If you are the parent, a family member or close friend of someone who is going out to clubs, music festivals or similar events frequently, you would be wise to know the signs and symptoms of ecstasy use. Illicit use of ecstasy is very common at these venues. Ecstasy is highly damaging and addictive and the person who gets into heavy use of this drug may need professional help to escape from the addiction.
Ecstasy, which is also known as MDMA, is a modification of methamphetamine and has some of similar effects to that drug. It is immediately a stimulant but its stimulating effects can increase to dangerous levels. It causes the body to heat up which, combined with hours of dancing in a warm environment, can cause temperature to reach lethal levels. Dance clubs where many of the patrons use ecstasy often provide a "chill room" where a person can buy cold water and cool off. When the temperature gets too high, organ breakdown can occur, especially in the kidneys, and this can kill the drug user.
People take the drug for the euphoric, intoxicating effects. Signs of ecstasy use include heightened sensory perception, for example, the tactile sense may be exaggerated. A person may want to be touched or want to touch things that feel nice to him or her. A person going to clubs to dance will have his energy increased so that he can dance all night.
But the user may experience nausea, chills, or involuntary teeth clenching. Muscles may cramp and vision may blur or be otherwise disturbed. It could be a sign of ecstasy use if a young person comes home after an all-night party and seems excited and energetic, but perhaps a little confused. They may also be sweating but have chills and nausea. They may have a dry mouth and dilated pupils. Muscles may be tense and the person may seem overly alert for the circumstances.
If you want to know if your loved one is using ecstasy, watch for small colored pills in the person's pockets or bags. There may be candy necklaces on stretchy strings. Some of the "candy" may be ecstasy pills. These pills often have imprints of characters or product logos, like the Mercedes auto logo. Occasionally ecstasy is used in liquid form.
Other signs of ecstasy use would include irregular sleeping schedule and a lack of awareness of pain. For example, if a person got hurt and did not realize it, you might suspect a sign of ecstasy use.
It might be hard to determine if the party-goer is more sexually active than usual, but ecstasy use is commonly connected with multiple sexual partners. A symptom of ecstasy use includes a person feeling like they are in love with the person they are with, even if they just met.
One of the most dangerous effects of ecstasy (other than the possibility of death from overheating or overdose) is the cravings that can very quickly set in. These cravings drive a person to use ecstasy over and over, even when they know it is harmful.
Recent research reveals that changes in the brain take place very quickly after a person starts to abuse ecstasy. These changes can result in anxiety, depression and confusion. Further symptoms of ecstasy use include poor performance on tests requiring memory or cognitive ability. Tests have shown that even brief exposure to ecstasy can result in damage that lasts years.
When use of the drug becomes heavy, signs of ecstasy use may include paranoia, depression, confusion and aggression. Immediate signs of ecstasy use generally last around five hours, but some signs may persist for weeks.
It is not safe for a person to drive after they have taken ecstasy as they may lose their good judgment and may take more risks than usual.
When a person becomes addicted to ecstasy, they will continue to go to dance parties and use the drug even though they realize the damage being done, when they come down off the drug. You can help a loved one who is addicted to ecstasy by bringing them to the nearest Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
The Narconon recovery program and the sauna detoxification program that is one of its steps help conquer the cravings. The sauna detoxification uses moderate exercise, time spent every day in a low-heat sauna and generous nutritional supplements to flush old drug toxins out of the body. The result for most people is lowered or eliminated cravings, making it easier to resume a drug-free life. For details on how the program works, call Narconon today at 1-800-775-8750.
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