Ecstasy (MDMA) rehab

This Page was last reviewed and changed on June 7th, 2022

Content Overview

Ecstasy is a powerful substance which has the potential to make you physically and mentally ill if taken regularly. Paranoia, depression and psychosis are just some of the issues that pose a danger to those with ecstasy dependence.

If you find you are taking ecstasy regularly, or know someone who is, rehab treatment is the best way to overcome this addiction and take control of the cravings.

Ecstasy is a psychoactive stimulant drug with hallucinogenic effects. Also known as Molly and by other street names, it’s a version of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) that comes in a pill or tablet form and is often synthesized with other addictive substances like cocaine, methamphetamine, or ketamine, to enhance the basic effects of pure MDMA.

MDMA is a very addictive drug that comes with life-threatening effects when used over a long period. The drug reacts with the body in a way that long-term use will result in tolerance, meaning you’ll continually need to increase your dosage to maintain the effects of the drug. This will ultimately lead to overdose, where you’ll suffer damaging health complications like seizures, brain damage, and kidney failure.

If you or a loved one are addicted to ecstasy, you can break free by undergoing treatment in a rehab facility. Ecstasy addiction is very dangerous, but you can avoid the dangers associated with the drug if you take action as soon as possible and get help.

What Is Ecstasy Addiction?

Addiction to ecstasy is due to the effects of the drug on the brain. While studies and research have had mixed results concerning the addictive potential of ecstasy, people who take the drug often find themselves using it compulsively and developing a tolerance, which are indications of addiction. You’ll also experience withdrawal symptoms when you stay off the drug for a while or drastically reduce your normal dosage like it happens during ecstasy detox.

Treatment for Ecstasy Addiction and Abuse

Getting professional help is the best way to beat your addiction to ecstasy and safely achieve recovery. You’ll be put through the different stages of treatment in a safe manner to ensure you’re free of the drug’s hold and can control your urges in the future.

Treatment options for addiction to ecstasy basically include going through inpatient or outpatient programmes. Going through an inpatient programme means you receive treatment in a residential facility over the course of a number of days, usually 28-90 days; while an outpatient programme involves getting treatment on scheduled visits to a clinic or doctor’s office whilst you still carry out your day to day activities.

After treatment, you can also go through other recovery engagements like joining support groups, going through a sober living home programme, and attending one-on-one sessions from time to time with a psychologist near you.

Rehabilitation Types for Ecstasy Addiction

The main types of rehab for ecstasy addiction are inpatient and outpatient rehab. You’ll go through either one of these based on your condition and recommendation from your doctor.

Is detox enough or do I need treatment?

While detox is an important part of recovery, on its own, it won’t help you achieve and maintain sobriety. The route to recovery involves psychological and physical treatment; detox begins the process by treating your physical dependence and seeing you through withdrawal. Without treating your psychological symptoms after detox, they may cause you to use again and suffer a relapse which could be dangerous as an overdose may occur.

Ecstasy Addiction Interventions

Many ecstasy users won’t consider their compulsive use of the drug dangerous, and may not realise that their behaviour impacts those close to them.

If you have a loved one that is going through this, you can make the impacts and dangers of their behaviours known to them. An effective way to make them understand the extent of their behaviour and getting them to seek help is through an intervention.

You can gather close relatives of the addict as well as influential loved ones to partake in the intervention. Better still, you can use the services of a professional interventionist if you don’t know how to organise an intervention.

Treatment for Teens Addicted to Ecstasy

Ecstasy is one of the most commonly-abused addictive substances among teenagers, second only to cannabis. The drug is popular among this age group because it’s easy to obtain and has mind-altering effects that draw these users in. The prevalence of ecstasy addiction among teens is primarily the reason that there are treatment programmes dedicated to young people that fall within this age bracket.

Treatment is tailored to the unique condition of each teenager and will begin with a detoxification process. During detox, the patient will be weaned off the drug and their withdrawal symptoms will be treated simultaneously. It’s especially important for teens who have abused other legal or illegal drugs alongside ecstasy to go through a medical detox.

Detox is followed by rehabilitation

Which includes the use of certain behavioural and holistic therapies to help the addict regain psychological balance and learn to live without ecstasy. Some of these therapies include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, anger management and relationship training, group therapy, as well as individual counselling. Peer counselling is also a common method of treatment during rehab.

Most rehab centres will work closely with the family of each teenager to find out the problems within the family unit that may have led to addiction. These treatment facilities will also make use of the emotional support of the family members to motivate the teenager to stay committed to recovery.

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Medications used to Treat Ecstasy Addiction

In some drug addiction treatment programmes, special medications are used to make the initial recovery stages easier. However, rehab for ecstasy addiction does not normally involve medications as there are no approved drugs used to directly treat ecstasy addiction.

Prescription drugs may be given by your doctor to help ease certain withdrawal symptoms like depression and anxiety during the first 3-6 months into recovery. These medications typically involve anti-depressants.

How Is Ecstasy Addiction Treated?

Treatment for ecstasy addiction starts with a detox programme where you’ll be monitored by a medical team as you go through withdrawal from the drug. Prescription medications like antidepressants may be administered to help alleviate some of the psychological withdrawal symptoms that will flare up during this time.

After detox is completed, you’ll be required to go through rehabilitation where you’ll receive psychological treatment. This will be achieved through various therapies like the 12-step programme, CBT and DBT, as well as other therapies like individual and group counselling sessions. Your treatment, from start to finish, will be streamlined to your unique condition and the amount of time you’ll stay in rehab will also depend on your situation.

Types of Addiction Programmes

The main treatment programmes for treating ecstasy addiction are inpatient and outpatient programmes. Your doctor will recommend one of these programmes depending on your level of addiction and other factors surrounding your personal situation. However, inpatient programmes are known to be the best of the two, especially in severe cases.

Inpatient programmes involve receiving treatment in a residential, drug-free addiction treatment clinic. These programmes are ideal for chronic cases of ecstasy addiction because each patient will receive round-the-clock monitoring and support over the course of their stay in the facility.

Outpatient programmes, on the other hand, will allow you to live at home while you visit the clinic to receive treatment. Outpatient programmes are effective for cases where the ecstasy abuse isn’t severe. They are also a good choice if you wish to continue carrying out your daily activities as you receive treatment.

Choosing the Best Type of Rehab

The best type of rehab programme for you will depend on your experience with ecstasy abuse and your personal preferences. There are different options for treatment in the UK and you can find one that tackles your situation effectively. If your addiction to ecstasy is chronic, it’ll be recommended that you go through an inpatient programme.

If you’re confused on which programme or rehab centre to go through, you can contact a confidential addiction treatment centre to receive guidance.

What to Expect at Ecstasy Rehab

If you’ve made the decision to go through treatment, you should understand that there are bumps along the road and rehab isn’t always easy. However, you’ll find it more bearable through the professional guidance that you’ll receive.

Rehab will include daily schedules of group meetings and regular one-on-one sessions with a psychologist, as well as other therapeutic activities. Most rehab centres stick to strict timetables and regulations and it’s advised to abide by these to achieve a positive outcome.

Support Groups

Once your rehabilitation is over, it’s important that you take measures to help you maintain your recovery in the long run, as it’s possible to relapse even after treatment. One of these measures is addiction support groups, which include individuals that come together to help one another find ways to remain clean after they have achieved sobriety.

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous is a support group for men and women who have been addicted to drugs in the past and have a desire to maintain their sobriety. As an ecstasy addict, you can find support through this self-help programme; you’ll likely find other ecstasy addicts who have been in recovery longer than you have. With insight from these individuals, you can learn new ways to defeat cravings that may occur in the future.

Therapies for Ecstasy Abuse and Addiction

Ecstasy affects the brain in diverse ways and causes various psychological conditions. To reverse the changes that ecstasy has caused over time, you’ll be put through different forms of therapy during rehab. These therapeutic processes will help you heal mentally, and also teach you skills and strategies that will help you lead an ecstasy-free life after treatment.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies employ an integrated mental, physical, and spiritual model of treatment for addiction and most rehabs adopt this kind of therapy for treating addiction to ecstasy. This treatment technique is also referred to as complementary or alternative methods of treatment, and they’re mostly based on practices that originated from cultural traditions or are defined as having a closeness to nature. Some of these therapies include:

Behavioural Therapies

Behavioural therapies include one-on-one sessions with a therapist and group counselling where psychologists employ certain therapy treatments to help the addict make lifestyle changes and learn new behaviours that support recovery. Some of these therapies include CBT, which focuses on the connection of thoughts, feelings, and actions; and DBT, which helps patients improve their emotional health and interpersonal relationships.

Physical Recovery

Physical recovery involves prescribing detox medications that will ease prolonged withdrawal symptoms that may occur during the first stages of recovery.

Ecstasy and Co-Occurring Disorders

Ecstasy addiction may be accompanied by other medical conditions that were ailing the addict before their addiction or that may have been caused by their ecstasy abuse. These situations are known as Dual Diagnosis and they can be complex to treat.

Co-occurring Mental Health Issues

These are psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that the user may have taken ecstasy to treat. If you’re suffering from this, there are rehab centres in the country with Dual Diagnosis specialists that can treat you.

MDMA and Polydrug Use

Ecstasy, in pill form, is usually synthesized with other drugs like ketamine, meth, or cocaine to boost the effects of MDMA. Most users often go on to abuse the drug with other stimulants like amphetamines. This situation is known as polydrug abuse and can worsen withdrawal symptoms and lead to overdose.

Possible Treatment Complications

Complications may arise during treatment, especially when you have abused ecstasy alongside other dangerous substances or if you are going through a case of dual diagnosis. These complications can be averted and taken care of if you go through a treatment programme that treats you after a thorough assessment of your situation is carried out.

Key Facts about Ecstasy Abuse

  • Ecstasy and Molly are different versions of MDMA. While ecstasy usually comes in pill form, Molly is the powdered or crystal-like version. However, both drugs have similar effects
  • Ecstasy is a designer drug that involves mixing pure MDMA with certain substances like cocaine and meth
  • MDMA was originally designed by Merck pharmaceuticals as an appetite suppressant but was never approved as a prescription medication.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can PTSD and ecstasy addiction be treated simultaneously?

In certain cases, there are mental disorders that may be occurring alongside addiction to ecstasy. Cases such as PTSD can cause you to use ecstasy to ease your suffering. However, ecstasy isn’t an ideal remedy for this condition and will end up worsening your episodes, especially when withdrawal sets in. This case is known as a dual diagnosis and there are expert therapists that can treat both issues simultaneously to ensure you recover properly.

How to know if someone I know is using ecstasy?

Addiction to ecstasy come with different signs that show a person is abusing the drug compulsively. While these signs can be different from person to person, you can identify an ecstasy addiction in someone close to you if you know what to look for. Some signs of abuse and addiction include an abnormally heightened sensation of pleasure when touched; unusually long periods without sleep; change in social circles and excessive partying; decreased sensation of pain; not meeting appointments; and financial and legal problems.

Who should I call if I am afraid I will relapse?

The recovery journey is fraught with challenges and temptations that may mean you find it difficult to maintain your sobriety. This is why you need to surround yourself with a support network that will keep you on your feet when you’re vulnerable. Members of your family and close friends who have been supporting you to get sober can be a first port of call whenever you feel like using again. You can also contact members of your support group (it’s important that you join one) as they can also be of tremendous help during this time. Also, you can contact your therapist to guide you through this phase.

Are there any risks regarding rehab?

Rehab is safe to go through compared to self-medicating at home. However, there can be risks of going through an outpatient programme as you’ll likely be faced with relapse triggers because you’ll be in your usual environment, which isn’t trigger-free, unlike an inpatient programme.

Can I heal depression with ecstasy?

While ecstasy can reduce the effects and symptoms of depression for a short period, it can worsen your condition in the long run. There are no approved medical uses for ecstasy and it is never recommended to use the drug as a palliative measure for your depression. You should consult a doctor or psychologist if you’re suffering from depression.

Why is ecstasy so addictive?

Ecstasy’s addictive nature stems from the way it interacts with the brain. The drug triggers a release of certain neurochemicals that are responsible for mood regulation, pleasure, euphoria, pain, and sleep. This explains why you get the rush of energy and excitement whenever you take the drug, causing you to use repeated doses to induce these unnatural feelings over and over.

How long is rehab?

The ideal duration of rehab varies from person to person. The amount of time you’ll spend receiving treatment will depend on a lot of factors surrounding your addiction, as well as your personal preference. If your addiction to ecstasy is chronic, it’ll be recommended that you stay in rehab for as long as possible. While the 28-day duration is the common length, research has found that staying up to 90 days in rehab will yield the best result.

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