How Addictive Is MDMA

by | Dec 10, 2021

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

There is a lot of debate about addiction and MDMA. There are some who say it is not addictive at all, but this is a common misconception. It arises from the fact that there are not always strong withdrawal symptoms like users experience with alcohol and heroin, for example. However, it is possible to develop a dependence on MDMA because it has lasting effects on your brain and body. 

So, how addictive is MDMA and what are the impacts on your brain and body?

What Defines Addiction?

The way that people define addiction can vary, and this is why people mistakenly think that MDMA is not addictive. People are often talking about physical dependence when they think of addiction. This means that there are withdrawal symptoms after stopping or reducing the drug that can be very unpleasant. The discomfort and pain caused by the withdrawal cause people to continue taking the drug to avoid it. In some cases, severe withdrawal can be fatal, which is why people need to go into an addiction treatment center to wean themselves off the substance. However, the physical withdrawal symptoms from MDMA are nowhere near as severe as something like heroin, so physical dependence is rare. 

However, you do not need to develop a physical dependence on a drug to have a substance use disorder (SUD). In the case of MDMA, people develop emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be just as intense as those from physical addiction, and they include feeling depressed, anxious, irritable, and fatigued. 

People who have these psychological withdrawals cannot control their actions around the drug. They will experience the same symptoms of addiction, like craving the drug, taking it more and more often, continuing to take it even when it damages their relationships or job performance, getting into financial difficulties, and increasing tolerance over an extended period.

After prolonged use, the impact that MDMA has on your body and brain absolutely can lead to addiction and if you are using it regularly, you should consider admitting yourself to a treatment facility for help.

What Happens When You Take MDMA?

The short-term effects of MDMA include euphoria and a feeling of intimacy with the people around you. It can also cause increased energy levels, an enhanced sense of touch, and visual distortions. However, when the drug wears off, you will experience feelings of depression or aggression because of the way that it alters your brain chemistry. 

MDMA causes the brain to release neurotransmitters – chemicals that cause different physical and emotional reactions – like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. MDMA releases an especially large amount of serotonin, which is partially responsible for the feelings of euphoria and intimacy. However, this release also leads to further changes in your brain chemistry. 

After the drug wears off, your brain is left depleted and the serotonin levels are incredibly low. This is what leads to the ‘comedown’ feeling and makes users feel depressed and anxious for days, and sometimes weeks, afterward. When taken in larger amounts, this effect is heightened and the negative after-effects last for longer. 

How Does MDMA Use Cause Addiction?

People develop an addiction to MDMA when they use it regularly and it changes the reward pathways in their brain. Over time, your brain comes to rely on MDMA to release these neurotransmitters. That means that you will feel very depressed when not under the influence of the drug and feel the need to take it to feel normal. Eventually, users begin taking more and more MDMA and they develop a strong psychological dependence on it. 

It is also important to note that MDMA can be cut with other drugs that do cause physical dependence, like cocaine or methamphetamine, and this can further contribute to the addiction.

Common signs of MDMA addiction include:

  • Using larger doses of the drug to achieve desired effects
  • Spending the majority of your time obtaining and using MDMA
  • Craving the drug, when you are not using it
  • Continuing to use MDMA despite negative consequences like legal problems or relationship issues
  • Withdrawing from social situations that don’t involve MDMA
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when coming off the drug 

If you are experiencing these signs, seek professional help immediately. There are many different addiction treatments that can help with MDMA addiction. These include intensive outpatient programs that give all of the support that users can expect from traditional rehab programs without the need to commit to a full-time program. 

There are also alternatives like telemedicine programs that allow people to seek treatment remotely from their own homes. These are particularly useful for people that don’t have easy access to treatment centers and have become especially popular during the pandemic.

If you are concerned that you or somebody in your life is struggling with MDMA addiction, it is important to seek professional treatment right away.

Download this article

Our Latest Posts

How Can I Get Checked-In Anonymously To An Addiction Treatment Center?

Seeking help for an addiction can be difficult, but admitting you have an addiction in the first place can be even tougher. Everyone who seeks help for their addiction has to go through the process of admitting they need help, which isn’t always easy to do. While...

What to Know Before Asking for Time Off Work for Addiction Treatment

You can get the addiction treatment you need and still keep your job. In fact, your employer may be very supportive of the process.  After all, if you’re a good employee, they’ll want to hold on to you. That said,...

Intensive Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

When you need support to overcome drug and alcohol addiction but also want to keep living your normal life without lengthy stays in rehab, intensive outpatient drug treatment in Louisville is the answer. By providing the best of both worlds, our team of friendly and...

Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

Although an inpatient residential treatment program will often be the best course of action when it comes to severe substance addiction, this is not going to be necessary for everyone. Those who have a mild substance abuse problem with alcohol or drugs may well...

The Pink Cloud Dilemma: Safeguarding Your Recovery with Addiction Therapy

You checked into a treatment facility, persevered through detox and withdrawal symptoms and now you’re feeling better than ever. You feel overjoyed by your recovery and sometimes you’re downright euphoric. You’re confident you’ll remain sober in the future and life...

Veteran’s Comprehensive Guide To Mental Health And Substance Abuse Treatment

Returning from military service brings a set of unique challenges for veterans, including those related to mental health and substance abuse. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the multifaceted aspects of mental health and substance abuse treatment...

Is 24/7 Support or Daytime Structure Necessary For Those In Addiction Therapy?

Embarking on the path of addiction therapy marks a profound commitment to personal transformation and recovery. Yet, the nature of support provided during this journey varies, leading to an ongoing debate within the therapeutic landscape – is 24/7 support or a daytime...

The Importance of Replenishing Essential Vitamins For Addiction Recovery

Embarking on the path of addiction recovery is a transformative journey that requires holistic care. One often overlooked aspect of this process is the role of essential vitamins in supporting physical and mental well-being. We'll explore the importance of...

Overcoming the Challenges of Seasonal Affective Disorder in Addiction Recovery

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression influenced by seasonal changes, can pose unique challenges for individuals in addiction recovery. The intersection of SAD and substance use disorders requires a nuanced approach to ensure comprehensive care....

5 Steps to Grasping Alcohol-Induced Psychosis Before Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol-induced psychosis is a severe manifestation of alcohol abuse that can have profound effects on an individual's mental health. Understanding this condition is a crucial step towards effective alcohol treatment. In this blog post, we will delve into five key...

Our Video’s

Call Now Button