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What is ecstasy?

Ecstasy is the street name for the drug MDMA (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine); it is a drug with psychoactive effects whose addiction liability is largely underestimated by regular users. Ecstasy possesses a chemical structure that is similar to the stimulant amphetamine and psychedelic mescaline and has properties of both. Ecstasy is made in laboratories and is not found in nature. Different chemicals are required to produce ecstasy. The four principal precursors for ecstasy are safrole, isosafrole, piperonal and 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (PMK). These chemicals are tightly regulated in many countries.

How is ecstasy used?

A few years after it was discovered, ecstasy was studied for its possible use in psychiatric counselling. However, the widespread recreational use of ecstasy led to its criminalization in most countries. In fact, ecstasy has no medical use today.

In the streets, ecstasy is often available in tablets with different colors and shapes. Ecstasy tablets dispensed by dealers have questionable purities and may contain adulterants. Ecstasy is also available in crystal form. Recently, ecstasy in pure (and more powerful) forms is also becoming available, which appears as white to off-white powder soluble in water. Since ecstasy is available in tablets, it is usually taken orally. Some users use powdered ecstasy by smoking or snorting it, and rarely, inject it. There are also reports of users taking ecstasy by inserting it into the anus.

Ecstasy effects

Ecstasy has a stimulating and sensation-altering effect when taken. Ecstasy also has psychedelic effect, which means that it can induce altered cognition and perception. Users report having distorted visual, auditory and sensory perceptions. They can also feel an increased sense of intimacy with other people including strangers. In addition, users high on ecstasy feel new and novel sensations, like “hearing” colors or “feeling” sounds.

The first effects of ecstasy include profuse sweating, jaw clenching and grinding of the teeth. These effects are often followed by a sensation of “pins and needles”, dryness of the mouth and irresistible urge to move about, and/or blurred vision. During its peak, effects ecstasy causes euphoria and increased sense of energy and users report having reduced anxiety.

Effects of ecstasy include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted visual, auditory and sensory perceptions
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Euphoria
  • Feelings of increased energy
  • Grinding of the teeth
  • Increased sense of intimacy with other people
  • Irresistible urges to move about
  • Jaw clenching
  • Profuse sweating
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Sensation of “pins and needles”

Ecstasy is often available and used during dance parties in bars, concerts and organized raves. Abusing ecstasy makes you feel able to dance or perform vigorous physical activity for several hours. This increases risk of having serious dehydration and having dangerous body core hypothermia that can lead to death. High doses of ecstasy also overwork the brain and the heart, causing seizures and hypertension. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to determine the exact ingredients in ecstasy tablets, which may contain substances like caffeine, stimulants and other addictive drugs that can cause harm to health.

Ecstasy effects manifest within 30-60 minutes of use, and these effects peak about 1-2 hours later, lasting for about 3.5 hours. After this, a comedown effect sets in. During this comedown effect, users report having fatigue and feelings of depression, anxiety and paranoia, irritability and impaired focus, concentration and attention. Psychological symptoms, including depression, confusion, insomnia and anxiety and paranoia, can occur as residual effect of ecstasy use, and these symptoms may last for weeks after last drug use.

Is ecstasy addictive?

Unlike other psychoactive drugs, physical dependence to ecstasy is rarely formed. However, users can become psychologically dependent on ecstasy. In these cases, regular use can turn into habitual use which compels users to use ecstasy to feel normal. Signs of ecstasy addiction include:

  • Compulsion to use ecstasy
  • Continued use of ecstasy despite negative life consequences
  • Craving ecstasy
  • Using ecstasy in high doses or more often than intended (loss of control)

For more information on ecstasy, see:


The Cost of Ecstasy Rehab

The Cost of Ecstasy Rehab

October 31st, 2018

Ecstasy rehab costs vary according to the type of treatment and length of time you spent in treatment. Some are as little as $2,000 while most average around $20K or less. Here, we will explore how much you will pay for addiction treatment and tips on how to manage the costs of getting help for addiction. Then, we invite your questions about ecstasy rehab at the end.

Help for Ecstasy Withdrawal

Help for Ecstasy Withdrawal

October 28th, 2018

Information on how difficult the withdrawal from ecstasy is, and how you can address the symptoms here.

Is it Difficult to Quit Ecstasy?

Is it Difficult to Quit Ecstasy?

August 1st, 2018

Withdrawal from ecstasy is not as severe other drugs. However, ecstasy is a drug which causes strong psychological dependence. Stopping ecstasy means you’ll have to face cravings, depression and anxiety. Learn the best way to cope with these symptoms, avoid relapse, and reach long term sobriety.

Ecstasy Detection Timelines [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ecstasy Detection Timelines [INFOGRAPHIC]

July 21st, 2018

Got a drug test coming up? Check out our infographic for more on ecstasy detection and metabolism timelines. We’ll show you how long this drug is detectable on urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests.

Ecstasy Rehab Treatment: What to Expect?

Ecstasy Rehab Treatment: What to Expect?

March 14th, 2018

Medical treatment provides you with a new way of living, a continuum of care and support. Rehab programs for ecstasy addiction are designed to ensure you have the best opportunity to learn, change and heal. A closer look at what’s involved in rehab for ecstasy addiction here.

Ecstasy rehabilitation: How long?

Ecstasy rehabilitation: How long?

November 16th, 2017

It takes only several uses to start relying on ecstasy for joy and happiness. But it will take more than several weeks to reprogram your brain and clean your body from the toxic effects of ecstasy. Learn more about recovery program durations and the services they include here.

2 MDMA Metabolism in the Body: How MDMA Affects the Brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

MDMA Metabolism in the Body: How MDMA Affects the Brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

October 16th, 2017

Ecstasy reaches the brain fast, due to its chemical structure. This infographic illustrates the pathway of ecstasy from entry to elimination.

The Molly Withdrawal Timeline Chart

The Molly Withdrawal Timeline Chart

October 8th, 2017

A VISUAL GUIDELINE that outlines common Molly withdrawal symptoms by day and week.

Rehab for ecstasy

Rehab for ecstasy

August 13th, 2017

Because ecstasy causes extremely euphoric feelings, addiction to ecstasy can be hard to break. But it IS possible. With a little help from dedicated professionals in an ecstasy rehab program, people addicted to ecstasy can take back their lives. More on ecstasy rehab and what to expect here.

9 The Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline Chart

The Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline Chart

April 25th, 2017

Visual GUIDE to Ecstasy Withdrawal. Learn what to expect and when here.

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