MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), or also known as ecstasy, as it is commonly known, is a manmade substance (meaning it does not come from a plant) that sometimes contains PCP, cocaine, cough syrup and caffeine. Ecstasy is used mostly by teenagers and its hallucinogenic effect makes it a popular club drug. Ecstasy is often referred to as Molly, X, XTC, E, and love drug.
Most teens that use ecstasy take it in capsule, pill, or tablet form oftentimes taking multiple amounts at one time and is known as bumping. Some pills have images on them; the most common are cartoon characters. In 2012, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that the number of teens who use ecstasy has declined over the last decade. The number of teens dropped nearly 3% for 8th and 10th graders use of ecstasy and nearly 4% for high school seniors. However, still more than 14% of teens in grades 8 through 12 use ecstasy.
While science has not proven ecstasy to create a physical dependency, there is reason to suspect that long term use in large amounts may create some harmful physical side effects on the body. The effects of ecstasy can last up to six hours and is active in 15 minutes and the full euphoric high is reached within 45 minutes.
Ecstasy users may experience accelerated hyperactivity, increased heart rate and raised blood pressure, sweating, chills, nausea, dizziness, as well as anxiety, depression, sadness and agitation. Most ecstasy users reported an enhanced sense of touch and wishing to touch others which can sometimes lead to sexual risk taking behaviors.
Dehydration is one of the more dangerous side effects of using ecstasy. The drug can prevent the body's natural thermostat from cooling internally and the body can overheat. This side effect may lead to hyperthermia and as a result the individual may suffer kidney and heart damage, seizures, heart attack and be fatal. A second danger is overdose as individuals who take multiple doses to maintain the high are unlikely to be aware of their risk of use.
Teens that struggle with ecstasy use and other substance use put their developmental futures at risk. Important physiological and psychological changes occur between the ages of 12 and 20 and substance use can interfere with those changes. NIDA reported that research reveals exposure to high amounts of ecstasy could lead to brain damage that was evident 6 to 7 years after the cessation of ecstasy use. The study showed that while the damage may be repaired over time, there was little indication to show that the neurons were as effective as before the drug use damage.
While your teen will not need detox for ecstasy use, it may be necessary for your teen to enroll in a program that is specifically for teens and will address the issues that teens deal with on a daily basis such as academic progress, peer pressure, how they spend their free time, selecting friends, decision and choice making and goal setting.
St. Jude Retreats is a Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL) program that helps teens use self assessment and self change to make productive choices and positive habits and behaviors for a more purposeful life. Being in control is especially important to teens and can help them not only commit to making changes as they determine the changes themselves but also help them to gain greater independence and better decisionmaking skills. As adolescents stand poised on the brink of adulthood and all its responsibilities, (CBL) provides skills and information they can use to move past their substance use permanently as well as give them a means to self-evaluate their success with goal setting and moving along their path to happiness and productivity. If you would like to learn more, please call Saint Jude Retreats today at 888.424.2626.