MDMA Addiction

MDMA or Ecstasy Abuse Signs

MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) goes by a number of different street names, including Molly, ecstasy, and XTC. MDMA is a synthetic drug that has stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. The drug was initially used in the treatment of a number of psychological issues, and there is still ongoing research investigating its potential utility in this context, but the drug is currently not used medicinally.
MDMA became a popular rave or club drug with younger people due to its reputation as a drug that can enhance sociability, empathy, and feelings of euphoria as well as its hallucinogenic properties. These effects have been substantiated by a number of research studies, including a 2014 article in the journal Psychopharmacology. MDMA’s abuse reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Signs of addiction to ecstasy or MDMA:

  • A pattern of maladaptive use of Molly that leads to significant distress in the individual and/or significant issues with everyday functioning
  • Frequent strong urges to use Molly in various situations, such as stressful situations, situations where the individual is happy, situations where the individual is socializing, etc.
  • Using the drug in situations where it is dangerous to do so
  • Giving up important activities as a result of MDMA use
  • Failing to fulfill important obligations as a result of Molly use
  • The development of significant tolerance to Molly
  • Demonstrating issues controlling the use of MDMA that include the following:
    • Even though the person has formally stated they wish to stop or cut down on their use of MDMA, they cannot do so.
    • The person spends significant amounts of time trying to get MDMA, using it, or recovering from its use.
    • The person continues to use MDMA even though its use results in significant issues with their job, personal relationships, school, and/or other important areas.
    • Even though the person recognizes that their use of MDMA is resulting in psychological and/or physical problems, they continue to use the drug.

The above signs are not unique to heroin abuse. More definitive warning signs of heroin abuse include possession of paraphernalia used to prepare, inject or consume heroin:

  • Needles or syringes not used for other medical purposes
  • Burned silver spoons
  • Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with burn marks
  • Missing shoelaces (used as a tie-off for injection sites)
  • Straws with burn marks
  • Small plastic bags, with white powdery residue
  • Water pipes or other pipes

Behavioral signs of heroin abuse and addiction include:

  • Lying or other deceptive behavior
  • Avoiding eye contact, or distant field of vision
  • Substantial increases in time spent sleeping
  • Increase in slurred, garbled or incoherent speech
  • Sudden worsening of performance in school or work, including expulsion or loss of jobs
  • Decreasing attention to hygiene and physical appearance
  • Loss of motivation and apathy toward future goals
  • Withdrawal from friends and family, instead of spending time with new friends with no natural tie
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
  • Repeatedly stealing or borrowing money from loved ones, or unexplained absence of valuables
  • Hostile behaviors toward loved ones, including blaming them for withdrawal or broken commitments
  • Regular comments indicating a decline in self-esteem or worsening body image
  • Wearing long pants or long sleeves to hide needle marks, even in very warm weather

Users build a tolerance to heroin, leading to increases in the frequency and quantity of heroin consumption. With growing tolerance, more definitive physical symptoms of heroin abuse and addiction emerge:

  • Weight loss
  • Runny nose (not explained by other illness or medical condition)
  • Needle track marks visible on arms
  • Infections or abscesses at the injection site
  • For women, loss of menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  • Cuts, bruises or scabs from skin picking

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