy users in both age groups has been steady, with no significant change in the last two decades. In the UK, most people who use ecstasy do so once or twice per year. However, the proportion of frequent users declined during the last decade, from 20% to 7%.
Ecstasy is taken mainly for the short-term effects it induces these include increased alertness, euphoria, hallucinations, increased energy and sociability, and sometimes, increased sexual arousal. These effects make ecstasy very common in party environments, such as nightclubs. Ecstasy exploits the brain’s reward system, causing you to take increasingly larger doses to feel its psychoactive effects.
Ecstasy is also associated with several negative effects, some of which may be felt even whilst you’re under the influence of the drug. These negative effects include impaired judgement, anxiety, confusion, paranoia and memory loss.
Physically, you could experience muscle spasms, blurred vision and teeth grinding. One of the leading causes of ecstasy-related deaths is dehydration. This often occurs when people consume the drug at parties and dance non-stop, until they collapse from a lack of water and exhaustion.
One of the most common effects of addiction is increased tolerance, whereby you’ll need increasingly larger doses to achieve the same ‘high’. If this continues, you could easily become dependent. Dependence occurs when your brain chemistry is altered to function with the presence of the drug in your system, causing withdrawal symptoms whenever you try to quit. You may also experience cravings, with your mind constantly thinking of where or how to source the next dose. The psychological effects of ecstasy addiction can include memory loss, paranoia, severe depression, and anxiety.
Altered brain chemistry can also lead to psychosis, whereby you’ll lose touch with reality. Meanwhile, physical effects include skin rashes, frequent nausea and muscle spasms. Other long-term physical effects include haemorrhaging, ataxia, cardiac collapse and kidney failure. The physical and psychological effects of ecstasy addiction vary amongst individuals.
However, don’t wait for these effects to manifest before taking action. It’s also worth pointing out that although ecstasy is considered a cheap street drug, any subsequent addiction could cause serious financial issues for many, as they divert their resources towards maintaining a constant supply of the drug. Once you recognise short-term or long-term effects of addiction in yourself or a loved one, seek help from a professional immediately.
At Primrose Lodge, we ensure all your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs are met during your residential drug rehabilitation so you are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We offer a medical drug detox with round-the-clock care from our fully-qualified medical staff. They will help you manage withdrawal symptoms as the MDMA is flushed out of your system. Once the detox process is complete, you’ll begin a comprehensive rehab programme. The recommended length of rehab is 28 days. During this time, you’ll benefit from one-on-one counselling, holistic therapy, as well as proper nutrition and sleep management.
Our talking therapies include 12-step and CBT, delivered in group and individual settings. Therapeutic activities such as meditation and yoga help clear the mind and relieve stress. Healthy meals are provided by our in-house chef, with all your preferences taken into account. Recovering from ecstasy addiction (as with any other addiction) is a long process that requires commitment and support. We will provide all you need for your journey towards permanent abstinence. Your family and friends are included in this journey via our family programme, where we offer counselling, support, and educate your loved ones on how best to help you through the recovery process.
The medical detoxification services at Primrose Lodge enable you to manage your ecstasy withdrawal symptoms with the help of our excellent medical staff. Factors that affect the withdrawal process include how frequently you’ve abused the drug (and for how long), as well as your tolerance level, metabolism and overall health. While the physical withdrawal symptoms are rarely life-threatening, the psychological effects can be very powerful and can lead you to relapse.
Withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, cravings, aggression, paranoia, memory problems, lack of appetite and confusion. It’s also important to note that the detox and withdrawal process should only be managed by a clinical medical team. Do not attempt to go through the process on your own!
Recognising the symptoms of addiction in yourself or a loved one is the first step on the road to recovery. Once you can do that, the next step is getting help. Primrose Lodge offers free information and advice; once you’re admitted to the clinic, you’ll have access to personalised treatment with holistic programmes and round-the-clock care.
We will help you address the underlying cause of your addiction to help you achieve life-long abstinence. We also offer continued support long after you have graduated from the programme. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us help, as you set yourself on the path towards freedom from ecstasy addiction.