Ecstasy is often viewed as a feel-good drug that can be fun to take occasionally in group settings. People often take ecstasy at festivals and raves. Ecstasy comes in pill form often and can be a variety of shapes and colors.
Many people have no idea how much MDMA is in each Ecstasy pill and if there is actually any in the pill they have before taking it. The drug is often cut with other drugs to make it more potent to make it easier to sell in the future. When word spreads that one pill produces more of a high than others, it becomes easier to sell.
The problem with Ecstasy is that is has horrible and sometimes lifelong side effects. Many people overdose when they take Ecstasy because they don’t know what they are taking or take too much of it. Sadly, some users attempt to get as high as possible by trying to raise their body temperature, spike their blood sugar or go without eating before taking it. This is what leads to a deadly overdose. Ecstasy is an illegal substance, making it dangerous to even possess. If you are thinking about taking Ecstasy, read the following guide first so you know how dangerous it is.
How Ecstasy Works
Ecstasy is an empathogen. It makes you feel more empathetic to others, euphoric and have an overall happiness. It increases the activity in the neurotransmitters of Dopamine, Serotonin and Noradrenaline. The boost in Dopamine makes you feel more energetic. Having an increase in Noradrenaline increases your heart rate. An increase in Serotonin, which directly affects your sexual arousal, mood and appetite.
Ecstasy is absorbed through your blood stream to your brain. Once there, it boosts the production of these neurotransmitters. It can also mimic the neurotransmitters to make the signals of Serotonin, Noradrenaline and Dopamine even more intense.
How Ecstasy Initially Affects Your Brain
When you take MDMA, it will make you feel euphoric for the first few hours. You will feel like you are on top of the world and love everyone you meet. It also reduces the activity in the amygdala. This area of your brain produces the feelings of fear that can be very important when you are in dangerous situations. When you are high on ecstasy, you don’t make the same decisions that you would if you weren’t high because you don’t have reasonable decision-making skills.
Some people feel an intense sense of panic when they are high on Ecstasy. It intensifies colors, touch and sexual awareness. This can be overwhelming for some people and can make them have a panic attack and could cause them to hurt themselves or someone.
How Ecstasy Affects Your Brain as the High Wears Off
Once the drug is absorbed and your body starts to flush it out, you will start to feel much differently than you did initially. When you take Ecstasy, your brain produces an abundance of Serotonin in a very short period of time. It can take time to rebuild the Serotonin levels after you come down from the drug. This often means that you feel depressed and a deep feeling of sadness for quite some time after using.
Many people have difficulty sleeping after they take MDMA because their body has had such a burst of energy for so long. It can be difficult to be able to fall asleep after using Ecstasy, but once you are able to fall asleep, you often sleep much longer than you normally would have. It’s best to get plenty of sleep and drink a lot of water after using Ecstasy. It causes your body temperature to rise while you are high and can thus lead to dehydration. If you become dehydrated, it could lead to hallucinations or even death.
Long-Term Affects of Ecstasy on Your Brain
Unfortunately, the side effects of using Ecstasy don’t just cause issues right after you use it. There are many people who have long-term side effects, including depression, anxiety and more. Ecstasy causes damage to both dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. Normal amounts of dopamine and serotonin needed to function are no longer sufficient to your brain. Eventually, your body becomes trained to expect the same amounts of dopamine and serotonin that are created when you take Ecstasy.
The use of ecstasy can also impact the way your nervous system works. Many people who take MDMA experience teeth grinding when they are away and when they are asleep. This can lead to intense damage to the teeth.
Insomnia is also common with Ecstasy users. The boost of energy that occurs when you take MDMA makes it difficult for your body to be able to relax when you are ready to go to sleep. The lack of sleep can lead to hallucinations, anxiety and an inability to concentrate. Many people who take Ecstasy end up needing to take other medications to treat the symptoms that develop through their drug use.
Treating the Side Effects of MDMA
It’s important to know that some of the side effects of MDMA may wear off on their own over time. Many people stop feeling as lethargic eventually. Improving their focus and treating depression often requires outside help though. Meeting with a therapist to discuss the way that you are feeling can help you to get the proper medications to treat your symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, Ecstasy can be addictive. Many people become addicted to the way that the drug makes them feel. They like to be able to escape from reality for even just a short period of time and feel euphoria. Eventually, the way people feel when the drug wears off can seem unbearable or people simply determine they want to quit using. If this has happened to you, you can go to a professional treatment center to get the help you need. There are many different forms of treatment that may be effective at helping you with your addiction. When you are in active addiction it can seem like it’s impossible to quit using, but there is help out there if you want it.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888-512-1705.
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