The drug MDMA is also called Ecstasy—and for a good reason. The meaning of the word appropriately describes the intense feeling one gets when the drug is taken. What MDMA users fail to acknowledge is that the effects of the drug can be so intense that they become addicted to it. Drug addiction would then put them at risk for serious health consequences, and maybe even death.
Understanding Drug Addiction to MDMA
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is Schedule I controlled substance. This means that the drug has no accepted medical use in the country and is highly addictive. MDMA works both as a stimulant and hallucinogen; its chemical structure is similar to that of amphetamine and mescaline.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that while MDMA is also known as Ecstasy, Ecstasy tablets contain more than just MDMA. Ecstasy tablets obtained from the street may contain other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and ephedrine. These adulterants make the tablets more addictive and more dangerous.
How MDMA Affects the Brain and Causes Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is likely to occur with MDMA use because the drug affects the same parts of the brain affected by other addictive substances. MDMA boosts the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, that which has a key role in the regulation of appetite, sleep and mood, among others. The excessive release of the serotonin is that which induces the intense effects associated with the drug. However, it is also the cause of negative behavioral changes, as the brain will soon lack this important chemical.