Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

How to Help an Ecstasy Addict

Help for Ecstasy Addicts

The full name for ecstasy is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA. It is a synthetic drug that has psychoactive effects on users. It is produced and available in many forms. It is similar chemically to the hallucinogen mescaline and the stimulant methamphetamine.

Ecstasy is a central nervous system stimulant with mild hallucinogenic effects. This means that it can produce a sped up effect on the body while changing the user’s perceptions.

The substance often contains a variety of unknown additives, including corn starch, detergent, amphetamines, caffeine, and/or aspirin. This leads to dosing issues and unintended and dangerous side effects in the user. Someone addicted to this drug will often require treatment to stop using it. Fortunately, a number of options exists for those seeking treatment for themselves or someone they care about. These options can include inpatient rehab, outpatient therapy, 12-step programs, and more.

How to Approach an Addicted Loved One

The first step toward recovery is starting a conversation about treatment. This conversation may be an intervention, and while many people associate interventions with “ambushes,” this is simply not the case. Interventions will ideally come from a place of love, support, and genuine concern for the individual.

Another resource to help you start the conversation is Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). This approach teaches family members and friends of substance abuser the skills to communicate effectively and positively.

upset woman being comforted by loved one

CRAFT has demonstrated success in helping to encourage loved ones to enter treatment programs. CRAFT helps friends and family learn to:

  • Solve problems.
  • Avoid enabling behaviors.
  • Set healthy boundaries.
  • Communicate effectively.

Receive 24/7 text support at your convenience with American Addiction Centers. Our team is well prepared to advise on all things treatment and help you find the care you need. We’ve helped thousands recover from addiction and we can help you too.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

If you are a part of the user’s social network and you’ve been enabling them, it’s important to stop these behaviors and set healthy boundaries. Enabling behaviors may include:

  • Making excuses for the addicted individual.
  • Giving them money to buy drugs.
  • Driving them to meet with their dealer.

It can be difficult to change your behavior and maintain consistent boundaries, but doing so can lead to positive change. CRAFT, support groups for family members of addicted individuals (e.g. Nar-Anon), and family therapy can all help you learn to support your loved one in a productive way.

What Happens When I Take Ecstasy?

Ecstasy is a drug that is a favorite among members of the party scene. It makes the user feel energetic, happy, and euphoric. It is also associated with distortions in perceptions, physical touch, and time.

Ecstasy works by binding itself to serotonin transporters. This action leads to an overproduction of serotonin in the brain. It has the same effect on norepinephrine and dopamine levels. These chemically induced imbalances in the brain affect the mood and perceptions of the user. The substance will impact feelings of love and intimacy.

man thinking

The drug also has a number of unwanted effects. Uncomfortable physical side effects of ecstasy include:

  • Body chills.
  • Nausea.
  • Muscle cramping.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Sweating.

Ecstasy can also cause the user to become confused, depressed, anxious, and sleepless. It also affects the cognition and memory of users and cravings can occur. These effects take place after use in differing degrees. Some users experience these effects hours after taking it, while others can experience them days or weeks later.

Is Ecstasy Addictive?

Studies have shown that ecstasy can be an addictive drug to users, but the findings vary. Some studies show that prolonged and frequent use can lead to increased tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, NIDA notes that experiments on animals have found that animals will self-administer MDMA, which is an indicator of the drug’s addictive potential.

Ecstasy can be addicting because of the pleasurable feelings it induces and the brain chemicals in interacts with. Signs of addiction to ecstasy include using in the face of negative consequences, such as decreased performance at work, troubled relationships, or financial issues due to using.

Withdrawal symptoms are another sign of addiction and may include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feelings of depression.
  • Impaired concentration.

Heavy users commonly use other drugs in addition to ecstasy. If you love someone you suspect of being addicted, it’s important to watch for the warning signs of drug abuse, keeping in mind that varying effects may be present due to polysubstance abuse.

Am I Addicted to Ecstasy?

Addiction is marked by the continued use of ecstasy even when negative situations present.

Someone developing an addiction to ecstasy may display:

  • Diminished relationship quality.
  • Increased focus on obtaining the substance.
  • Reduced interest in previous interests.
  • Lack of motivation to fulfill personal responsibilities.

If you find that you’re unable to stop using even though you notice that ecstasy use has taken an enormous toll on your life, you may be addicted.

American Addiction Centers maintains a strong partnership with a large group of insurance companies at our addiction treatment facilities. Start the journey to recovery and find out instantly using the form below if your health insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies.

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment Types

When deciding on an addiction treatment option for addiction to ecstasy, it is important to consider what type of program will fit your needs. Before choosing a program, you may want to meet with an addiction counselor. A counselor can help you make an educated decision about which treatment will work best for you. Recovery options for someone struggling with ecstasy misuse may include:

Rehabilitation will include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which will help you come to understand:

  • Ecstasy addiction.
  • The underlying contributors to your use and addiction.
  • Healthy methods to cope with cravings and prevent relapse.

After initial treatment, many recovering ecstasy addicts find benefit from joining a recovery group, such as a 12-step program like NA. Attending group meetings is helpful in reaching long-term sobriety, providing a strong supportive network of individuals invested in living a sober life. Meeting others going through recovery may also help encourage you to join healthy, sober social activities.

Recovery from MDMA addiction is possible with the right help. You or a loved one can obtain sobriety with the right information and treatment options to assist this process. If you or someone you know needs help, please call American Addiction Centers’ (AAC’s) free, confidential helpline at today. You can speak with someone who will discuss the program options available to you. Our helpline is available for you to call at any time. You can also contact free drug and alcohol hotline numbers.

Recommended MDMA Rehab-Related Articles

How to Help Someone With Alcohol or Illicit Drug Addiction

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.