Ecstasy Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Understanding Ecstasy Addiction

Learn About Ecstasy Addiction

Ecstasy is the common name for the psychoactive drug MDMA. It is also known by other names, such as E, X, XTC, and molly. Sometimes referred to as a “love drug,” ecstasy triggers powerful feelings of empathy, emotional openness, and connectedness with others.

Ecstasy is illegal in the United States, and can be dangerous, especially when taken in combination with alcohol or other substances. Becoming addicted to ecstasy can result in many physical, mental, emotional, and social problems.

However, with professional help, you can overcome your dependence on ecstasy. A quality treatment program can help you learn the skills you need to combat addiction, and live a drug-free life.


Ecstasy Addiction Statistics

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

  • About 7% of Americans have taken ecstasy at least once in their lives.
  • Ecstasy abuse is most prevalent among young adults, with 12.8% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 26 reporting that they have taken this drug at least once.
  • About 1.5% of youth ages 12 to 17 abuse ecstasy.
  • In the 26-and-older age group, the rate of ecstasy use rises to 6.4%.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and Risk Factors for Ecstasy Addiction

Environment and genetics can often play a role in your risk for struggling with addiction. You might be more likely to become dependent on ecstasy or other drugs if:

  • You have a personal history of prior substance abuse and/or mental illness
  • You’re between the ages of 18 and 26
  • You have easy access to ecstasy
  • You have a family history of mental illness
  • You have a family history of substance abuse or addiction

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Ecstasy Addiction

The following are among the more common signs that may indicate that a person has been abusing ecstasy:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Staying awake for long periods of time
  • Developing irregular sleeping patterns
  • Being overly energetic

Physical symptoms:

  • Elevated body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Heightened sexual arousal
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Pupil dilation
  • Clenching teeth
  • Chills

Mental symptoms:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Vertigo
  • Enhanced sense of self-confidence and self-worth
  • Feeling profoundly empathetic or loving towards others
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems


Effects of Ecstasy Addiction

Left untreated, ecstasy abuse can cause:

  • Kidney failure
  • Hypertension
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Legal problems
  • Problems maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships
  • Diminished performance at work or school
  • Paranoia
  • Damage to teeth from grinding and clenching
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Heart problems

Co-Occurring Disorders

Ecstasy Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders

If you develop an addiction to ecstasy, you may be more likely to be diagnosed with other mental health concerns, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Other substance use disorders

Withdrawal & Overdose

Know the Effects of Ecstasy Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of ecstasy withdrawal: If a person has been abusing ecstasy, the following withdrawal symptoms could set in once they stop using it:

  • Cravings for ecstasy
  • Muscle stiffness and atrophy
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Depersonalization
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis

Effects of ecstasy overdose: If you take more ecstasy than your body can process, you put yourself in danger of experiencing:

  • Convulsions
  • Renal failure
  • Retrograde amnesia
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Extreme increase in body temperature
  • Acute respiratory distress
  • Psychosis