Ecstasy | MDMA Addiction

Ecstasy pills

MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is a synthetic drug that alters perception and mood. Chemically similar to stimulants and hallucinogens, MDMA produces feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. MDMA has been shown to do immense amounts of neurological damage. MDMA is commonly referred to as Ecstasy, X, or Molly. Molly (slang for “molecular”) is often thought to be a “pure” crystalline powder form of MDMA. MDMA is usually ingested in a tablet or capsule, swallowed in liquid form, or snorted.

What Effects Does MDMA Have on the Brain?

These three brain chemicals are increased when using MDMA.

  • Serotonin – affects appetite, mood, sleep, and other functions. It also triggers hormones that affect trust and sexual arousal. The release of large amounts of serotonin likely causes feelings of empathy, emotional closeness, and elevated mood felt by those who use MDMA.
  • Dopamine – increased activity/energy levels and acts in the reward system to reinforce behaviors.
  • Norepinephrine – increases blood pressure and heart rate.
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Other Side Effects Include:

  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • dehydration
  • involuntary teeth clenching
  • hallucinations and/or delusions
  • muscle cramping
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • water intoxication

Effects from taking MDMA can usually be felt for 3 to 6 hours, and many users will take more doses as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. MDMA has side effects after use as long as a week.

After using MDMA, a person may experience:

  • anxiety
  • decreased appetite
  • depression
  • irritability
  • impulsiveness and aggression
  • lower interest in and pleasure from sex
  • memory and attention problems
  • sleep problems

There is additional danger as the drug is commonly faked and people may be ingesting bath salts or an unknown drug. 

MDMA affects the body’s ability to regulate temperature at higher doses. The spike in body temperature from MDMA use can occasionally result in liver, kidney, or heart failure, or even death.

Hanley’s Center for Brain Recovery offers a suite of modalities that lead to neurological healing. Led by a licensed psychologist, our team of brain recovery specialists develop treatment recommendation for every one of our patients. Offerings include neurofeedback, biofeedback, neurotherapy, meditation and mindfulness training, and more.

To learn more about the Center for Brain Recovery, visit us here.

Therapist and patient

Treatment Modalities

A comprehensive treatment plan for people in recovery from a substance use disorder, especially when accompanied by co-occurring disorders, should include:


Get Help for MDMA Addiction

For over forty years Hanley’s team of multidisciplinary professionals including physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and master’s level clinicians, have helped people heal. To learn more about our programs, visit us here.


If drugs or alcohol are causing problems, we have solutions. 844.211.0263.

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West Palm Beach, FL 33407