MDMA users turn to this synthetic drug for feelings of pleasure, yet may be unaware of how it affects the body in other ways. Even taking low to moderate doses can produce side effects with discomfort. Higher doses can lead to more severe consequences, even death.
What is MDMA?
MDMA is short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. You may recognize the “methamphetamine” portion of its full name. On the street, the drug gets called by other names, including Molly, Ecstasy, E, X, XTC, and others. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve it for therapeutic use so it remains a recreational drug at the moment.
Taken by mouth, reaction to the drug can begin within 30-45 minutes and may last several hours. Those reactions may be increased energy, sense of pleasure, and altered sensations. The effects will depend on the dose, which can be between 50 and 150 milligrams.
Side Effects and Dangers during Use
Side effects will vary depending on the size of the dose. Low-to-moderate doses include teeth grinding, muscle aches, and skin tingles. Higher doses can result in hallucinations, convulsions, and even death.
Low to Moderate MDMA Doses
- Dilated pupils
- Feelings of closeness to others
- Feelings of well-being
- Heightened sensations (sight, hearing, touch)
- Increased blood pressure & heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Increased confidence and energy
- Jaw clenching
- Loss of appetite
- Lowered inhibitions
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Paranoia, aggression and psychosis
- Poor muscle control and unsteadiness
- Skin tingles
- Teeth grinding
Higher Doses of MDMA
- Brain Hemorrhage
- Floating sensations
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Increased heartbeat
- Irrational or bizarre behavior
MDMA’s Next-Day Effects on the Brain
MDMA users feeling the drug’s effects drop may take a second dose to restore the feelings of euphoria. However, the sense of pleasure felt that day gets replaced by a range of unwelcome experiences the day after. The main cause for these effects is a sharp drop in serotonin levels as the body begins its withdrawal.
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or aggression
- Memory loss
- Severe fatigue or weakness
- Spike in body temperature
Long-Term MDMA Addiction Effects
Common long-term effects from MDMA addiction include depression, anxiety and paranoia.
Sustained use of the recreational drug also can lead to liver, kidney, and heart problems. People abusing MDMA who have pre-existing health conditions face a higher risk of complications and illness.
Some would argue that the worst long-term effect of ecstasy is the mental health risks that come with taking the drug, especially if you take it for prolonged periods. Overdose and/or extensive ecstasy use can be harmful on a physical, psychological, emotional and interpersonal level.
Here’s a partial list of potential health-related issues related to MDMA long-term addiction.
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Degenerated nerve branches and nerve endings
- Heart palpitations
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
- Loss of overall brain mass
- Memory impairment
- Nasal mucus damage
- Nasal cartilage damage
- Regular nose bleeds
- Toxicity to the brain
Danger of Accidental Fentanyl Overdose with MDMA
Fentanyl is tasteless, colorless, and not visible when mixed with other substances. Recreational MDMA may be mixed with a dose of Fentanyl without the knowledge of the person taking the drugs. This mix can have dangerous consequences.
Because the purity of MDMA bought on the street is always questionable, people need to be aware of the risks that come from taking both types of drugs at the same time. Without knowing if there’s an opioid like Fentanyl in the MDMA, a person can be sent into a cardiac emergency caused by respiratory depression that slows breathing and reduces oxygen in the blood. The Fentanyl overdose may show up in other symptoms typical of opioid abuse, including cold and clammy skin, limpness in body, blue-colored lips and fingernails, and loss of consciousness.
5 Reasons to Use Medical Detox for MDMA Abuse
1. Medical detox eliminates the risk of complications from MDMA withdrawal.
Medical detox provides a safe and comfortable space for a patient to experience withdrawal symptoms. Complications that may arise at home are often psychological in nature and can be related to symptoms such as hallucinations, psychosis, and panic attacks. Prescription medications may be used as part of treatment of MDMA withdrawal symptoms.
2. Medical detox provides round-the-clock care.
Medically-supervised detox is done in an environment with constant care. A patient is monitored as they move through the withdrawal stages and can be treated right away as needed when new symptoms appear or existing symptoms intensify.
3. Medical detox can address co-occurring physical and mental health conditions.
During this kind of detox, the medical team can observe any co-occurring physical and mental health needs of a patient. These may include chronic health conditions, untreated injuries, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress.
4. Medical detox can provide diagnosis of underlying conditions.
Medically-supervised detox can be a place where undiagnosed mental health disorders get discovered. The diagnosis of PTSD, anxiety, depression or other co-occurring mental health disorder helps a patient understand what factors may have been preventing them from getting sober and staying sober in the past.
5. Medical detox sets up a patient for success in transitioning to inpatient or outpatient care.
Detox is considered a valuable first step in the recovery process. A patient receiving a personalized treatment plan becomes informed about the options available to them next. Before they complete a medical detox stay, they can begin to make informed decisions about what they want their treatment to look like next.
Restored Path’s Solution
Restored Path Detox is DFW’s premier location for sophisticated medical detox. Conveniently located in Frisco, we provide a safe sanctuary for healing that is also a state-of-the-art detoxification facility for a wide range of substances. Our compassionate physicians and therapists want you to get well and are committed to removing any existing barriers to your care. Restored Path’s team of board-certified physicians and highly qualified RNs have extensive critical care experience and are available to monitor your detox program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol use, call us today and take your first step towards recovery: 561-841-1268.