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Ecstasy: Addiction, Effects & Treatment

Coloured Ecstasy Tablets

Ecstasy is a powerful stimulant and mood changer that speeds up your body system and alters your perception of the world.

Ecstasy addiction is not as common as other class a drug addictions and it is not possible to become physically addicted to ecstasy in the same way as other class A drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

Long terms effects of ecstasy use are loss of memory and mood swings. Though ecstasy is not physically addictive, some users find it extremely seductive and during times of craving they can become stressed and lose the ability to concentrate.

Are you or someone you know having problems with Ecstasy? Call the Rehab Clinic today.

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If you think that you may be suffering from ecstasy addiction and would like some free advice on steps to take regarding treatment and recovery, call us or fill out the short online form.

It can make you feel both uplifted and relaxed and feeling very happy, usually with an overwhelming urge to dance. The effects of E vary considerably from one person to the next, depending on who you’re with, where you are and how you’re feeling at the time.

Usually coming in the form of small pills selling at around £8 – £12, or more rarely as MDMA powder, the effects of E can be felt for anything up to 8 hours, although this time reduces considerably for regular users.

Effects of Ecstasy

Within 20 minutes to an hour after taking ecstasy, your heart may go into bangin’ gabba overdrive and you might feel a bit hot and sticky while your mouth goes dry. Sometimes, you’ll come up with a huge exhilarating rush and possibly experience hallucinations.

During the two hours when the effects are their strongest, even the sound of a cutlery tray being dropped will sound unbearably danceable, you’ll be walking around with a ludicrous grin on your face and even a set of Millwall fans will appear hugely huggable.

Lights will seem brighter and colours more intense. You’ll feel firmly locked into the groove on the dancefloor and feel happy and confident. These feelings will slowly diminish as the drugs wear down.

Because E removes all feelings of tiredness and thirst it is vital that you keep yourself hydrated if you’re dancing non-stop. Try to drink around a pint of fluid an hour (not alcohol) to replace fluids lost by dancing – isotonic drinks are particularly good. If you’re not dancing then you don’t need to drink so much as it can be harmful – as in the tragic case of Leah Betts.

Side Effects of Ecstasy

Like most strong drugs, expect to appear very strange when encountering straight friends. E can make you strut wildly and enthusiastically to some of the worst tunes in the world while hugging very unsavoury characters. You will also quite probably talk a whole load of bullshit and any photographs taken of you in this state will prove wildly amusing to your friends afterwards.

Avoid taking ecstasy if you’re on anti-depressants, and try to avoid wolfing down cans of Super Tennents as the alcohol will dehydrate you – as well as weaken the effects of the E. Ecstasy puts a tremendous strain on your heart, liver and kidneys, and it’s important to take time out in a chill-out area during the night.

The Dangers

Most of the dangers come from people overheating and not replacing enough fluids while dancing, so it is essential to keep drinking water if you’re dancing. We can’t stress this fact enough. But also be careful not to drink too much – about about a pint an hour is right if you’re on the dancefloor.

Remember that water is not an antidote to E, it just helps combat the dehydrating qualities of the drug.

Always make sure that you can get home safely before taking E, and don’t try to drive. Because E is a stimulant, the comedown is much like that from speed. Once you’ve come down you might feel a bit depressed, anxious, hungry and tired with some people getting it worse than others. You might also notice a laxative effect. Long-term frequent users often get run-down from exhaustion and suffer colds, sore throats and flu. Women can be susceptible to cystitis and thrush.

How long do the effects last? MDMA: 4-6 hours, MDEA: 3-5 hours, MDA: 8-10 hours, MBDB: 4-6 hours. Note: These are approximate times as duration and intensity depend on a variety of factors including the amount of the drug taken, its strength, purity, body weight and the physical and psychological makeup of the individual concerned.

Health Risks of Ecstasy Use

There has been much hysterical speculation about the dangers of taking Ecstasy, and although the vast majority of these articles seem more interested in pursuing a moral agenda than dealing with the health issues, it’s important to recognise that there are some risks involved.

Although it’s true to say that E is a comparably safe drug, in 1999, Ecstasy was mentioned on 26 UK death certificates in 1999 (although on most of these other drugs were listed too).

Ecstasy use in the UK has remained constant over past 5 years, estimated at around 300,000 people per week. Depending on figures and assumptions made, the death rate for first time users ranges from 1 in 10,000 (the same as road accidents) to just 1 in 2,000 (source: Times, 6.Dec.01)

MDMA appears to disturb the body’s ability to regulate its temperature and this can lead to serious problems with overheating and ‘heat shock’. There is no conclusive evidence to the long-term effects of ecstasy, although some experts suspect that there may be a link between brain damage and long term ecstasy use.

In 1995 Leah Betts tragically died after taking an ‘E’ and drinking water to counter the drug’s effect.

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Detection Periods

Ecstasy can be detected in the urine up to 2-4 days after use at common levels.

The Law

MDMA and Ecstasy are categorised as Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971.

If you feel like you have a problem with ecstasy you should consider treatment options such as drug rehab. We are available to provide free, confidential advice on your treatment options so do not hesitate to get in touch.

We understand that taking the decision to commit to rehab can be difficult, you can schedule a tour of one your local rehab centers to see the available facilities, resources and environment. This can help you with taking the first steps towards your rehabilitation.


  • Continuously taking drugs that are no longer needed for a health problem
  • Building up a tolerance against the drugs
  • Feel shaky, depressed, stomachaches, intense sweating, headaches and more intense symptoms when the drugs wear off
  • Even when drug addiction is hurting your loved ones, you still can’t stop
  • You spend time thinking about how to get drugs, when to take it, how good it feels.
  • Having a hard time giving yourself limitations to drug use
  • Losing interest in extracurricular or social activities that don’t involve drugs
  • Losing priority over personal & professional responsibilities
  • You borrow or steal money to pay for drugs
  • Having trouble to get along with loved ones and colleagues. They complain about your actions or how you’ve changed.
  • Sleeping and eating too much or too little
  • Drug addiction reflects on your physical appearance. Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, tremors, blood nose, or you may have gained or lost weight.
  • You have a new set of friends with whom you do drugs and go to different places to use the drugs.
  • Drug inpatient detox
  • Drug home detox
  • Drug rehab
  • Intervention
  • Counselling
  • Group Therapy
  • Rehab facilities

We have rehab and detox clinics all across the UK to help you on your journey to recovery. Click here to find rehab centres & facilities near you.

For more information on how much drug addiction treatment costs, please click here.

The best way to get started is to give us a call at 0800 118 2892 for free advice and assessment. Let us help you or your loved one figure out the best treatment plan for your alcohol addiction so you can get started on your journey to recovery.

  • Keep track of the volume of your drug use to have a better understanding of the role of drug addiction in your life.
  • Consider the impact of your drug use to the things that matter most to you, such as your partner, your children, your career and your health.
  • Consider getting advice from a person you trust about your drug use.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to change for the better.
  • Analyse your attempts at recovery. What worked and what didn’t?
  • Set specific, measurable goals, such as time and limitations you’ve made to recover from drug addiction.
  • Consider to open up to your loved ones that you’re committing to recovery and seek for their support.