There are various health effects that can be experienced when a person is addicted to ecstasy. The effects are very similar to those seen in cocaine and meth amphetamine addicts.
Ecstasy is not as addictive as heroin or cocaine but the health effects are still quite serious. Research has shown that the effects of the drug can begin as soon as 20 minutes after use. It begins with a rush feeling that is followed by a calm and relaxed state. Many ecstasy addicts admit they use the drug to achieve that initial rush. Only 14 percent of users enjoy the following effects of calmness. This is one of the reasons users become addicted. They use the drug more often to achieve that first effect. Ecstasy use can cause severe health problems in users, presented as both short- and long-term effects.
When addicts first begin using the drug, they will experience different effects and there are many different ecstasy addiction dangers to look out for, most of which are changes to their mental states. Here are some ecstasy addiction 101 information.
The experimental effects of the drug will last for about four hours and include:
- A sense of well-being
- A decrease in negative emotions, including stress, paranoia and anxiety
- Increased sociability
- An increase in empathetic feelings and connections with other people
- Enhanced tactile sensations
Aside from the effects that are felt mentally, ecstasy addicts will experience physical health effects while using the drug.
The short-term physical effects can include:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- An increase in body temperature
- Frequent bouts of sweating
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty sleeping
- Urinary retention
- Sexual dysfunction, especially in males
- Involuntary eye movements
These physical health effects are experienced by more than 80 percent of addicts. As they use the drug more, they will experience some of the long-term health effects. While all effects of the drug cause damage to the brain, the long-term effects could place the addict’s life in danger. While only a small percentage of addicts will die from ecstasy use, averaging fewer than five percent of addicts, the long-term effects can cause many problems later in life.
When addicts use this drug for an extended period of time, they will run a higher risk of suffering from damage to certain parts of the brain. Research has shown that this damage can cause memory loss. However, these health effects do not become apparent until years after the drug has been used. In a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University involving primates, it was revealed that exposure to ecstasy for only four days caused brain damage that became evident seven years later. Long-term use of the drug may also result in increased probabilities of experiencing depression, psychiatric disorders and anxiety. It is believed that more than half of ecstasy addicts will need professional mental health services following their addiction as a result of the long-term effects.
On the Rise with Young People
The pleasurable effects that are experienced by ecstasy users are primary reasons teen ecstasy addiction is starting to grow. In the United States, 11 percent of students entering the 12th grade have been under the influence of the drug. This is a significant increase from only five percent two years ago.
The pleasurable effects of ecstasy include:
- A reduction in levels of stress and anxiety
- Increased sensitivity to other people, including family members and friends
- Upbeat moods
- High energy levels that last for many hours
Unfortunately, most teen addicts do not realize they will soon begin to experience fewer desirable symptoms as early as one week after using the drug on a daily basis and may need to get help from a drug treatment center. They may experience issues with their vision, depression, chills, sweating and paranoia. Some teens, around 15 percent, will experience a rash that is similar to acne and bouts of aggression. Research has shown that more than 70 percent of teens who are addicted to the drug have developed learning disorders and emotional problems as a direct result of their addiction. Severe depression has required professional treatment in 27 percent of teens with the addiction and many others have suffered from erratic mood swings that are uncontrollable. Ecstasy addictions have many health effects that are not felt until after the person has used the drug repeatedly. The first effects that are felt are enjoyable, often causing the user to want more of the drug.