Ecstasy is an illegal recreational drug which is used by millions of people around the world. The drug was first used recreationally in the 1980's, and has remained a drug of choice particularly among adolescent and young adult users who use it as a party aid. Despite popular belief to the contrary, Ecstasy is extremely addictive and individuals can become dependent to it very easily. Along with the dangers of becoming dependent and addicted to Ecstasy, there are serious health and social consequences associated with its use. Hundreds of individuals have lost their lives since the drug first came on the scene in the 80's, and users are always at risk of these types of consequences when abusing this type of drug.
Ecstasy can be particularly addictive due to how this drug affects the areas of the brain that are part of the body's natural reward system. When someone takes Ecstasy they are creating a significant (and artificial) boost in certain reward chemicals called neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin which is responsible for regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. Individuals who take Ecstasy begin to experience the high within about 20 minutes, which can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. Individuals will typically experience an extreme sense of well-being, euphoria, enhanced sense of touch, sound and color, along with a boost in energy. Some individuals may even experience mild hallucinations while high on Ecstasy.
This artificially enhanced sense of well-being created by the boost in these neurotransmitters cannot be replicated naturally, and the individual would have to take more Ecstasy to continue feeling this way. In fact, serotonin levels fall well below even natural levels when someone is coming off of Ecstasy. This can remain the case for days, weeks or even years after short or long-term use. These depleted serotonin level is what causes the depression and anxiety that man Ecstasy users experience after having taken the drug. This can be best described as one of the primary Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that users experience and complain of, and one that can come with a wide spectrum of other related problems and disorders.
Despite the idea that Ecstasy is safe to use and doesn't come with the same consequences as other more hardcore drugs such as heroin or cocaine, Ecstasy withdrawal is a very real consequence that is related to the use of the synthetic stimulant. Although ecstasy is not reported to be as addictive as other similar types of drugs, a person who using Ecstasy on a regular basis can develop a strong psychological addiction to the synthetic stimulant. Many individuals who use the drug on a regular basis have reported experiencing a "burnout period " that last for several days after taking their last dose of the drug; this period is commonly characterized by fatigue, achy muscles, and a noticeable dullness in the user's mental process. A large body of research has indicated that the previously listed symptoms are the direct result of the depleted serotonin levels in the brain that ecstasy use creates.
Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on a variety of different factors; these factors include the body chemistry of the user and what other types of drugs that the person may be taking along with the drug. Although many experts believe that ecstasy withdrawal is only psychological, many former users of the synthetic stimulant have reported that it is still a terribly hard road to travel; because of the risk of a drug relapse, a person who is going through the ecstasy withdrawal process should reach out for the professional assistance of a quality drug rehab center
The following is a list of ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that have been reported to occur when the drug is discontinued:
Depression - This is one of the primary Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that are reported by individuals who wish to stop using the drug; unfortunately, some of the cutting edge research in relation to ecstasy has reported that taking the drug just a couple of times could potentially cause long term brain damage that leads to depression. Researchers from the London Metropolitan University reported that individuals who had used Ecstasy just a few times had levels of depression that were up to four times greater than those who had never taken the drug. Although these particular individuals were not diagnosed with a serious case of clinical depression, using ecstasy left them more emotionally vulnerable.
Sleeplessness - This is one of the most commonly ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that occurs when a person attempts to stop using the drug. Many ecstasy users reported noticeable disruptions in sleep patterns as they ceased their Ecstasy intake. This Ecstasy withdrawal symptom is likely due to the fact that one of the many functions of serotonin is related to sleep regulation.
Agitation - This is an Ecstasy withdrawal symptom that is extremely common, and many individuals report initially becoming agitated as they ponder living with the drug, which is testimony to the strong psychological addiction that can occur with Ecstasy use. Ecstasy users have reported that the drug can provoke such a profound experience that people will be much more likely to actively seek and consume the synthetic stimulant, regardless of the negative consequences that are related to this action. More often than not, a person who is going through the Ecstasy withdrawal process will reach for alcohol or various other types of drugs to help them to relax. This unfortunately will typically just become another addiction to any of these substitute chemicals.
Difficulty concentrating & Memory Problems - These are ecstasy withdrawal symptoms that many former users will often complain about long after they have taken their last dose of the drug.
Ecstasy addiction and dependence are very real, and individuals will typically go through Ecstasy withdrawal even after short-term use of the drug. Ecstasy withdrawal can be overcome however, and drug rehab programs which are geared to treat Ecstasy addiction understand the severe symptoms that individuals will experience while coming off of the drug. Professional drug treatment counselors are prepared to help individuals get through these Ecstasy withdrawal symptoms and off of the drug for good.