MDMA (XTC / Ecstasy)

Although the party drug MDMA is often seen as a relatively low-risk form of drug, the addictive substance can be very dangerous for the user. Its use can lead to irregular sleep patterns, decreased alertness, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and even paranoia and depression. In some cases, the use of MDMA can even lead to death.

 What is MDMA?

MDMA is often confused with XTC. The letters XTC stand for the English ecstasy, which means ecstasy or delight. The active ingredient in Ecstasy or Ecstasy is the chemical MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) which has many similarities with amphetamine (speed). In the beginning, this synthetic, psychoactive drug was mainly used by young adults in nightlife or at 'rave' parties. Nowadays become types of drugs as used by a wider audience.

In addition to MDMA and binding agents, an XTC pill sometimes also contains other substances such as mCPP and PMMA. MDMA is therefore a pure form of XTC. Although the pills often give the impression that they are manufactured in high-tech labs, unfortunately they are simply manufactured in old sheds by drug dealers and not by trained chemists.  

How does it work?

MDMA increases the activity of three important neurotransmitters in the brain: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. When the substance reaches the brain, the reward center is stimulated. The hyperactivity of serotonin in the brain affects mood and produces the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin; this creates a loving and social feeling. Increased dopamine in the brain gives users a feeling of bliss, which can create a false sense of comfort and security. The nor-epinephrine causes hyperactivity, making this drug especially popular in the party scene.

The short term effects

The short-term effects of the drug are a feeling of warmth and security, euphoria, empathy and increased physical energy. Increased sensory perception is also a potential consequence of MDMA intake. Users of the drug give a friendly, hyperactive impression and can still be very alert / awake for hours after use.

When the drug wears off, dopamine levels in the brain drop rapidly, which can cause feelings of depression and irritability. Also known as the MDMA dip.

MDMA dip

Many people feel depressed or depressed after using MDMA. This is called an MDMA dip or Tuesday dip (because the drug is usually used on weekends). The explanation for this is that the serotonin system is depleted. Time and rest bring the stock of serotonin back up to the mark. However, regular use of the drug can make the effects more severe. The serotonin system is then not sufficiently replenished. This puts users in a cycle where they use more and more to regain the effect of the first time.

The risk of long-term depression therefore increases the more often you use MDMA. This is mainly because with a lot of use of the drug the release and reuptake of the serotonin is disrupted and the body takes longer and longer to make it again.

The long term effects

The effects of prolonged or regular use of MDMA include irregular sleep patterns, unusual bursts of euphoria, and decreased alertness to pain. Physical effects include sweating, increased blood pressure and heart rate, feeling sick/feeling sick, weight loss and damage to the teeth (from teeth grinding). Long-term use of MDMA also has an impact on the body mentally. It can lead to paranoia, depression, confusion and aggression.

Symptoms of an overdose are: High blood pressure, physical weakness, panic attacks, loss of consciousness, seizures and high body temperature.

Treatment of MDMA addiction at Castle Craig

Rehabilitation clinic Castle Craig has over twenty years of experience treating people with addiction to MDMA and other drugs. Using an extensive and carefully composed zorgvuldig detoxification process followed by Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) we are able to help people with their addiction.

Check the page about 'Our Addiction Care' to learn more about our various addiction programs.