The risk of ecstasy abuse is high, but MDMA addiction treatment can help those struggling with ecstasy abuse, polysubstance use and co-occurring health conditions.

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or molly, is a drug that was created in 1912. It was available legally until 1985, when the DEA rescheduled MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance due to its street presence and recreational use.

Although the risk of addiction and abuse is high, MDMA’s ability to alter mood and sensory perception makes it a popular recreational drug that is still used by millions of people today. MDMA addiction treatment can help those struggling with ecstasy abuse, polysubstance use and co-occurring mental health conditions.

What Is MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy)?

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a Schedule I controlled substance. Schedule I controlled substances have no current legal medical use, a high risk for abuse and the potential to create severe dependence. 

MDMA is part of a drug group called party drugs or club drugs. Club drugs cause changes in the way a person thinks, feels and acts by affecting the brain and nervous system. As the name suggests, club drugs are usually found in club-like settings such as:

  • Bars
  • Concerts
  • Music festivals
  • Nightclubs
  • Parties
  • Raves

MDMA acts as a stimulant and mild hallucinogen when taken recreationally. Its stimulant effects increase alertness and energy, while its hallucinogenic effects distort how an individual feels and experiences what is going on around them. People use MDMA recreationally to enhance feelings of:

  • Joy (euphoria)
  • Closeness
  • Empathy
  • Sensuality
  • Sexual arousal
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Energy

Along with the pleasurable effects of MDMA, several undesirable effects are associated with its use. Side effects that people who use MDMA may experience include:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drug cravings
  • Tremors
  • Teeth clenching
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision 

Is MDMA Addictive?

According to the National Institute of Health, reports are conflicting on whether or not MDMA is addictive, and more research is needed. MDMA is commonly misused due to its ability to create a sense of euphoria. Individuals who use MDMA repeatedly may be at risk of developing MDMA addiction.

Signs of MDMA Abuse & Addiction

Similar to other substance use disorders, there are warning signs to look for if MDMA addiction is suspected. Certain behaviors may indicate that a substance use disorder exists and help is needed. Signs of MDMA addiction may include:

  • Continuing to use drugs, even when it interferes with daily life
  • Being unable to stop or reduce using the drug
  • Making excuses to use drugs
  • Missing work or school
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Feeling the need to use the drug daily
  • No longer taking part in activities because of drug use
  • Secretive behavior to hide drug use
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Using the drug when alone

Get The Help You Need

If you or a loved one are struggling with MDMA addiction, it’s time to seek help. Our recovery advocates are standing by to guide you through your options.


Dangers of Long-term Ecstasy Use

In addition to the short-term effects of ecstasy use, certain dangers come with using ecstasy long-term. Individuals who use ecstasy can develop mood changes, problems with memory and attention and long-lasting confusion. Depression, anxiety and impulsiveness may become problematic with long-term ecstasy use. Some people have persistent trouble sleeping and may lose interest in sex.

When Is It Time To Seek Treatment for MDMA Addiction?

If your ecstasy use is causing problems in your day-to-day life, it may be time to seek treatment. MDMA addiction can affect your work or school performance. It can leave you feeling isolated and hurt your relationships with family and friends. If you or a loved one cannot stop using MDMA, help is available.

Treatment for MDMA Addiction

MDMA Addiction treatment programs can differ. Depending on how long MDMA is used and the amount, treatment may start with medical detox. Medical detox at The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper provides 24/7 medical supervision for those struggling with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of Appetite

Because withdrawal from MDMA is often more psychological than physical, treatment after medical detox can be necessary. Following medical detox, inpatient rehab treatment may continue in our facility onsite. Inpatient rehab usually consists of regularly scheduled medical care, group and individual therapy and recreational therapy. 

After living onsite, clients may transition to our outpatient rehab program. They may live at home while attending therapy sessions onsite several days a week or online on our mental wellness app, Nobu. Continued care is essential for long-lasting recovery. Aftercare plans individualized to meet the needs of each client will provide the tools necessary to maintain a drug-free life.

MDMA Addiction Treatment in South Jersey

The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper provides help for those struggling with MDMA addiction, polysubstance use and co-occurring mental health conditions. A team of addiction specialists evaluates each individual to develop specialized treatment plans addressing their specific needs. The facility offers several addiction treatment programs, from outpatient therapy to residential rehab. It provides a full continuum of care through every level of treatment. 

For some, medical detox may be the first step toward recovery. The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper provides 24-hour supervision by trained health professionals to ensure safety and comfort throughout the medical detox process. After medical detox, treatment plans focus on each individual’s needs and the long-term goal of remaining drug-free. 

If you or someone you know is using MDMA or struggling with polysubstance use, take the first step toward a drug-free life today. Contact The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper to speak with a Recovery Advocate and learn more about treatment programs that can work well for you.

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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
Elizabeth Cambria
Medically Reviewed By – Elizabeth Cambria PharmD
Sources

Drug Enforcement Administration. “3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE.”“>“3,4-M[…]PHETAMINE.” September 2019. Accessed December 7, 2022.

 

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drug Scheduling.”“>“Drug […]cheduling.” Accessed December 7, 2022.

 

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Ecstasy/MDMA.”“>“Ecstasy/MDMA.” April 2020. Accessed December 7, 2022.

 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Commonly Used Drug Charts.”“>“Commo[…]ug Charts.” National Institute of Health, August 20, 2020. Accessed December 7, 2022.

 

National Library of Medicine. “Club Drugs.”“>“Club Drugs.” MedlinePlus, October 8, 2019. Accessed December 7, 2022.

 

Passie, Torsten. “The History of MDMA as an Underground Drug in the United States, 1960-1979.”“>“The H[…]1960-1979.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”“>“Key S[…]nd Health.” 2021. Accessed December 7, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.