Ecstasy is the colloquial term for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a designer drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. When ingested, MDMA leaves the user happy, energetic, and empathetic. Its effects peak 45 minutes after intake, and they can last up to six hours, depending on the amount ingested. Most people who struggle with designer drug abuse also suffer from mental health and behavioral disorders, a dual diagnosis condition. Reach out to a drug detox center by calling 866.516.8356 to learn about the relationship between ecstasy and mental health and find the right mental health treatment for you or your loved one.
How Does Ecstasy Affect the Brain?
When you use this drug, ecstasy increases the activity of three main chemicals in the brain, namely dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
This neurotransmitter affects mood, appetite, and sleep, among other functions. The excess serotonin released in the brain by ecstasy is what makes users feel euphoric and sociable. Elevated serotonin levels, in turn, trigger the production of hormones that affect sexual arousal, which increases the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Ecstasy causes a spike in norepinephrine, which results in more alertness, focus, and motivation. This chemical also induces a rapid heart rate and higher body temperatures.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that reinforces reward-motivated behavior. Whenever consumed, ecstasy increases the release of dopamine in the brain. After continued use, ecstasy rewires the brain’s pathways, and it can no longer release enough dopamine without the influence of ecstasy. This reaction is what causes addiction, cravings, and even withdrawal symptoms when you quit.
How Does Ecstasy Affect Your Mental Health?
Both short term and long term use of ecstasy can affect your mental health. Even a single use can result in mild withdrawal after the drug wears off, which may include mild depression. After long-term use, ecstasy can cause long-term brain damage and severe depression. Other ways ecstasy can affect your mental health include:
- Inability to control emotions
- Memory loss and concentration problems
- Personality changes
- Mania and psychosis
Ecstasy can also bear severe consequences on people with mood disorders such as bipolar. It exacerbates the situation posing a threat to their well-being.
Designer drug abuse can be more dangerous because they are rarely sold in pure form. For example, the MDMA in ecstasy pills often include other drugs. This poses a threat to the user as there is no way to tell how the added substance will interact with MDMA. Such impurities also make it difficult to discern how ecstasy and mental health relate to each other.
What Is Ecstasy Withdrawal?
Ecstasy withdrawal occurs when an individual abruptly discontinues using the drug after a long time of use. Most ecstasy withdrawal symptoms are psychological, but users may also experience fatigue and a decreased sex drive in some cases.
The severity and duration of ecstasy withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, depending on their age, gender, tolerance, metabolism, and genetics. Psychological ecstasy withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Hallucinations and delusions
Learn More About Ecstasy and Mental Health at Serenity House Detox Houston
At Serenity House Detox Houston, we offer customized addiction treatment programs to suit individual needs. Our dual diagnosis treatment program will ensure that you undergo ecstasy detox safely and start psychotherapy as soon as your body recovers. Some of our therapy programs are:
- Behavioral therapy program to correct any self-destructive behaviors
- Trauma therapy program designed to treat mental health implications of traumatic events
- Family therapy program to create a better functioning home environment where you will continue recovery after rehabilitation
- Group therapy program to help you learn new skills and expand your support system
Call Serenity House Detox Houston at 866.516.8356 to get assistance if you or someone you know struggles with ecstasy and mental health problems.