Understanding Ecstasy and Molly Addiction
Ecstasy/MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic drug. It acts as a stimulant, hallucinogen, and entactogen. Ecstasy is known for its use as a party drug because it energizes the user. Ecstasy also distorts one’s perception of time, audio, and visuals by enhancing sensory experiences. The entactogen effect of MDMA makes the user feel more in touch with their spiritual core. It also makes them more empathetic and understanding of other people’s struggles.
The Difference Between Ecstasy and Molly
You might be wondering what the difference between molly and ecstasy is. Ecstasy and molly are different forms of MDMA. Ecstasy is produced in capsule form, while molly is the crystalline form of MDMA.
Research has shown that ecstasy capsules contain varying concentrations of MDMA mixed with other drugs used to ‘cut’ MDMA. This creates a dangerous combination of drugs that may cause addiction. Cut ecstasy may contain methamphetamine, ketamine, ephedrine, heroin, cocaine, and phencyclidine (PCP).
Ecstasy dealers use these drugs to increase addiction and retain customers. The emergence of powdered fentanyl increases the risk of an overdose since it can be mixed with ecstasy due to its high potential for addiction.
Molly, on the other hand, is the crystalline version of MDMA. Its name is short for the word “molecule’ and is the street name for MDMA. It is marketed as an uncut form of MDMA since it does not require extra ingredients to be mixed and pressed into a tablet.
Molly users experience euphoria, bursts of energy, and a distorted perception of time, making them enjoy rave parties even more. According to the DEA, molly may contain other drugs, such as cocaine, to increase its dependency rate.
Another notable difference between ecstasy and molly is the mode of ingestion. Since ecstasy comes in capsule form, it is primarily swallowed, while molly is snorted since it comes in crystalline form.
How MDMA works
The primary mode of action of MDMA is targeting neurotransmitters. MDMA enhances the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, sleep, appetite, and other behaviors.
Its increased availability in the bloodstream has the effect of elevated mood, making the user feel happy. MDMA acts as a stimulant by increasing the amount of norepinephrine. This has the effect of energizing the user.
However, increased amounts of neurotransmitters like serotonin deplete the brain of this vital chemical. After using MDMA, the user may experience negative after-effects such as lack of sleep, appetite, and depressive episodes.
Research has indicated that moderate doses of MDMA may permanently damage nerve cells that contain serotonin. Low serotonin is associated with poor short and long-term memory and depressed mood.
Why are teens prone to MDMA addiction?
Teens are at the greatest of using and abusing MDMA because the reward system in their brains is developing. During adolescence, the brain’s pleasure centers develop and increase risk-taking behavior.
Drugs like MDMA, marijuana, and alcohol target these pleasure centers, altering the brain’s reward circuitry. MDMA hijacks cells containing neurotransmitters like serotonin and prevents its uptake. This increases the availability of the neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft, making the teen feel high. This process rewards the teenager’s brain and can cause dependence.
The Prevalence of MDMA Use Among Teens
Compared to drugs like marijuana and alcohol. MDMA use is not very common in teenagers. According to a study conducted in 2013, it is estimated that among teens aged 12-17, only 0.2% had used MDMA in the month preceding the study. Only 0.9 percent of those surveyed had used MDMA in the year preceding the study. This is low compared to 13.6% for teen marijuana use disorder and 24.6% for alcohol use.
MDMA use is not prevalent because it is a high-risk drug, and its cost can discourage habitual use.
Risks and Dangers of MDMA Use in Teens
MDMA is typically used at rave parties that are usually crowded and enclosed. It stimulates the body to increase its internal temperature, which can be dangerous in crowded and confined spaces.
MDMA is associated with life-threatening hyperthermia since crowded areas prevent your body from cooling down. High internal temperatures can have adverse effects like organ failure. Hyperthermia may also lead to dehydration, fainting, seizures, cardiovascular failure, and liver failure.
Molly and ecstasy are not pure forms of MDMA. They often contain cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, PCP, and ketamine. Taking MDMA can lead to consuming other drugs with a high potential for addiction. Dealers usually cut their drugs with lactose combined with other drugs to increase the chances of the user being addicted.
MDMA use can lead to addiction to other dangerous substances like fentanyl. According to a study conducted in 2009 and 2013, the New York DEA reported that only 13% of the molly analyzed was MDMA; the rest comprised other drugs and cutting agents like lactose.
Signs and Symptoms of Teen MDMA Addiction
Teenagers who use MDMA may develop an addiction to the high associated with the drug. Teens often use ecstasy because of the euphoric feeling and distorted perception of time. Some signs of ecstasy use include:
- Intense thirst
- High energy levels
- Involuntary teeth clenching and grinding
- Overwhelming feelings of compassion and empathy
- Heightened sense of touch
- Memory loss
- Elevated blood pressure
- Involuntary muscle spasms
- Increased socialization
- Dilated pupils
- Increased impulsiveness
If your teen is using ecstasy, looking out for some warning signs is important. These signs range from health to personality effects.
Recognizing the warning signs associated with teen MDMA abuse will help you seek help faster. Warning signs of MDMA addiction include:
- Change in social circles and peers
- Difficulty in achieving daily goals
- Absenteeism from school
- Financial problems due to spending too much on MDMA
- More frequent depressive episodes
- Delinquent behavior
- Shoplifting teens to get money
- Increased financial dependence on others
Effects of Teen MDMA Addiction
MDMA use and abuse may have varying effects depending on the person. It can have short and long-term physical, social, and mental effects.
Some physical effects of long-term MDMA use may lead to psychosis, nerve degeneration, kidney failure, brain damage, convulsions, and death. These effects occur due to MDMA molecules targeting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. The prolonged presence of these neurotransmitters in the nerves and cells may cause damage to the associated cells.
Socially, MDMA has many effects. MDMA use and abuse may cause strained interpersonal relationships, difficulties maintaining and getting jobs, stealing to fund the drug habit, social isolation in teens due to broken relationships, failing in school, absenteeism from work or school, financial dependence on others to fund MDMA use, and legal troubles.
Teens who use MDMA may be using it to fit in socially with their peers, but once addiction kicks in, they start experiencing a breakdown in these social groups.
Molly and ecstasy use can also have disastrous effects on a teenager’s mental health. After the effects of MDMA have worn out, the teen may experience long periods of depression. They may also experience anxiety since they do not remember what happened during their high. Teenage drug abuse has been linked with the onset of mental conditions such as teen depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD.
How to Help Your Teen Overcome Ecstasy & Molly Addiction
Overcoming teen MDMA addiction is important. It involves teaching yourself about addiction, seeking professional help, and encouraging recovery.
Every parent’s dream is to help their kids overcome any problem they might be facing. Having a teenager be addicted to a drug may come as a shock, leaving you wondering what to do to help. To effectively help your teenager, first, you need to understand their addiction.
Take time to learn about the drug your teen is addicted to, its effects, and what steps you can take to help them through their recovery.
Communicating with your teen about their addiction
Talking to your teenager about addiction is also important in helping them overcome it. You may feel ashamed or disappointed in your teenager’s actions. When talking to them about addiction, your tone should be empathetic.
It would be best if you did not express your feelings in a way that the teen might be perceived as being judged, accused, or criticized. Judgemental words like “junkie” should be avoided when having this conversation.
Having a conversation about drug use helps teens feel safe and understood. Your goal in this conversation is to build a connection that will help them fight the addiction. Open communication also helps your teen understand the direct consequences of drug use on their lives. For more help, please check out our guide on how to communicate with your teenager.
Avoiding enabling their habit
To effectively help your teen overcome their addiction, avoiding actions that enable their drug use is important. Actions such as minimizing, justifying, or denying substance abuse may enable your teen to continue using molly/ecstasy. Avoiding confrontation may also enable your teen to continue their abuse since they are not being called to account. Funding their use by giving them a lot of money may also enable their drug use. It is important to ensure that you do not enable their drug use.
Seeking professional help for your teen
To effectively help a teen with chronic molly or ecstasy addiction, you may need the help of a professional treatment center. Several professional treatment centers specialize in treating teen addiction. You need to make a number of considerations when choosing the right treatment center. These considerations include location, the cost of treatment, the range of services offered, its area of specialization, its staff, and whether the facility accepts your insurance. These considerations enable your teen to receive the best care possible.
Once you have chosen a suitable facility, preparing your teen for what they can expect during rehabilitation is important. You can visit the treatment center to get your teenager acclimated to the new environment.
During your visit, you can also ask questions about the treatment center and raise any concerns. Inform the people who matter in your life to ensure once rehabilitation is done; they can support your teen better. You can also inform the school that the teenager might miss weeks or even months of school if you decide to take them to an inpatient treatment facility.
Encouraging your teen’s recovery
Lastly, you can help your teen overcome substance abuse by encouraging recovery. This can be done in several ways. Educate yourself on how you can support your teenager during recovery.
A strong support system is vital for successful rehabilitation. You can learn how to support your teen through support groups and reading available resources. Another way of encouraging teen recovery is by enforcing treatment. If your teen hesitates to begin treatment, talk with them about rehabilitation benefits and the importance of sober living.
Engage in lifestyle changes that will promote healthy living standards. To help your teen recover, ensuring their home life is conducive to healthy living is important. It would be disingenuous to expect your teen to recover from addiction while triggers such as drugs are available at home. Starting regimens such as exercise can also help the recovery process. Sign them up for outdoor activities to keep their minds and bodies engaged.
Types of Teen Rehab Programs for Ecstasy and Molly Addiction
Once the decision to seek treatment has been reached, you can consider different programs available for substance abuse. At Key Healthcare, we specialize in treating teen addiction and mental health issues.
We offer a variety of teen addiction treatment options depending on how much care your teenager needs. For mild addiction, we offer an teen intensive outpatient program; for chronic addiction, we offer programs with extremely high levels of care such as a teen residential treatment center and a teen partial hospitalization program.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
The Intensive Outpatient Program (teen IOP) is designed for teens dealing with various substance abuse addictions. Outpatient rehab programs like the IOP provide a safe and supportive environment to help teenagers learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with substance abuse.
Teens with MDMA addiction can benefit from this program since it runs for 4-12 weeks and involves various methods of treating addiction. It involves teen individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, academic support, and aftercare services. The teenager received 9 hours of treatment a week for the program’s duration.
During individual therapy, several approaches are adopted to address the root cause of the addiction. These different approaches help your teen learn how to cope with stressful situations and substance abuse. Through behavioral therapy, the teen learns to change their behavior and how they react towards drugs and stress.
During teen group therapy, the teen interacts with other teens going through a similar experience. They get to learn how the other teenagers have coped with their addiction. Teen family therapy sessions allow family participation in the rehabilitation program.
Here, family members better understand how to support the teen while the teen gets to understand how their addiction affects their family.
Key Healthcare’s IOP also provides academic support through trained tutors and academic coaches. This is to ensure that your teen does not fall behind in school.
Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Program
The Key Healthcare teen residential treatment center is located in Malibu California. It is an intensive inpatient program that runs for 45-60 days and is designed for teens suffering from chronic substance abuse or mental health issues. Inpatient rehab centers can be very beneficial for treating MDMA addiction since it provides structure, evidence-based therapies, and holistic activities to keep your teen busy.
Our RTC program utilizes treatment methods, such as Teen Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Comprehensive Teen Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) to teach teens how to cope with stressful situations. Family therapy ensures that your teen receives family support in rehab to increase the chances of successful rehabilitation. Group therapy for teens is also important as it helps them learn coping mechanisms from their peers, not just the therapist.
We also offer holistic addiction treatment approaches such as teen art therapy, teen music therapy, yoga therapy, and hiking to help teens develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress. Holistic approaches also help teens develop habits such as keeping active and developing hobbies to keep their minds busy.
Our RTC program also offers individual, group, and family therapy sessions to foster stronger bonds between the teens and those around them. A strong support system is vital for successful rehabilitation. With our academic support and aftercare services, your teen will not fall behind on schoolwork, and they will remain focused on academics.
In our RTC program, your teen can undergo a dual diagnosis treatment if they present any co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders are mental health conditions that co-exist simultaneously with substance abuse disorder. The RTC program also offers rehab aftercare for teenagers to reduce the chances of a relapse.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
The adolescent partial hospitalization program is more rigorous than the IOP but less intensive than the RTC program. Its commitment is similar to the RTC program, with the key difference being that teens do not live in the treatment center.
Teens choosing the PHP program make their own living arrangements or stay at home. It can be very beneficial in treating MDMA use as it deploys various substance abuse treatment methods. It involves individual, group, and family therapy and academic support for your teen.
The program aims to give teens a structured environment and equip them with the tools necessary to beat their addiction. The program focuses on teaching teens how to deal with family issues, how to cope with temptations, why they should choose a sober lifestyle, and how they can better control their thoughts.
The PHP program is available to teens in the greater Los Angeles area.
Steps to Prevent Teen Molly and Ecstasy Addiction
There are various ways to prevent MDMA addiction in teenagers. They require different individuals to do their part in preventing addiction. These methods include:
Teaching addiction prevention in schools
Teenagers spend most of their time in school or doing school-related activities. Schools are a powerful prevention mechanism since teachers can detect issues like absenteeism and delinquency. To effectively teach prevention, teachers need to disseminate accurate information related to drugs.
This includes the various types of drugs, how they work, their effects, and how to avoid abuse. Teachers can also help teenagers recognize triggers such as peer pressure and advertising techniques that portray some drugs as low-risk.
Teachers should also provide developmental-appropriate material to school-going teens indicating the effects of drug abuse. This, coupled with counseling services in school, can effectively prevent MDMA and substance abuse.
Out-of-school outreach programs
After-school hours are high-risk periods when teens can abuse MDMA and other drugs. Ensuring that kids have after-school programs such as clubs and sports reduces the risk of drug and substance abuse.
The community may do this by providing teens with resources to engage themselves. These resources include parks, pitches, and basketball/tennis courts. After-school programs such as mentorship programs also ensure teens develop healthy experiences within the community.
Reaching high-risk groups
Prevention programs can target high-risk groups to reduce the risk of MDMA and drug abuse. Teenagers from communities with prevalent drug use are the highest-risk group. One’s environment is a contributor to drug abuse. Targeting at-risk groups may reduce the risk of drug abuse by teens.
Fostering family and community bonds
Parents and the community are powerful influencers in teen lives. By fostering better bonds with family and community, teens are at a reduced risk of abusing drugs. This can be done by providing counseling services, team building programs, and training parents on behavioral skills to reduce conduct issues.
In conclusion, MDMA is a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant, hallucinogen, and entactogen. It distorts the user’s perception of time, colors, and sounds while also energizing them. Ecstasy usually comes in tablet form, while molly is the crystalline version of MDMA. MDMA is addictive since it is usually cut with cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Its effects include sweating, increased body temperature, confusion, memory loss, paranoia, and elevated blood pressure. MDMA use can lead to strained interpersonal relationships, delinquent behavior, financial constraints, and legal issues.
Once you notice signs of MDMA use in your teen, it is important to seek professional services to help them recover. Look for a treatment program that is compatible with your lifestyle.
Consider treatment centers like Key Healthcare that offer a variety of services like Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), and Residential Treatment Programs (RTC). Choose a program that is suitable for your teen. Ensure that you seek early intervention to prevent addiction from developing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does teen rehab for ecstasy and molly addiction last?
Depending o the program, molly addiction rehabilitation takes 1-3 months.
What types of therapy are used in teen rehab for ecstasy and molly addiction?
Types of therapy used in teen rehabilitation include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for teens (CBT), Comprehensive Dialectal Behavioral Therapy for teens (DBT), art therapy, music therapy, and individual, group, and family therapies.
Are there specialized teen rehab programs for ecstasy and molly addiction?
Yes. Facilities such as Key Healthcare are specialized in treating teen substance abuse and mental health issues.
How much does teen rehab for ecstasy and molly addiction cost?
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, it costs between $1400-$10000 for a 30-day outpatient rehabilitation program. For inpatient programs, the cost varies from $5000-$20,000 for a 30-day program. Insurance might cover up to 100% of the costs. Confidentially verify your insurance online here
Can teens continue their education while in rehab for ecstasy and molly addiction?
Depending on the chosen program, teens can continue their education while in rehab. Outpatient rehabilitation programs allow teenagers to continue with their daily lives. Inpatient programs also offer academic support for teens enrolled.
Are there alternative therapies that can be used in teen rehab for ecstasy and molly addiction?
Yes, there are alternative therapies used to treat MDMA addiction. These include holistic therapies like art therapy, music therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).