There are many adverse effects caused by using ecstasy. Knowing the potential dangers of this drug can help stop or prevent abuse.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy?
Ecstasy has been very popular among the club drugs for a long time, but not many people are aware of the potential long-term effects of it. For years, the effects of ecstasy have been studied and though it is not yet fully understood, the drug has been classified as class A or Schedule 1 for the damage it can inflict on users. Everyone who considers using ecstasy should be aware of the dangerous effects associated with it.
According to the CESAR, MDMA (or ecstasy) affects the levels of serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter related to pleasure, mood, heart rate, and sleep.
Not surprisingly, ecstasy has been associated with depression because when it is used, it heightens sensitivity and causes the user to become an intense emotional and empathetic response. When the drug is no longer in use, it depletes the amount of serotonin substantially, putting the user at risk for depression.
Ecstasy has long been known to effect memory and critical thought and after long-term use, it is very likely to damage these parts of the brain. It also has been found to degenerate the creation of serotonin through neurons and dopamine transmitters, which has been found to be long-term.
With the reduction of serotonin, the user can have sleep problems, confusion, and paranoia. According to a study conducted by NIDA, when briefly exposed to the drug, monkeys experienced a drop in serotonin levels for seven years and had not returned to normal.
Dangers to Sexual Activity
Oftentimes when someone abuses ecstasy, their inhibitions drop and they become more sensitive to touch, which enhances the sexual experience. While this may seem like a good thing, it is also important to note that it can also impair the sexual experience as well because it dehydrates the user.
This will cause a lack of lubrication, which can rip condoms and lead to an undesirable pregnancy or put the users at risk for an STD or HIV/AIDS. Males also may begin to have an issue in achieving an erection while under the influence of ecstasy, which will impede any progress in achieving orgasm.
Other Long-Term Effects
It is not often that ecstasy becomes physically addictive, but it can cause a psychological addiction that can compel the user to continue to use more in order to replicate the feelings of the first time.
A drug craving can cause the depletion of serotonin, as mentioned above, and memory as well as cause death from overdose. Continued use can also cause severe anxiety and paranoia in the user due to the heat exhaustion and dehydration that ecstasy causes.
Many people use ecstasy while at parties or raves, but few know the risks of continued use and fewer will pay attention because of the sensations the drug causes but it is very important to know the consequences of use.
Long-term effects include severe depression, damage to the serotonin levels in the brain, impairment of sexual activity, a higher risk of STDs, and anxiety. It is important that the user be aware of the consequences before they use this drug and if it does turn into an addiction or become abused, it is vital for them to seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid lasting damage.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction or abuse of ecstasy, call (800) 407-7195 to speak with someone who can help.