Ecstasy Addiction in Colorado

Ecstasy addiction in Colorado has become increasingly prevalent along with the popularity of the drug's use in the techno music and dance club scene. The drug has become somewhat glamorized in entertainment media and as a result, abuse and addiction to Ecstasy have increased significantly among young people. This phenomena is occurring in cities all across the country and Colorado is no exception.

Known as a "club drug", Ecstasy (MDMA) was reclassified in the mid 1980's as a schedule I controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Drugs of this class have been identified by the DEA and are described as having no value as any effective medical treatment and have a high potential for being abused. Ecstasy easily fits this description as it produces the energetic high of a stimulant allowing the user to dance for long periods of time without feeling tired. It encourages feelings of warmth and closeness toward others, giving it appeal to those who want to use substances to relax and socialize without inhibition or anxiety. Ecstasy can produce hallucinogenic and psychotropic effects as well.

Because of it's "party drug" reputation, many young people assume that Ecstasy is not addictive or even a dangerous drug. It's easy to take and appears safe when others are taking it as well. Peer pressure also has played a role in the increasing abuse of Ecstasy. When distributed by dealers with cartoon character logos and a variety of colors, it increases it's appeal and Ecstasy gets mistaken as just being harmless fun. Users eventually find out over time that this is definitely not the case and by that time it's already become a problem for the user.

Ecstasy addiction is especially dangerous because it is rarely the only drug being taken by the user. Many times, Ecstasy users intentionally take it with other drugs to enhance and increase it's effects. The drug itself can be prepared with other substances included for this same reason. This makes it extremely difficult to be sure exactly what is being ingested when taking Ecstasy and thereby substantially increases the danger of overdose and/or adverse reactions.

There has been some disagreement among researchers as to whether Ecstasy is an addictive drug or not. Studies among Ecstasy users have shown that as many as 60 percent of users experience withdrawal symptoms, both physical and psychological. Some of these symptoms include; malaise and fatigue, depression, inability to focus and decreased hunger. In addition, researchers have identified that Ecstasy affects the same parts of the brain as other known addictive drugs such as cocaine.

Colorado has recognized the growing need and provides many resources and programs available to those who have become addicted to Ecstasy and wish to get help. It is not uncommon for someone addicted to Ecstasy to have other substance addictions as well. This should be taken into account when deciding on what level of treatment should be provided. The most serious cases will typically require inpatient or residential treatment, which is a higher level of care than regular intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs.