Ecstasy MDMA Addiction

motivational enhancement therapy

What is MDMA?

Ecstasy (or MDMA) is a “party drug” affecting our nation’s youth. Millions of Americans abuse it, despite growing evidence of its potentially harmful effects. Ecstasy is a colloquial name for MDMA (the acronym for the main ingredient, methylenedioxymethamphetamine), and there are even more slang terms for this substance among users. The popularity and consumption of MDMA has become more widespread, particularly among people under 25.

MDMA is a popular club drug that has effects similar to other stimulants. It enhances the user’s mood and makes them feel like they are happy and all is good. This psychoactive, mind-altering drug also has hallucinogenic properties.

MDMA was created in the early 1900s, and later used in psychotherapy in the 1970s, but became popular as a street drug in the 1980s. It is a 100% man-made chemical, typically manufactured and ingested in pill form, and can be found in a wide range of shapes and colors. There isn’t a corner on the MDMA market, so the purity and quality are always in question because the drug can have other dangerous additives such as amphetamines, PCP, or cocaine.

What does MDMA do to the brain?

MDMA affects the brain by increasing the activities of at least three neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Similar to amphetamines, MDMA causes these neurotransmitters to be released in the body, resulting in increased neurotransmitter activity. Compared to methamphetamine, MDMA causes a larger serotonin discharge and a lesser dopamine release.

The excess release of serotonin by MDMA is what causes the mood-elevating effects. However, by releasing large amounts of serotonin, MDMA causes the depletion of the essential neurotransmitter, contributing to the negative behavioral aftereffects that users often experience for several days after taking the drug.

Lasting Effects of MDMA

Research studies have demonstrated that heavy MDMA users may experience long-lasting confusion, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and selective impairment of memory and attention processes. These memory impairments are associated with the decrease in serotonin function

MDMA Dynamics to Consider

There are multiple dynamics to consider when assessing whether or not one has an MDMA addiction. Some of these are dosage, frequency, and intensity of use. It is important to recognize signs early on and get treatment as soon as possible before MDMA dynamics render the individual with permanent brain and behavioral changes.

Avalon Malibu operates two different licensed residential treatment centers next to each other, located directly on the Pacific Ocean. An MDMA abuse diagnosis is often intertwined with a root cause and co-occurring mental health issue, which we are able to address and treat.

Avalon Malibu is unique because it offers a complete continuum of care. Each house and each program offers specific treatment protocols ranging from inpatient psych and detoxification to residential treatment and psychotherapy with medication management.

Avalon Malibu’s emphasis is on integrating mind, body and spirit with evidenced-based therapeutic processes using expressive arts as a critical medium for change. We strive to provide individuals with help in regulating their mood, appetite, pain, learning, and memory in a holistic way, freeing them from the shackles of addiction.

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