Ecstasy Addiction: Understanding The Club Drug


Ecstasy: The Club Drug

Ecstasy or molly is the street name for MDMA, or 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is a synthetic stimulant with potential hallucinogenic effects. It is highly popular among people who attend night clubs, and was known as the “club drug” during the 1990s. 

Ecstasy addiction is brought on by the feelings of well-being, happiness, and friendliness. The senses are enhanced, making the user feel uninhibited and euphoric. 

It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens. While ecstasy is made from MDMA, it is usually used to describe a ‘designer’ version in pill or tablet form, and there is no way for users to know what’s in it. Ecstasy may be cut with other ingredients, including Cocaine, LSD, Heroin, Amphetamine, Caffeine, and rat poison.

Ecstasy addiction treatment can help you to realise that you do not need a drug to enjoy experiences.

Understanding Ecstasy Addiction

What Is Ecstasy Addiction?

While there is some division on the addictive nature of ecstasy, from our experience in ecstasy addiction treatment in Cape Town, people do become addicted to it. It is a stimulant disorder characterised by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.

Signs to look out for with ecstasy addiction include:

  • Unnatural, long lasting energy
  • Changes in sleeping habits 
  • Impulsive actions and behaviour
  • An intense desire for physical sensations
  • A calm and relaxed demeanour
  • Attending more parties and social gatherings where the drug is available
  • Changes in the social circle
  • Sudden difficulty meeting daily responsibilities
  • Lying or secretive behaviour
  •  Financial difficulties
  •  Legal problems
  •  Inability or unwillingness to quit when ecstasy abuse causes problems
  •  Hiding the drug around the home
  •  Mood swings
  •  Depression and oversleeping when not using

Long-term use may lead to compulsive behaviours and neglect of important responsibilities. This shift in priorities marks the beginning of an addiction or substance use disorder. It can lead to higher rates of impulsive, dangerous behaviours or illegal activity to obtain more of the drug. 

Continued use of ecstasy can confuse the brain’s reward and pleasure centres, and cause damage to nerves, the brain, and other vital organs. 

These long-term side effects also include:

  •  Psychosis
  •  Nerve degeneration
  •  Depression, anxiety, and memory loss
  •  Kidney failure
  •  Haemorrhaging
  •  Long-lasting brain damage
  •  Cardiovascular collapse
  •  Convulsions
  •  Death
Recognise Symptoms

Ecstasy Addiction Symptoms

Knowing the signs of ecstasy addiction can help you to recognise a problem. Most people who have an ecstasy or molly addiction will experience enhanced self-confidence, energy, and empathy.

As a leading ecstasy rehab in Cape Town, we understand this tricky drug. Some of the symptoms of ecstasy addiction include:

  • Diminished inhibition and reckless behaviour
  • An improved mood or state of euphoria
  • Feelings of being connected to others, even people you do not know
  • Heightened alertness and energy
  • Tightness in the mouth and jaw due to teeth-grinding
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Poor memory or memory loss
  • Depression or anxiety when stopping use
  • Dehydration and extreme thirst 
  • Heightened sensory perception
  •  Increased positive sensations and capacity for empathy
  •  Dilated pupils
  • Paranoia
  • Dry mouth
  • Promiscuity
Who Is At Risk

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing An Ecstasy Addiction?

Ecstasy is commonly abused as a “party drug” and is popular among college students. Those of college or university going age may be more at risk. The rates of abusing multiple substances are far higher among ecstasy users. Certain risk factors make people more vulnerable to addiction than others. These include:


  • Having a family history of addiction
  • Having comorbid mental health disorders (anxiety depression ADHD etc)
  • Having impulse control problems
  • Experiencing trauma
  • The age of first use
Recognise Withdrawal Symptoms

Ecstasy Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Molly triggers chemical reactions in the brain that provide a “rush”. These chemicals cause the brain to release high amounts of serotonin. When you stop using ecstasy, you might feel extremely depressed, because the brain has depleted its supply of serotonin. 

Withdrawal from ecstasy can produce serious psychological symptoms and some users may experience physical discomfort.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia or broken sleeping habits
  • Paranoia and possible psychosis
  • Intense cravings paired with agitation
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Changes in self-perception
  •  Anxiety and confusion

Because some molly pills are combined with other drugs, the withdrawal symptoms will be different for every person.

Treatment Options

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment Options

At Tharagay, our ecstasy addiction help treats every aspect of the addiction.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programme

Tharagay Manor offers an inpatient ecstasy addiction treatment that offers full-spectrum treatment. We treat addictive disorders and associated psychosocial problems. We provide a safe, controlled environment for recovery. A therapeutic intervention is essential when coming off ecstasy, as depression and anxiety are common post-acute withdrawal symptoms, and need to be carefully managed. 

After rehab, it is important to establish a long-term treatment plan, including weekly attendance of our Aftercare Group. This can provide lasting help in overcoming an ecstasy addiction. Individuals in recovery experience the greatest success at maintaining sobriety when they routinely attend 12 Step programmes and others support groups.

Halfway House Or Step-Down Programmes

A halfway house like Tharagay House is ideal for those who need residential care during their recovery, or who have completed the primary phase of their treatment. It provides a safe environment where there is a low risk of relapse and a like-minded community setting.

Sober Living Facility

 A sober living facility such as Tharagay Place is a safe accommodation for those who need a place to continue their rehabilitation. It is designed to encourage and guide residents to find a productive, healthy and balanced lifestyle and prevent the risk of relapse.

A Successful Treatment

Live Life To The Fullest

Ecstasy addiction can be treated successfully once you know what symptoms and signs to look for. Let our team of experts help you live life to the fullest in a healthy, productive way.