Ecstasy is an illicit recreational drug also known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA (Molly, E, X, XTC, Adam and beans). It was invented more than 100 years ago by the Merck pharmaceutical company in its original form MDMA. The intention was to use it to synthesize methylhydrastinine, a potential treatment for uterine bleeding. In 1978, the first report on the subjective effects of MDMA in humans compared the drug to marijuana or magic mushrooms without hallucinations. The disinhibiting effects caught the attention of psychotherapists soon thereafter for its potential to overcome clients\u2019 fears and increase insights into their own emotions. MDMA was never approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor did it undergo clinical trials.1,2\u00a0 The drug can be highly addictive and you may need the help of addiction treatment programs in Texas to recover. The drug has a hybrid effect, embodying some of the qualities of both stimulants like amphetamine, and hallucinogens such as mescaline. The name \u201cEcstasy\u201d was coined to describe the drug\u2019s effect on users and became associated with rock concerts, nightclubs and raves. By the early 1980s, MDMA seemed to be the \u201cin drug\u201d at many weekend parties. In 1984, MDMA was still legal and being sold under the brand name Ecstasy. The following year, the drug was banned due to safety concerns.1,2 Ecstasy Abuse People use Ecstasy recreationally to achieve the following purported effects: \tDiminish inhibitions \tImprove mood and attain euphoria \tStrengthen feelings of connectedness \tIncrease pleasure from physical touch \tHeighten sexuality and sexual arousal \tIncrease alertness \tEnhance energy \tLose track of time3 Although it may not be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, Molly addiction is a reality for many people. Even when a person uses it only on weekends, the crushing depression that often follows can result in a rapid spiral into full-fledged addiction. In addition, some of the neurotransmitters activated with Molly use are the same ones involved in other addictive drugs. Also, molly users can develop tolerance in which there is a diminished response after prolonged use, causing them to take escalating and increasingly dangerous doses of the drug. In addition, ecstasy addiction treatment is available on both an inpatient addiction treatment\u00a0and\u00a0outpatient addiction treatment basis and typically requires treatment duration of at least three months. Also, after detox treatment in Texas, the client works on developing stronger, more adaptive coping mechanisms and establishing a healthier lifestyle.4 Stats and Facts \tAn MDMA study by the University of Buffalo on young adults and adolescents showed 43% fit the diagnostic criteria for dependence and 34% fit the criteria for abuse.4 \tIn 2015, an estimated 1.2 million people ages 12 or older were current users of hallucinogens, although this category includes many drugs including Molly.5 \tThe estimated number of emergency department visits involving Ecstasy in people younger than age 21 increased by 128%, from 4,460 visits in 2005 to 10,176 visits in 2011. Among that population, 33% of all visits every year between 2005 and 2011 involved alcohol.6 \tIn 2016, past year use of Molly decreased to 1% among eighth-graders from 1.4% the prior year. MDMA use was at its lowest levels for all three grades in the history of the Monitoring the Future annual survey.7 Dangers of Ecstasy Impurities Ecstasy is usually taken in tablet or capsule form. Some people swallow it in liquid form, or snort it as a powder. Hundreds of new designer drugs have emerged in recent years, some of which mimic the effects of ecstasy. In addition, many manufacturers add other substances to the drug to maximize their profit. For this reason, many tablets, powders, and liquids that say they\u2019re Molly actually contain little or no MDMA at all. Instead, they\u2019re made with a mixture of potentially dangerous substances. Also, liquid ecstasy is often made using GHB, a nervous system depressant found in drain cleaners, floor strippers, and degreasing solvents. Some\u00a0common adulterants\u00a0used in making Molly include: \tIllicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, PCP and methamphetamine \tRat poison \tAtropine (a heart stimulant) \tDextromethorphan (an active ingredient in certain cough and cold medications) \tSynthetic stimulants such as 2-C(x), 4-MEC, butylone and methylone \tPMA\/PMMA (ecstasy-like stimulants that are more potent and more toxic than MDMA) \tBath salts (a strong synthetic stimulant, also known as MDPV) Relapse Prevention In order to prevent relapse, treatment for ecstasy addiction must incorporate a structured routine with minimal temptations. Other important elements to help prevent relapse include education on the negative effects of long-term drug use, social support from peers and mental health professionals and avoiding triggers (e.g. environments and individuals promoting drug use). \tWhat is Ecstasy? Drug Free World website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.drugfreeworld.org\/drugfacts\/ecstasy\/what-is-ecstasy.htmlAccessed January 12, 2017. \tEcstasy History and Statistics. Drug Abuse website.\u00a0https:\/\/drugabuse.com\/library\/ecstasy-history-and-statistics\/Accessed January 12, 2017. \tEcstasy Abuse. Drug Abuse website.\u00a0https:\/\/drugabuse.com\/library\/ecstasy-abuse\/\u00a0Accessed January 12, 2017. \tMolly Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment for Molly Addiction. The Fix website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.thefix.com\/content\/molly-addiction\u00a0Published January 21, 2015. Accessed January 12, 2017. \t2015 Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators report. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.samhsa.gov\/samhsa-data-outcomes-quality\/major-data-collections\/reports-detailed-tables-2015-NSDUH\u00a0Updated November 7, 2016. Accessed January 12, 2017. \tHallucinogens. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. Updated October 30, 2015. Accessed January 12, 2017. \tTeen substance use shows promising decline. National Institute on Drug Abuse website.\u00a0https:\/\/www.drugabuse.gov\/news-events\/news-releases\/2016\/12\/teen-substance-use-shows-promising-declinePublished December 13, 2016. Accessed January 12, 2017. Written by The Right Step Editorial Staff Contact our Texas center today for more information on our treatment programs.