Information on Illicit Drugs
MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Ecstasy, or Molly) Treatment
MDMA also called Ecstasy, “E,” “X” or “XTC.”
What is MDMA?
MDMA is an acronym for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The drug, commonly referred to as Ecstasy, is popular among the Rave crowd. It comes in several forms including small, colored pills that are often strung on the elastic cord like candy necklaces; tablets, powder, salt crystals, and gel caps. In the powdered form, when it is thought to be unadulterated and pure, it is referred to as “Mandy” in the UK and “Molly” in the US. It does have some possible therapeutic uses, for instance in the treatment of PTSD, but it has dangerous side effects like impaired cognitive functioning. For this reason, it is seldom prescribed, and its use is mainly recreational.
Consequences of Using MDMA:
Within 30 to 60 minutes after ingesting the drug people begin to feel euphoric. They experience increased sociability and empathy— a sense of “oneness” with companions. Users report feelings of “inner peace” and a greater awareness of colors and sound. There is an increased sensuality and sexuality. It is also a mild hallucinogen. The drug effects peak at about two hours and last another three hours.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse of MDMA:
Ecstasy is highly addictive. That means the primary sign that a person is abusing the drug is a drive to get more of it. Also, though, you can suspect Ecstasy abuse when you note someone is dehydrated, overheated, and grinding or clenching their teeth involuntarily. People who are abusing Ecstasy perspire profusely and have an increased heart rate and blood pressure. They can have a noticeable loss of appetite. Because of the sensory stimulation, drug users want to be touched. They have increased energy, for instance dancing all night at Rave parties. You might suspect MDMA abuse if you find the drug in a person’s possession and if they have irregular sleep patterns, staying awake for days and then sleeping for long periods of time. People who abuse Ecstasy also have little pain awareness.
Effects of Abusing MDMA:
Some symptoms of MDMA abuse subside within hours after using the drug, and others may last for a week or more. Some effects may persist for years. People who abuse Ecstasy experience paranoia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, erectile dysfunction, pupil dilation and cognitive impairment. Depression and irritability can also occur and may persist for a week or more after the drug wears off. Some Ecstasy abusers have impaired memory and insomnia that may last for some time as well. Also, studies have shown that use of the drug can cause brain lesions—in other words, brain damage.
Withdrawal Symptoms from MDMA:
People withdrawing from Ecstasy may suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. They also may have insomnia and depression that is co-existing or arises from some of the other symptoms. Paranoid delusions are common in withdrawal, as is de-personalization and feelings of worthlessness.