Is ecstasy addictive? What makes it addicting?
How do you know if you're addicted? Research has shown that the addictive potential of ecstasy is quite real for some people. We'll discuss these ideas here to find out why, as well as cover how to deal with an addiction to the drug.
What is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a drug that is chemically similar to the synthetic stimulant methamphetamine. It was created in 1914 by Merck, a German Company, who patented it as an experimental compound. It wasn't until the 1970s when it was introduced to psychotherapy by psychiatrists and therapists. While ecstasy is no longer used for medicinal treatment, it is still widely used recreationally.
How does it Work?
Ecstasy works by affecting serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the user's brain. These affected neurotransmitters alter how the user feels, resulting in overstimulation and increased emotional intimacy and empathy for others. Ecstasy withdrawal may cause a number of negative side effects, including anxiety, confusion, cravings, depression, hallucinations, mood swings, and sometimes psychosis, among others.
Is Ecstasy Addictive?
Users don't necessarily become physically addicted, but are more apt to develop a psychological addiction or dependency after regular use of the drug. There is a difference between addiction and dependency, however. Someone addicted to ecstasy would do whatever it takes to obtain it, disregarding any detrimental effects they experience from using. They would have no control whatsoever on their feeling of need to use the drug. Someone dependent on ecstasy, however, is unable to function normally without the drug and so continues to use in order to maintain state.
Addiction, of course, depends on each individual and their specific situation. A person's background majorly influences their likelihood of becoming addicted. For example, someone with an addictive personality, or someone who has family members who have suffered from addiction in the past may be more at risk for developing an addiction to ecstasy. Things to look for when determining if an ecstasy user is addicted or becoming addicted are extreme irritability, nervousness, weight loss, depression, continued use in spite of harmful effects the drug has had on their life, and needing a higher dose of the drug to feel the effects.
Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction/Dependency
If you or someone you know many be suffering from an ecstasy addiction or dependency, don't hesitate to seek help from a professional.
If you have further questions and would like more information, please call Banyan Treatment Center.