What are the Myths Surrounding Ecstasy Abuse?
Ecstasy is the tablet form of MDMA powder, or “Molly” as it’s known on the black market. Ecstasy tablets are illegal drugs, having no known therapeutic effect and causing a range of short- and long-term adverse consequences in users. These tablets are usually taken during concerts, at nightclubs, or other party scenes.
The effects of the drug are ideal for high-energy social events in that ecstasy makes the user highly social and empathetic and also increases physical sensations and risk-taking behavior. However, there are also myths associated with this dangerous drug.
What is an MDMA myth?
They are lies perpetuated by people who regularly abuse the drug in order to have no regrets for taking it or giving it to others.
The tablets are usually mixed with other dangerous drugs, which increases the effects of ecstasy and can also increase the severity of any adverse effects.
Also, users have no way of knowing what’s in the tablets and how much of each substance has been taken. Researchers speculate that many of the known adverse effects of ecstasy are related to these additional substances in ecstasy tablets. Below are the top three myths about ecstasy and their factual refutations.
Myth #1: Ecstasy is a safe party drug.
There is no such thing as a 100% safe substance. Even prescription medications for legitimate health problems come with a risk of side effects and other dangers. When it comes to ecstasy, this drug causes a range of short-term, and also long-term side effects. Users can also overdose and die on ecstasy.
When someone takes an ecstasy tablet, the effects begin about a half hour to an hour after ingesting the drug. They peak within two hours. The drug causes a person’s core temperature to go up, and it also interferes with a person’s perception of time. The environment where people take ecstasy plays a role in the drug’s unique dangers.
People who get high on the drug will dance and socialize for hours. They may even mix ecstasy with other drugs or alcohol if they are in an environment where they are readily available — people high on ecstasy risk overexerting themselves or experiencing potentially deadly heatstroke and electrolyte imbalances.
Ecstasy also causes the user to retain water, and drinking too much water and then retaining it can also create a dangerous electrolyte imbalance and damage the kidneys. Unfortunately, even casual, modest ecstasy use can kill someone.
Myth #2: Ecstasy is non-addictive.
This isn’t true either. When someone takes an ecstasy tablet, the brain is flooded with the neurotransmitter dopamine. But once the brain and body start to come down from an ecstasy high, dopamine levels crash.
Dopamine helps regulate sleep and mood, and plays a role in depression and anxiety symptoms. A person who comes down from ecstasy will experience a range of unpleasant side effects and withdrawals. The high a person gets with ecstasy is also intense and incredibly addictive.
People can continue to take ecstasy to experience the addictive high, and also to reduce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and to attempt to stabilize and increase their mood. Unfortunately, prolonged, heavy use of ecstasy and binging on the drug can lead to permanent brain damage and memory issues.
Myth #3: Ecstasy can’t cause long-term health problems.
Numerous studies on ecstasy users have proven that the drug causes a range of issues. For one thing, ecstasy drastically lowers a person’s inhibitions and makes them want to connect and empathize with others. Ecstasy users are at increased risk of engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Studies on people who binge ecstasy or use ecstasy frequently test HIV positive at higher rates than non-users. This also increases the risk of contracting other STIs and experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.
Studies on people who use ecstasy frequently during a two-year period showed that users had problems with memory and concentration, increased rates of depression, and higher rates of heart disease and sleep disturbances than non-users.
Ecstasy use also inhibits appetite, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies in some users. Regular ecstasy use is also associated with impulsivity and cognitive decline.
What Are the Facts About the Dangers of Ecstasy?
Even modest doses of ecstasy will cause issues with heart function. If a person takes ecstasy once, they risk overdosing, contracting an STI, and they will experience adverse short-term effects when the body starts to clear itself of the substance. Ecstasy may be a casual party drug, but that does not negate the dangers of the drug.
Taking any substance can also trigger addiction issues and dependency in vulnerable individuals. Getting high on harsh and powerful chemical substances like ecstasy can also trigger or worsen mental health disorder symptoms. In rare cases, ecstasy use can trigger psychosis, aggression, and self-harm in at-risk individuals.
What Are the Signs of Ecstasy Addiction and Abuse?
When someone takes the drug, they will become incredibly social, talkative, and even affectionate. Users want to engage in fast-paced social events and have increased energy and body temperature. Ecstasy tablets will also dilate a person’s pupils, and they will become dehydrated.
Dry mouth and an extreme decrease in appetite are common. Once the high wears off, a person will crash and become fatigued but unable to sleep. They will most likely become irritable, and depressed, and they will also clench their jaw and grind their teeth. Muscle cramps, aches, and a general feeling of malaise will manifest during an ecstasy crash.
Despite these negative consequences, someone addicted to ecstasy will continue to use the drug. Drug addiction also changes the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. People addicted to ecstasy may miss work or school, have trouble with money, or experience legal issues from their drug use.
Ecstasy is a harsh and dangerous drug, and it’s critical that users can get help for ecstasy dependence quickly before the health consequences of ecstasy abuse become permanent.
For ecstasy addiction and abuse, rehabilitation and detox can help users come down off the drugs in a safe, supportive environment. Medical staff can prescribe medications to lessen the severity and duration of the withdrawal symptoms.
Therapists are also available to help users work through their triggers for drug use and create plans and positive coping mechanisms to avoid relapse and maintain lifelong sobriety.