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Ecstasy Addiction Treatment in Illinois

Ecstasy addiction is a serious condition with the potential to massively harm both your physical and mental health.

Ecstasy is one of the most commonly abused drugs out there, which is often associated with rave parties and music festivals. Although many people think ecstasy is a harmless recreational drug, it can also lead to significant substance abuse and addiction.

If you or a loved one is suffering from this type of addiction, this guide will have you covered with all the necessary details to set foot on the path of recovery.

Keep on reading for a comprehensive overview of ecstasy addiction, including how it affects the brain, causes and symptoms, and how to effectively treat it for a long-term recovery.

A Brief Overview of Ecstasy Abuse

Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that is recognized as a psychedelic and stimulant agent by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The drug is listed as a Schedule I substance, which means it has an extremely high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses.

The euphoria-inducing effects of the drug make it a widely popular recreational drug in rave culture and party settings.

The drug’s chemical name is 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, which is why it’s also commonly known as “MDMA” for short. Ecstasy also goes by various street names, including XTC, Molly, X, and Disco Biscuit.

The drug is consumed in a variety of forms, including tablets, gel capsules, powder, crystals, and liquid.

While it produces feelings of increased pleasure, energy level, and emotional connection, MDMA use poses significant health risks, both immediate and long-term.

How Ecstasy Affects the Brain

As the name of the drug suggests, ecstasy belongs to a group of highly addictive drugs called amphetamines. These drugs primarily intercept the brain’s neurotransmitters to flood the brain with various brain chemicals, including Norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

Ecstasy’s influence on norepinephrine leads to increased heart rate and energy levels, which are often associated with elevated body temperature and sweating.

As for Serotonin and dopamine, they’re both responsible for the euphoric sensations associated with MDMA drug abuse.

This surge of chemicals Influences the mood, sleep, appetite, and sexual function, leading to euphoria and emotional warmth.

The combined effects of these chemicals also cause characteristic hallucinations associated with heightened sensory perception.

Is Ecstasy Highly Addictive?

While ecstasy doesn’t possess the intense physical withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids, it’s still highly addictive due to its impact on the brain’s reward system.

This is mainly because the positive emotional and sensory experiences associated with the initial use of ecstasy can lead to strong psychological cravings for the drug.

However, like other amphetamines, repeated use causes the body to quickly develop a strong tolerance, which requires higher doses to achieve the same desired effects.

The problem here is that ecstasy quickly disrupts the delicate balance of chemicals in the brain, making it difficult to experience pleasure and emotional well-being without the drug.

Another reason why ecstasy is dangerous is that it’s also considered a gateway drug. In other words, despite its mild effects, it can lead to abusing harder drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

The drug is often combined with other party drugs, such as LSD, which is a potent drug that can cause life-threatening hallucination episodes.

How Common Is Ecstasy Addiction in Illinois?

According to a report by the Department of Justice, Ecstasy isn’t only readily available all across the state, but it’s also the most commonly abused party drug in Illinois, particularly in the Chicago metro area.

However, Ecstasy abuse is actually a common issue nationwide and not just in Illinois. According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 2.2 million individuals aged 12 or above used the drug in 2021 alone.

Additionally, the same report shows that the drug is also quite prevalent among children as young as the 8th grade.

What Causes Ecstasy Addiction?

The release of various mood-boosting brain chemicals encourages the brain to crave and seek the experience repeatedly. This makes a lot of people rely on ecstasy as a coping mechanism for stress, trauma, or other mental health issues.

Additionally, being in social settings and environments where ecstasy use is prevalent can greatly increase the risk of using it, especially under peer pressure from friends or social circles.

Of course, other personal reasons and a family history of drug abuse can also increase the risks of MDMA abuse. However, it’s important to know that drug abuse is rarely a result of a single factor, but rather a combination of different ones.

What Are the Effects of Ecstasy?

The effects of ecstasy are typically classified as short-term and long-term. The following is a breakdown of both of them, which shows the danger of developing ecstasy dependence.

Short-Term Effects

  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Enhanced mood and feelings of euphoria
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating and chills
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia and disruption of sleep pattern

Long-Term Effects

  • Heart problems, including increased risk of heart failure and high blood pressure
  • Liver and kidney damage due to toxicity.
  • Brain damage, which causes impaired memory, tremors, and learning difficulties.
  • Irreversible damage in reproductive organs and cells, especially in males.
  • Weakened immune system and high susceptibility to serious infection.
  • Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

How to Identify MDMA Addiction

Besides the previously mentioned effects, ecstasy addiction can manifest itself in a wide range of symptoms. Here are some of the telltale signs to look for:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Fast heart and respiratory rates
  • Shaky hands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Spending more time in places associated with party drug use
  • Changes in social circles
  • Deterioration in personal hygiene or appearance
  • Neglecting all kinds of responsibilities, including family, work, school, etc.
  • Lethargy due to lack of sleep

Ecstasy Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options

Ecstasy addiction treatment can be challenging, but it’s not an impossible feat. In this section, we’ll take a quick look at some of the most popular treatment options.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is the initial phase of MDMA addiction treatment where the drug and its metabolites are fully eliminated from the body. This detoxification process can occur in both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs.

Inpatient treatment provides 24/7 medical monitoring and support during withdrawal, which is done in rehab treatment centers.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment offers more flexibility and the ability to return home at night, but is only suitable for mild addiction and a strong personal commitment to recovery.

During this several-week-long stage, doctors will prescribe several drugs to manage the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms associated with this stage.

Behavioral Therapy

Following the detoxification phase, behavioral therapy plays a crucial role in treating MDMA addiction, represented in evidence-based methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

CBT specifically helps individuals identify and change the thought patterns that lead them to drug use and is the most reliable treatment method here.

Therapists work with patients (mainly in one-on-one sessions) to develop coping mechanisms for stress and triggers.

Alternatively, DBT focuses on the emotional aspect of the addiction, helping the patients to accept their difficult feelings and overcome the triggers that lead to addiction.

Support Groups and Group Counseling

Besides individual therapy, patients may also engage in different forms of group treatment. These provide a safe space for individuals to connect with others who share similar hardships and experiences with substance addiction.

It can also involve 12-step meetings and attending sessions like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which heavily focuses on peer support and encouragement to achieve long-term recovery.

Family Therapy

Building a strong support network of loved ones who understand the challenges of addiction can also provide invaluable emotional support that can help patients overcome the initial risk of relapse.

Family therapy sessions also help mend the broken relationships and trust issues between family members that may arise due to ecstasy use.

Sober Living Homes

Living in a sober environment minimizes exposure to triggers and promotes positive lifestyle changes.

This treatment method is often used as a transitional phase for those who don’t feel ready to get back to their daily life or have spent so long in recovery and need some time to adjust.

Relapse Prevention Plan

Overcoming ecstasy addiction isn’t just about completing treatment. Long-term recovery requires a carefully prepared plan to avoid potential relapses and triggers.

This plan is crafted by a healthcare professional to equip individuals with healthy coping mechanisms.

It can also include various complementary treatment methods, such as workouts, meditation techniques, massage, yoga, acupuncture, etc.

Seeking Professional Help with Ecstasy Addiction

Ecstasy addiction is a serious condition with the potential to massively harm both your physical and mental health. That’s why recognizing the warning signs and seeking professional help are vital steps toward a successful recovery.

As you can see, ecstasy addiction is a unique and dangerous type of substance abuse disorder. That’s why every individual case needs a highly personalized treatment plan to ensure long-term recovery and a low risk of relapse.

If you’re looking for a reliable rehabilitation center in Illinois for you or a family member, consider contacting Illinois Recovery Center now to seek immediate support from our qualified experts.

Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-05-07