Ecstasy, the commonly known name for MDMA, is a synthetic amphetamine drug that alters mood and perception. Ecstasy acts as both a stimulant and hallucinogen, so the drug causes users to experience heightened levels of adrenaline, sensitivity to sensory stimuli, feelings of emotional closeness, raised libido, and euphoria.1
Ecstasy was initially popular as a “club drug” at all-night dance parties, though it now affects a broader range of people. If you think you have a problem with ecstasy abuse or addiction, you’re not alone. This page will provide more insight into ecstasy as a drug, its addictive nature, its effects, signs of ecstasy abuse, how cocaine addiction is treated, and whether you can use your insurance plan to obtain cocaine addiction treatment and rehab.
Is Ecstasy Addictive?
Research results vary on whether MDMA is addictive. However, it affects a similar set of brain chemicals as other addictive drugs, and there is evidence of animals self-administering ecstasy—the latter a common indicator of a drug’s addictive potential.1,2
Some people report signs of addiction, including withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using ecstasy, indicating it can cause physical dependence (a condition in which the body has come to rely on the drug). After ceasing moderate use, people may experience symptoms over the course of the following week. These symptoms may include:1,2
- Appetite loss.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Loss of interest in sex.
- Sleep problems.
Checking Your Insurance Benefits
If you are looking for ecstasy addiction treatment, it can feel overwhelming As you consider your options, knowing exactly what your insurance plan covers can give you peace of mind while you or your loved one is in rehab. You can do the work of getting and staying sober without worrying about unexpected costs or financial struggles. For more information on what your insurance plan covers, call AAC at , click here, or fill out the form below.
What is Ecstasy Addiction?
Some people who use ecstasy do not believe it is physically addictive but do believe it is psychologically addictive.3 The hallmark of addiction is the continued use in light of the negative consequences that occur as a result. Certainly, people who use ecstasy can develop a pattern of use that becomes problematic enough to interfere in their lives.
Signs that a substance use disorder (SUD), or addiction, may be developing include:4
- Taking more ecstasy than intended or taking it more often than intended.
- Spending a great deal of time in buying or using ecstasy.
- Suffering serious problems at work or school due to ecstasy use.
- Ignoring personal obligations in favor of using ecstasy.
- Taking increasing amounts of ecstasy to overcome tolerance (feeling decreasing effects with the same dose).
- Failing in attempts to stop using ecstasy.
- Using ecstasy when doing so can be hazardous, such as when operating machinery or driving.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Ecstasy Addiction?
There are various warning signs and symptoms of ecstasy abuse and addiction. Symptoms may include:
- Attention and memory issues
- Decreased interest in sex
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of motor control
- Mental confusion
- Panic attacks
- Hallucinations and delusions
What are the Health Risks of Ecstasy Abuse?
While Ecstasy can initiate any one of these effects with just a single use, many individuals raise their risk of side effects with repeated “trips.” Here are some of the effects that may be experienced when people use ecstasy frequently.1
- Increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
- Hyperthermia (dangerously high body temperatures) as a result of severe dehydration.
- High doses can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a spike in body temperature that can occasionally result in liver, kidney, or heart failure or even death.
- Severe depression or self-harm resulting from a “crash” after drug use due to a lack of the neurotransmitter.
- Brain-oriented problems, including memory lapses, stroke, and brain hemorrhages.
- Migraine headaches, possibly resulting from dehydration, exhaustion, and ocular migraines triggered by flashing or strobe lights.
- Cardiac issues including increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and severe chest pains.
- Kidney and liver problems, even possibly failure of one or both organs.
- Circulatory problems due to reduced blood supply to body tissue.
- Dental problems including severe dental decay and gum disease.
How Do I Get Help for Ecstasy Addiction?
While it can be difficult to overcome an addiction to ecstasy, it can be achieved. There is not one type of facility or program that is suitable for everyone.5 Addiction treatment is designed to address not just your substance use but all of the ways in which it has negatively affected your life, which may include your physical health, your mental health, and your ability to work or attend school.5,6
Treatment programs typically provide an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs. They often use a combination of different techniques to address your addiction and how it has affected you.5,7 These can include:5,7
- Residential treatment, where you live at a facility, and receive care and/or support around the clock.
- Inpatient treatment typically involves a shorter stay at a with around-the-clock monitoring and care, intense group therapy, and individual counseling.
- Outpatient treatment offers less intensive group and individual counseling while you live at home. This type of care allows you to work, attend school, and participate in daily life while attending treatment.
- Behavioral therapy in a group, individual, and/or family settings is highly effective for treating addiction to ecstasy and other substances.
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders, which addresses mental health disorders at the same time as a substance use disorder, is generally more effective than treating these issues separately.
There are a variety of treatment options available, including private rehab facilities, state-run treatment facilities, and local treatment programs.
There are also support groups that can help you as you work toward becoming sober and maintaining that sobriety. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a mutual support group that offers people the opportunity to use peer bond, sponsor relationships, and self-expression to work toward sobriety. There are also non-12-step programs available that offer alternatives to NA.
Where Can I Learn More about Treating Ecstasy Addiction?
For more information about ecstasy abuse and addiction treatment, you may want to reach out to your doctor. Or you can contact one of our admissions navigators at for the information and support you are looking for as you look for ecstasy abuse treatment.
There are various treatment programs and strategies available for ecstasy addiction, so don’t give up if the first program you check out doesn’t meet your individual needs. To learn more about amphetamine addiction treatment, click here.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) DrugFacts.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2017). MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly).
- Levy, K. B., O’Grady, K. E., Wish, E. D., & Arria, A. M. (2005) An In-Depth Qualitative Examination of the Ecstasy Experience: Results of a Focus Group with Ecstasy-Using College Students. Substance Use & Misuse, 40(9-10), 1427–1441.
- MentalHealth.gov. (2019). Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (Third edition).
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). The National Institute on Drug Abuse media guide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). DrugFacts: Treatment approaches for drug addiction.