Ecstasy is a well-known drug that has been around for decades. This often-misunderstood drug can be found all across the world, but is possibly most well-known for its use at parties, clubs, and raves. There are a number of myths surrounding this drug, so it is important to know the facts about ecstasy before you use it.
Michelle thought she had it made, when at age 17, she became a club promoter. She was making money, making friends and having a great time. “I was doing all these drugs and the problem was my misconception of the whole thing. I thought I had all my stuff together, all my ducks in a row and I thought I was having fun. …I needed the substances to keep the perception that everything was okay. I didn’t see that I was getting further away from my family and friends and that I was no longer showing up to school or work. There were some very big indicators that my life wasn’t working and I just couldn’t see them.
“Now I know there is help everywhere. You are not alone. People struggle all the time, and if you’re anything like me (someone who didn’t know or didn’t think that there was something wrong) but something inside of you says that something may be off, that there are places to go and people to talk to. You may find your people.”
Read more of Michelle’s recovery story at Heroes In Recovery.
Myth: Ecstasy is harmless.
Ecstasy is a drug, and no drug is completely harmless. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), or ecstasy, is a type of amphetamine that creates hallucinogenic effects. Ongoing use of the drug can cause long-lasting damage to the part of the brain that impacts a person’s ability to regulate body temperature, mood and pain response. Unfortunately, ecstasy causes a huge rush of energy among the brain’s serotonin receptors. This temporary rush of happiness is actually overloading small parts of the brain, and those receptors may never function as well again.
People who struggle with ecstasy abuse or addiction often experience mental health symptoms like depression and anxiety, as well as memory difficulties, sleep disruption, and difficulty making decisions. The severity of these issues will depend upon how long the person abused the drug, what amounts were used, and whether or not it was combined other substances.1
Myth: Ecstasy is not a hard drug.
Ecstasy is an amphetamine. Though it is often called the “love drug” due to the type of feel-good, magnanimous high it creates in most users, it is still dangerous substance for use in any amount. It brings a number of brain changes that can be life-changing – and life-long. Chronic use of this drug increases the change of lasting effects. Further, because this drug is illegal, it is possible to receive ecstasy that is mixed with stronger drugs, household toxins, and other dangerous materials.
If you are caught with this drug, you will face jail time, and you may incur a criminal record, which will make employment difficult in the future. More concerning, this drug does inhibit decision-making ability and may lead to dangerous or reckless behavior, a DUI arrest, or a sexually-transmitted disease, depending on how ecstasy impacts your brain.
Myth: Molly is a pure form of ecstasy.
The term “molly” is often used interchangeably with the term “ecstasy” to refer to the same drug, but it was originally touted as a pure form of ecstasy. This is not the case. Molly is just ecstasy, and though some versions may be purer than others (e.g., higher amounts of MDMA), there is no pure, harmless, or safe version of ecstasy.
Myth: Ecstasy is not addictive.
Ecstasy impacts the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine receptors in the brain – like many other illicit drugs of abuse. This causes the euphoric feeling, or high, that people may ultimately crave. These cravings can become addictive and trigger, a psychological dependence upon the drug. It is true that physical ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that occur when someone suddenly stops all drug use may not be as overwhelming as they are with detox from other drugs, the psychological dependence can lead to an addiction that accompanies mental health issues that continue long after the cessation of use.
Unfortunately, many people find that they need larger doses of ecstasy to feel the original effects of their first use. This can lead to a slippery slope of ever-increasing doses, accompanied by combining ecstasy with other drugs or alcohol. These combinations and the growing need for more supply can lead to trouble.
Myth: Ecstasy use is therapeutic when used recreationally.
There have been some studies that have explored the use of pure MDMA for the treatment of patients struggling with certain psychological disorders like PTSD. However, this short-acting version of the drug is not available for sale on the street and has only been studied for use in psychological interventions, guided by a licensed professional. It has not been studied for use outside of the medical context and proven to be safe on any level.2
Fact: Ecstasy abuse and addiction are treatable.
If you, or someone you love struggles with ecstasy use or has a dependence upon this drug alone or in combination with other substances, supportive treatment is available. Though it may not be possible to reverse the damage done by long-term ecstasy abuse, it is possible to stop the damage from continuing. We can help. Call Black Bear Lodge now for more information.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teachers. Drug Facts Chat Day: Ecstasy (MDMA and Molly). Dec 2017. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017.
2 Doblin, R. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Apr-Jun 2002.34(2):185-94. A clinical plan for MDMA (Ecstasy) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): partnering with the FDA. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017.