MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is an illegal psychoactive drug commonly associated with rave culture and electronic dance music. Also known as molly and ecstasy, MDMA produces euphoria and increased empathy in users, but it can have adverse, sometimes deadly, health effects like severe dehydration and increased heart rate. Music festivals have seen scores of deaths attributed to MDMA overdoses in recent years. Prolonged MDMA use can also lead to long-term problems like anxiety and memory loss. Normally, it is taken in pill form, but it is also snorted and smoked. People who abruptly stop taking MDMA after prolonged use often experience uncomfortable psychological symptoms known as MDMA withdrawal. Symptoms can include insomnia, depression and panic attacks.
The Risks of Stopping MDMA Cold Turkey
MDMA often enhances positive emotions in users, giving it a reputation as a “love drug.” However, after prolonged use, the brain of a heavy MDMA user becomes accustomed to these enhanced emotions. When a person abruptly stops using MDMA after extended use (known as “quitting cold turkey”), they often experience the effects of drug in reverse, making it difficult for them to feel positive emotions. One of the biggest risks of withdrawal is relapse because a person will often return to using MDMA to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. Alternatively, some MDMA users will substitute MDMA with other drugs such as marijuana or opiates to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, potentially creating another addiction. With medical help at a detox facility or drug rehab center, clients can safely withdrawal from MDMA without the risk of relapse.
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Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms
Common MDMA Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms
When it comes to ecstasy withdrawal symptoms, there are a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that will occur. The severity of the symptoms can range from severe to mild depending on the duration one has abused molly, the amount of MDMA used, and the individual’s own chemical makeup. Although brain zaps—the uncomfortable and somewhat debilitating phenomenon of a shock going from the brainstem to parts of the brain and even down the spine—may be an initial symptom at hand, symptoms after the first 24-72 hours are likely to turn into a number of other symptoms. Between a month and 90 days, these symptoms will subside. Depending on the extent of brain damage due to MDMA abuse, some of these symptoms—such as memory loss, poor memory, and a difficulty concentrating—may be permanent.
Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Panic attacks
- Muscle rigidity
- Poor concentration
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ecstasy isn’t pure molly. MDMA, on the contrary, is commonly mixed with other dangerous, life-threatening substances that have caused many deaths across the United States.
MDMA Withdrawal Timeline
When it comes to ecstasy detox, there can be more psychological symptoms overall. Withdrawing from ecstasy is completely dependent on you or your loved one’s circumstances. For someone who used molly on more of a regular, daily basis, signs and symptoms will be more severe than someone who used it every once in a while. Once you or your loved one has quit, it is encouraged that you get additional professional help, especially a therapist. The best thing you or your loved one can do during this tough time is to endure drug detox and treatment, engage in healthy activities, stay away from triggers (old friends, places, and things), eat healthy (salmon and turkey eaten by itself may combat the serotonin deficiency of MDMA withdrawal), stay productive, and exercise.
Anybody struggling with ecstasy addiction can find their best opportunity for success and recovery through inpatient treatment.
Continue Treatment after Detox
After detox, clients are encouraged to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program to prevent a return to use. Although most physical withdrawal symptoms subside after about 10 days, psychological symptoms such as depression and cravings can persist. Inpatient or outpatient drug treatment programs can help clients through these Post Acute Withdrawals (PAWS). Many treatment centers have found Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for clients who have been addicted to cocaine.