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Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

One of the most popular “club drugs” worldwide, ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is an amphetamine-based, hallucinogenic drug known by various street names such as Molly, Adam, X and XTC. By increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain — specifically serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine — ecstasy causes the user to experience intense, hallucinatory feelings and sensations that include:

  • Euphoria and an expansive sensation of “oneness” with others. This type of “love” euphoria is what leads users to engage in multiple-partner sex, which puts them at a high risk for suffering STDs
  • Enhanced sociability and empathy
  • Auditory, tactile and visual hallucinations
  • Grinding and clenching of the jaws and teeth
  • Elevated body temperature producing profuse sweating
  • Blurred vision, dizziness or fainting
  • Impulsive behavior, agitation or panic

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to ecstasy, Synergy Recovery Services' ecstasy addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA can help by providing experienced, compassionate addiction therapists and physicians who understand the disease of addiction. Please contact us today to talk to one of our staff members who will schedule an appointment for you or your loved one.

How Is Ecstasy Made?

Street-level ecstasy may contain a combination of dangerous substances ranging from heroin and meth to liquid caffeine and even rat poison. Ecstasy is made in home laboratories and usually sold in pill form, but it can be injected by mixing crushed pills with water. Liquid ecstasy, or liquid X, is a form of ecstasy known as the date rape drug GHB. Liquid X also contains toxic substances such as drain cleaner, lye or industrial solvent cleaners and exerts powerful central nervous system effects leading to extreme drowsiness and coma-like conditions.

Physical and Psychological Effects of Ecstasy

Users report feeling ecstasy's effects 30 to 45 minutes after taking the drug. Peaking, which is experiencing the full effect of an ecstasy pill, is felt within two hours. After four to five hours, ecstasy's psychoactive effects diminish, leaving users depressed, burned-out and fatigued. In addition, ecstasy has also been found to stimulate the excessive release of two other hormones called oxytocin and vasopressin. Both hormones contribute to the powerful feelings of trust, empathy and sexual arousal promoted by brain neurotransmitters, which only increases the addictive quality of ecstasy.

Since ecstasy interferes with the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis, users may also suffer hyperthermia and severe metabolic disruptions that can cause shock and even cardiovascular failure.

History of Ecstasy Use in the United States

Developed over a century ago as a weight-loss aid, ecstasy didn't achieve national notoriety until the 1980s. People who regularly used ecstasy at that time didn't want the DEA to designate ecstasy as a Schedule I drug. They tried to sue the U.S. DEA but were unsuccessful. Consequently, ecstasy became an illegal drug that entailed fines and jail time if someone was caught in possession of ecstasy.

Rising dramatically in the 1990s, ecstasy use became synonymous with rave parties. Rave parties were large, random gatherings of mostly young people who danced and had sex for hours while taking ecstasy. Because of ecstasy's ability to suppress social anxiety and increase euphoria, it was the perfect drug for ravers to abuse while attending a rave party.

While rave parties are not as prevalent as they once were, ecstasy use continues to spiral out of control, leading to a new generation of addicts who require ecstasy addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA to overcome their addiction.

Why Ecstasy Is Just As Addicting As Other Street Drugs

An ecstasy addiction develops due to abnormal neurotransmission, a biochemical activity enabling brain nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The more accelerated neurotransmission rates are, the more powerful the feelings of arousal and euphoria. To continue experiencing psychoactive states of pleasure and arousal, addicts cannot resist the compulsion to use ecstasy regularly.

Increasing tolerance for ecstasy often leads users to take larger doses of the drug and risk suffering severe physical and mental side effects. Tolerance results when the brain tries to reestablish normal neurotransmission rates but can't. To achieve desired states of arousal, ecstasy addicts must take more and more of the drug to compensate for disturbances in the brain. As a basic definition of the cycle of addiction, tolerance explains why withdrawal symptoms emerge when ecstasy addicts abstain from consuming their drug of choice.

Signs of an Ecstasy Addiction

In addition to using ecstasy more than twice a week, signs that you or a loved one may need to enter our ecstasy addiction treatment program in Bakersfield include:

  • Feeling severely depressed and anxious when not “high” on Ecstasy
  • Times of confusion and short-term memory loss
  • Increasing paranoia and aggressive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Resorting to criminal activity to obtain Ecstasy

Ecstasy abusers may also be seen sucking on pacifiers or lollipops to appease the urge to clench their jaw muscles and grind their teeth.

Long-Term Effects of an Ecstasy Addiction

A research study involving ecstasy addicts who had been using the drug for over five years and non-ecstasy users found that the hippocampal volume of the ecstasy users was nearly 11 percent smaller than the non-ecstasy group. In addition, the gray matter of Ecstasy users was over 4.5 percent smaller than the gray matter of non-ecstasy users. Atrophy of the hippocampal area is a classic sign of disorders that cause progressive cognitive deterioration, such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Unlike heroin, opioids and stimulants, ecstasy doesn't carry the potential for inducing dangerous physical reactions to withdrawal. Instead, ecstasy addicts attempting to detox by themselves suffer severe psychological symptoms such as depression, chronic insomnia, difficulties focusing and remembering, and panic disorder. These feelings are so overpowering that ecstasy addicts are usually forced to begin using again to relieve these psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Synergy's detoxification program will help ecstasy addicts through withdrawal by providing medically supervised treatments that can involve prescription medications to relieve anxiety, insomnia and depression. Antidepressants and anxiolytics are the primary detox medications used in our ecstasy detoxification program that also help re-balance brain chemicals, stabilize mood and suppress cravings.

Ecstasy Addiction and Mental Illness

Clients seeking help at Synergy's ecstasy addiction treatment program in Bakersfield, CA often suffer from previously undiagnosed mental health problems that warrant a dual diagnosis by an addiction psychiatrist or psychologist. In fact, a high percentage of ecstasy users became addicts when they attempted to relieve the distressing symptoms of a mental disorder by self-medicating. Because their depression or anxiety is not professionally addressed, ecstasy abusers experience a rapid intensification of symptoms, forcing them to depend on ecstasy as a way to escape painful feelings.

Disorders such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder are all too commonly diagnosed in ecstasy addicts. People with BPD have such a strong fear of being alone and abandoned that the side effects of ecstasy represent sensations they have been searching for to banish painful feelings of loneliness. People with personality disorders also suffer from a severe lack of impulse control, which makes them highly susceptible to the immediate gratification provided by ecstasy.

Treatment for an Ecstasy Addiction

Whether Synergy Recovery Services clients with an addiction to ecstasy have been diagnosed with a mental health problem or not, our addiction therapists will engage their clients in various forms of psychosocial counseling. Ecstasy abusers are able to develop a deep understanding of themselves through group- and individual counseling.

When You Need the Best Ecstasy Addiction Treatment in Bakersfield, CA

Synergy Recovery Services offers individualized treatment programs designed to address ecstasy addiction with medically supervised outpatient ecstasy addiction treatment in Bakersfield, CA. Since ecstasy is a fairly new drug, and it has the ability to give users such pleasurable, empathetic feelings, this “feel good” reputation ecstasy has seemed to overshadow the fact it is just as dangerous as other psychoactive drugs.

In fact, many people do not view ecstasy as a drug with the potential for addiction. However, anyone using ecstasy who cannot stop using the drug needs to understand that the euphoria they feel for several hours can easily lead to years of being chronically addicted to a harmful and potentially toxic drug.

Synergy Recovery Services Can Help You or a Loved One Defeat an Ecstasy Addiction

By understanding the basic biological and psychological concepts responsible for perpetuating the disease of addiction, clients and their loved ones seeking assistance from our ecstasy addiction rehab center in Bakersfield, CA will learn how to accept the fact that addiction is not a lifestyle choice, but rather a serious, chronic disease that requires the same caring and insightful medical attention given to people with diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Contact Synergy Recovery Services today and let us help you or your loved one begin enjoying a sober, happy and productive life. With the best Ecstasy addiction treatment center in Bakersfield, CA, Synergy Recovery Services has the resources, experience and compassionate care you need to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

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