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Ecstasy Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Phillippe Greenough

Article Updated: 01/24/2021

Number of References: 2 Sources

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to become addicted to ecstasy. While detox from ecstasy does not produce physical symptoms, the psychological experience can be quite painful. Entering an ecstasy detox center will enable trained professionals to reduce the symptoms and give someone the best possible chances to successfully complete detox and continue to build a life free from ecstasy addiction. In this article, we will take a look at when these centers may be recommended, the ecstasy detox process, and some effective treatments for ecstasy addiction.

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When Is An Ecstasy Detox Center Recommended?

Recovery from any drug addiction may benefit from attending a detox center, and this is certainly the case when it comes to ecstasy. The symptoms of ecstasy withdrawal are strictly psychological, but this does not make them harmless or easy to overcome. Deep depression, anxiety, and behavioral changes are very common, and receiving help to minimize these symptoms is critical to a successful recovery.

There may be certain situations when attending an ecstasy detox center is necessary. Some of these situations include:

Increased Aggression

While the exact causes are still unclear, an increase in aggression is a common symptom of ecstasy detox. This may result in violence but is more commonly exhibited as moderate combativeness, an inherent distrust of others, and determined obstinacy. This kind of behavior greatly reduces someone’s chances of recovery, as they may return to ecstasy use to quell this aggressive state and regain some form of comfort, however temporary it may be. It can be extremely difficult or even impossible to reason with someone in this state, and offers of help may be met with aggressive rejection. The medications and therapies used at ecstasy detox centers will be able to minimize these symptoms and help someone to see that they may be acting out of character.

History of Ecstasy Relapse

If someone were to attempt quitting ecstasy use on their own without any support or medical help, the chances for successful long term recovery are quite low. It is common for relapses to occur in the absence of continued treatment and care, and entering an ecstasy detox center can provide many tools to help. Not only will medication and therapy be used during the detox process itself, but these centers often have ties to their local recovery communities. These connections may be leveraged to connect recovering users to further treatment options, support groups, and sober living facilities in the area after detox has been completed. This support structure will greatly improve someone’s odds for a successful recovery from ecstasy addiction.

History of Depression

Depressive symptoms during detox are very common and can be quite long-lasting. The serious neurotransmitter imbalances produced through chronic ecstasy use can cause serious mood depression which commonly takes many months for someone to recover. A combination of medications and therapies will be able to provide some relief during this difficult time. These symptoms are especially intense in the first few days or weeks of ecstasy detox, and making it through this difficult time comfortably will greatly improve someone’s chances of successful recovery.

Intake: Entry Into Detox

Entering into an ecstasy detox center is a fairly straightforward and simple process. During an initial phone conversation, some basic information will be gathered. The next step will be an in-person assessment at the detox facility. This is performed to determine the level of care that each individual will require, and as an opportunity for someone to resolve any questions or concerns that they may have. A typical ecstasy detox initial assessment include:

  • Questions about ecstasy use habits and history
  • Questions about other drug use or addictions (ecstasy is rarely used alone)
  • Interview about any possible co-occurring mental health issues
  • Measurement of vital signs such as blood pressure and resting heart rate
  • Bloodwork (to determine liver function, electrolyte balance, blood sugar, etc.)

This is a fairly standardized process that is common at drug and alcohol detox centers everywhere. The clearer and more detailed a picture the medical staff can obtain, the better able they are to effectively treat someone. The questions and interviews may be used to determine a general idea of the symptoms someone may experience during detox, and this will act as a starting point for prescribing medications. There is typically a standard set of therapies used in ecstasy detox but based on the answers they provided, and if someone were suffering from co-occurring mental health issues, additional therapies may be recommended as well.

Medical Monitoring of Ecstasy Detox Related Dangers

Since the symptoms of ecstasy detox are strictly psychological in nature, the majority of medical monitoring will be aimed at providing medications and psychiatric care to minimize the discomfort. While certain conditions such as increased aggression or psychosis may complicate treatment, these are quite rare and are dealt with on a case by case basis.

The initial assessment will be used to determine a starting point for the medications which are used, but there is great variability in the intensity of ecstasy detox symptoms between individuals. Due to this, medication management sessions will be held frequently and are used to monitor and adjust the medication doses as needed.

Some of the most common symptoms during ecstasy detox for which medications may be helpful include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased Aggression
  • Intense Restlessness
  • Insomnia

While these symptoms are not life-threatening in a direct sense, they can lead to dangerous situations that may be potentially deadly. Deep depression may lead to thoughts of self-harm or even suicide while increased aggression may lead to harming others. Neither of these scenarios is desirable, and medical monitoring may greatly reduce negative outcomes.

Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline

Medications Used By Ecstasy Detox Centers

There are currently no medications that are specifically prescribed for detox from ecstasy. That being said, there are a variety of medication classes that may be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of detox. These are strictly psychiatric medications that are used to reduce the psychological instabilities that chronic ecstasy use can produce. Some of the more commonly used medications in this regard include:

  • Antipsychotics: While psychosis during ecstasy detox is rare, it still occurs in certain individuals. This class of medications is typically used to treat acute psychotic states which result from conditions such as schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder. They may reduce psychotic symptoms and promote a calm state in those who suffer from increased aggression or even psychosis during detox.
  • Antidepressants: These medications are extremely common and are widely prescribed to treat a variety of mood disorders. The intense depression experienced during detox from ecstasy may be greatly reduced through the use of antidepressants and in particular the subclass of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: These medications are used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders and can be very effective early in the ecstasy detox process. They are typically used for short periods to treat the most intense symptoms. Once these symptoms begin to resolve or reduce, a more subtle form of anti-anxiety medications may be used which is safe for long term use.
  • Mood Stabilizers: These medications are commonly used in the treatment of mood disorders such as bipolar disorder. They help to promote mental stability and can reduce the intensity or frequency of wild mood swings which may sometimes accompany detox.

These medications have proven effective and may be used to treat individual symptoms as needed, but more comprehensive medications for ecstasy withdrawal, in particular, will hopefully be forthcoming. While there are no FDA approved medications for the treatment of ecstasy detox symptoms at this time, new medications are being discovered or repurposed every year.

Therapy During Ecstasy Detox

While there are no medications that are ideal for the treatment of ecstasy detox symptoms, therapeutic techniques have been found extremely helpful regarding lasting recovery from ecstasy addiction. The ways that chronic ecstasy use can degrade someone’s ability to empathize and relate to others can have profound repercussions. The therapies which have proven most effective are those with a focus on relationship building and societal reintegration. Feeling a part of a community can help to strengthen the mental muscles which have atrophied through ecstasy addiction, and therapy can be a great tool in aiding this form of healing.

Some of the most commonly used and most effective therapies used during detox include:

Talk Therapies

Some of the most effective talk therapies regarding ecstasy detox and treatment include motivational interviewing, individual counseling, and group therapy. Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique that is aimed at helping someone to draw out and elaborate upon their desire to recover from ecstasy addiction. Being able to voice this desire often makes it feel more concrete and attainable. Used in conjunction with group and individual therapies, this can also help someone to relate to others who likewise have a desire to recover from ecstasy addiction. The individual and group settings may help someone to open up to others and are often the first step towards rebuilding trust and faith in others. Without the ability to trust and depend on other people, in some sense or capacity, it is nearly impossible to achieve long term recovery.

Behavioral Therapies

These therapeutic techniques have risen in popularity in recent decades due to their great success and adaptability for the treatment of different mental health conditions. The most effective and commonly used during ecstasy detox are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). CBT is mainly geared towards identifying the interplay between feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and how this interplay produces altered behaviors. DBT may be used in conjunction and the main purpose is to develop tools and skills to deal with negative emotions, improve awareness or mindfulness, and improve communication skills. When used independently these therapies are certainly helpful, but when used together these therapies can be extremely powerful and very effective at helping someone to successfully complete ecstasy detox and help form a solid foundation in early recovery.

Aftercare Planning

Entering an ecstasy detox center is certainly a positive step but it is simply the first step on the journey of recovery. After completing detox someone will need to take responsibility for their recovery, and aftercare planning can be extremely beneficial. Meetings with a caseworker during a detox program will be used to not only monitor the progress of detox but also to plan for life after finishing detox. The caseworker may suggest local treatment facilities to continue care, support groups in the area, or sober living facilities. This will act as a rough guide to continuing treatment and help someone to have a sense of direction and purpose upon completing an ecstasy detox program.

Continuing Ecstasy Addiction Treatment

Now that ecstasy detox has been completed, it is time to enter an ecstasy addiction treatment program. This is not required, but someone’s chances of remaining clean from ecstasy are much lower if they do not continue their recovery journey. Someone will need as many tools at their disposal if they are to overcome ecstasy addiction and the specific goal of these treatment programs is to provide as many effective tools as possible. These programs can take many forms and there are also supplemental treatment options available which can even be free of charge.

Some of the more common models of treatment include inpatient or intensive outpatient ecstasy addiction treatment program. These can be some of the most effective first steps towards lasting recovery. These programs include counseling and therapy, addiction education classes, relapse prevention skills, and support services which can help give someone’s recovery a much-needed boost. There are also sober living programs that are intended for those who are in recovery and provide a safe space, accountability, and community. Additionally, there are outside support groups such as 12 step groups or religious recovery programs and these are often free to attend. Recovery from ecstasy addiction is possible and help will be needed to make this a reality.

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