Ecstasy (MDMA) Detox and Withdrawal

Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly has become popular among club goers and for use at parties or raves, giving it the status of a “club drug,” but is increasing among use outside of these settings. It can create a dissociative, hallucinogenic experience that turns sounds, lights, and other sensations at a party into a psychedelic high.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized ecstasy as a Schedule I drug, which means that it carries a potential for abuse and addiction. People who misuse ecstasy — especially in combination with other substances — may require professional addiction treatment that includes drug and alcohol detox in Tampa Bay.

Ecstasy’s Effects on the Brain and Body

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes, ecstasy acts on the brain through the serotonin pathway, which regulates such functions as memory, sleep, sensation, emotions, and mood, among others. Ecstasy’s effects distort sight, sound, touch, and can impact emotions, and memories. The drug also affects the dopamine system, which regulates pleasure and reward, creating the euphoria or sense of extreme wellbeing that is common among many addictive substances.

Along with these effects of ecstasy there are other ways in which ecstasy acts on the brain and body. Long-term use can create a degree of neurotoxicity. This can mean that the effects of using ecstasy can last far beyond the point at which the person stops using the drug.

Ecstasy Detox

Addiction Rehab and Detox

The amount of time it takes a drug to clear from the body depends on the drug’s half-life, or the amount of time it takes for half of the concentration in the body to be metabolized or otherwise eliminated. According to information from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the half-life for ecstasy is about seven hours, meaning that it can take a little less than two days to clear the substance from the body.

There can be variations in the rate at which the drug is eliminated based on:

  • The individual’s physical health, including kidney and liver function, as well as weight, body mass, age, and other physical factors.
  • Whether or not the individual is taking other drugs – a common concern with ecstasy because dealers often mix other substances into ecstasy pills.
  • How long and frequently the person has been taking the substance and how high the current dosage is.

The purity of the drug can be of special concern because the addition of unknown substances can complicate the withdrawal process and also result in side effects that cannot be managed well due to lack of knowledge about what drug is causing them.

Ecstasy Withdrawal

While the detox period for ecstasy may appear to be short, the withdrawal process is often much longer – to a degree that is often unexpected by those who are going through it.

This process can also involve a number of uncomfortable symptoms including:

  • Anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
  • Irritability, anger, and aggression.
  • Memory loss, confusion, and delusions.
  • Depersonalization (the feeling of not being connected to the self).
  • Paranoia and psychosis.
  • Cravings to use the drug again.

Detox, Treatment, and Beyond

Because of the potential for long-term problems associated with ecstasy use, rehab is vital to help the individual recover for the long-term. Cognitive and motivational therapies can help an individual learn how to manage triggers and cravings while developing the confidence and capability to employ tools and skills learned in rehab to cope with triggers in their day-to-day life.

Other elements of rehab that can help include:

  • Nutritional and exercise programs to help the body repair some of the damage done
  • Treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders that may contribute to substance abuse
  • Family therapy or interpersonal therapy to resolve social issues contributing to abuse
  • Peer support or 12-Step programs to foster accountability for staying on target for recovery

With research-based therapies, reputable, experienced treatment professionals and programs can help people struggling with ecstasy abuse learn to manage the symptoms of addiction, withdrawal, and cravings, and increase the likelihood that the person will move into a future of recovery.

For more information about drug addiction treatment in Tampa, contact our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions navigators at . They can answer your questions about our treatment programs, discuss the admissions process, and help you find out more about payment options for rehab. You can also verify your insurance by filling out . Recovery is possible. When you’re ready, we’re here to help.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
River Oaks is located in Riverview, Florida, which is easily accessible from Tampa.
Take your next step toward recovery:
✔ learn more about our addiction treatment programs.
✔ see how popular insurance providers such as Aetna or Carelon offer coverage for rehab.
view photos of our facility.