MDMA “Molly Drugs” are a synthetic drug commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly.” It belongs to a class of drugs called entactogens, which means “touching within.” MDMA produces a sense of euphoria, increased energy, and emotional openness. It is often used recreationally in social settings such as parties and concerts, but is also being studied as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in clinical settings.
MDMA works by increasing the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain, which leads to its stimulating and empathogenic effects. However, MDMA can also have harmful side effects such as dehydration, overheating, high blood pressure, and in rare cases, serotonin syndrome or even death.
Molly Drugs – an Upper or Downer?
MDMA is a stimulant and a mild hallucinogen, classifying it as an upper. MDMA use remains prevalent in nightclub scenes but is also increasingly common among teenagers and young adults. According to a 2014 report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 17 million Americans reported using MDMA at least once in their lifetime.
What’s The Difference Between An Upper & Downer?
Within the world of drugs, there are substances that stimulate and substances that depress. Substances that stimulate are referred to as “uppers” while substances that depress are labeled “downers”. These phrases refer to the physical and mental reactions a user experiences while intoxicated by a specific substance. As stimulants, uppers produce an increase in energy, feelings of invincibility, and sharpened focus while downers act as depressants, inducing lethargy, feelings of euphoria, and relief from discomfort.
While the immediate reactions are opposite in nature, both uppers and downers are equally capable of inflicting damage to the user. Complications associated with uppers include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and aggression whereas downers contribute to breathing suppression, low blood pressure, and impairment of motor skills.
Side Effects of MDMA
MDMA produces a high in which the user experiences:
- Increased confidence
- Enhanced perception
- Teeth grinding
- Increased empathy
- Heavy perspiration
When used in excess or for a prolonged period of time, there is a possibility of developing the following:
- Chronic depression
- Kidney failure
- Brain damage
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Memory loss
Dangers of MDMA Abuse
When used regularly, MDMA can become highly addictive and can potentially be a gateway drug. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, one has to continually increase the amount of the drug one takes in order to feel the same effects. Because the desired effect from using the drug diminishes, a person often then tries other drugs that are even more dangerous.
As a stimulant, MDMA increases body temperature significantly. While under the influence of this substance, the user typically is unaware of this change, therefore risks of hyperthermia increase. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, even moderate doses of MDMA interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, potentially leading to deadly consequences in warm environments. Treatment of hyperthermia requires prompt medical attention, as it can rapidly lead to muscle breakdown or an electrolyte imbalance, which can, in turn, produce kidney failure or fatal swelling of the brain.
Additionally, MDMA puts strain on the cardiovascular system by increasing heart rate and blood pressure considerably. When taken in excess or for a prolonged period of time, stroke or seizure may occur.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
MDMA is an addictive, psychoactive stimulant with the potential to inflict long-term damage to the body when abused. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more.
The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.