Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms

As a popular mood-boosting drug at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties, many people are oblivious to the negative psychological and physical effects that ecstasy has when taken in excess over time.

Ecstasy is both a hallucinogen and a stimulant that, when taken, gives rise to what most users describe as a boost of energy, warmth, enthusiasm, and sensory pleasure that “makes the music come alive”. It’s appears as an innocuous high but when it wears off it leave users with the same symptoms that heroin and cocaine users experience. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the “effects last about 3 to 6 hours, although many users take a second dose as soon as the effects of the first dose begin to fade.”

Consequently, many people start abusing the drug quickly after using it, unmindfully putting themselves at risk of psychological dependency. Although the degree of dependency is less than other drugs, psychological dependence on ecstasy can lead to an array of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when usage is discontinued.

 

What Is Withdrawal

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines withdrawal as “the various symptoms that occur after long-term use of a drug is reduced or stopped abruptly.” These symptoms are not identical in all ecstasy users, and may vary in frequency and intensity.

Factors that may affect each user’s experience with ecstasy withdrawal are:

  • The length of use: users who abuse the substance for a longer period of time are more likely to develop high tolerance and experience serious withdrawal symptoms.
  • Alcohol dependency: simultaneously having ecstasy and alcohol dependency can lead to a unique combination of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Dosage: users who take higher doses often experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • Existing mental and physical illnesses: existing mental illnesses, such as anxiety, can amplify withdrawal symptoms.

 

Cause For Ecstasy Withdrawal

Ecstasy causes the brain to release massive amounts of serotonin, a hormone that affects practically every bodily behavior, including; emotional, autonomic, cognitive, motor, and appetitive. These increased levels of serotonin cause users to experience a rush of pleasure that can last for up to six hours; however, because the brain only has a limited amount of serotonin it can easily become depleted, resulting in the unpleasant behavioral after effects users experience after quitting the drug – withdrawal symptoms.

 

Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms

Although each user is unique, serious withdrawal symptoms can manifest within only a few hours after the last use for most users with psychological dependency. Common physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that ecstasy users experience are listed below.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms Of Ecstasy:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lethargy
  • Jaw pain

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms Of Ecstasy:

  • Anxiety
  • Ecstasy craving
  • Confusion
  • Feelings of suicide
  • Depression and lack of motivation
  • Concentration Problems
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems

While some symptoms may subside quickly, others such as depression may linger for days and even weeks in some cases.

In some cases, even users who are not dependent or have no existing mental disorders may experience symptoms such as psychosis after binging on ecstasy, even for a day or two. Most of the time these symptoms will resolve as time goes by but they can be extremely unpleasant and harmful. For this reason, seeking professional medical assistance to recover from ecstasy is more advisable.

 

How to Recover From Ecstasy Withdrawal

Coping with ecstasy withdrawal can be difficult for long term abusers without medical supervision. While it’s not impossible to overcome these symptoms without professional help, seeking professional help allows users to better deal with the compulsion to use the drug during withdrawal. At BLVD Treatment Centers, there are a number of treatment options available to long term ecstasy users in need of help. Our services include:

Ecstasy Detox: Detox is generally the first phase of treatment for heavy ecstasy users. It involves the removal of ecstasy toxins from the body, which may cause cravings and heighten withdrawal symptoms. The typical length of ecstasy detox may vary for each patient based on how long the substance was abused for. Long term users usually require a longer detox period and should avoid going cold turkey.

A major part of detoxification for chronic users is keeping patients in an ecstasy free environment with quick access to medical care.

Therapeutic Care: Some chronic ecstasy users may require therapeutic care after detox is completed to completely overcome ecstasy dependency. To do this, our counselors are trained to communicate with patient to identify factors that have influenced their psychological dependence on the substance. Counselling will help patients to identify and overcome dangerous enabling behaviors.

Support groups: Drug support groups promote sober living and can encourage patients to quit ecstasy completely. For chronic users who are more likely relapse, this form of treatment can be very helpful. Family members also play an important role in creating an ecstasy free environment for users to help them avoid triggering situations. That is why at BLVD Treatment Centers, we encourage family members to be a part of the recovery process.

Get Ecstasy Help Now!

Are you a chronic ecstasy abuser? Are you trying to quit ecstasy but can’t handle withdrawal on your own?  If so, then contact BLVD Treatment Centers at (888) 393-1377  to speak with someone who can help you.

 

Ecstasy Withdrawal Infographic

 

Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse: MDMA (ecstasy/molly): brief description.
  2. Centers of Disease Control: MDMA Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse: MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)
  4. ABC News: Study: Teen Ecstasy Use Rising Fast
  5. Drug Enforcement Administration: Ecstasy or MDMA
  6. National Institute On Drug Abuse For Teens: MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)