Last Updated: January 24, 2023
- Ecstasy is rarely pure MDMA; most people who have an ecstasy use disorder will have other drugs that contribute to the addiction.
- Because of the variability in ecstasy dependence and addiction, it is important that you find a facility that has experience treating ecstasy as well as a broad experience treating other drugs.
- Find a rehab facility that will customize its program to suit your needs, not the other way around.
- Many insurers will cover some or all of rehab (including Medicaid).
- Rehab can be challenging, but it is worth it! Recovery is within your reach!
Understanding Ecstasy Addiction Treatment & Rehab
Ecstasy is a popular street name for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which is a synthetic derivative of methamphetamine that is structurally similar to the hallucinogen mescaline. However, MDMA has different pharmacological properties than methamphetamine and mescaline. Therefore, MDMA is associated with different effects and addictive properties.
An often-overlooked component of ecstasy use disorders is the fact that by virtue of its status as a Schedule I Drug, ecstasy must be obtained through risky “street” transactions. A 2018 study surveyed 351 New York City club-goers who had purchased ecstasy and were willing to provide a sample for chemical analysis. 49.2% of the pills were adulterated with methamphetamine or amphetamines, and “bath salts” and heroin were present in several pills.
Thus, although “ecstasy” and “MDMA” are often used interchangeably, the chemical profile of illicit ecstasy is likely to be significantly different than that of pure MDMA. Ecstasy pills are nearly always heavily adulterated, often with powerfully addictive and very dangerous drugs, and ecstasy without any MDMA at all is very common.
Ecstasy and MDMA: How Addictive Are They?
Whether MDMA is addictive is controversial. Most studies indicate that MDMA is not a drug that causes dependence or addiction as defined by either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
However, dependence is often related to the development of tolerance (meaning that higher and higher doses are required in order to achieve the desired effect), which regular MDMA use is known to produce.
Ecstasy, on the other hand, may be highly addictive, depending on the adulterants that are present. Illicit ecstasy may have MDMA in it, but the majority of ecstasy pills will also have at least one other drug present in varying amounts, making it difficult to predict how addictive that particular batch of ecstasy is and what the potential risks associated with use might be.
Therefore, while MDMA itself may have a low risk for addiction, regular use of illicit ecstasy could potentially lead to methamphetamine or even heroin addiction.
Addiction Treatment Options
One of the challenges associated with the treatment of ecstasy use disorders is uncertainty surrounding which drug(s) are contributing to the addiction. Therefore, it is important to find a rehab facility that has experience treating ecstasy use disorders, as well as a broad familiarity with treating other types of drug addiction. Experienced addiction specialists can decipher quite a bit from the signs and symptoms associated with detox and withdrawal, which may be invaluable in the early stages of recovery.
- Medical Detox: Detox refers to the process of purging drugs from your system. In some cases, ecstasy detox should be done under the close supervision of medical professionals who can intervene in the case of complications. Because ecstasy is generally a combination of drugs that have different addiction risks and metabolic rates, it is difficult to predict whether medical detox will be required and how long it will take. If meth was a substantial component of the ecstasy that was used, medical detox will likely be necessary.
- Residential Rehab: Upon completion of medical detox, most clients transition to a residential rehab program. The first days and weeks of recovery can be fraught with temptation, and resisting cravings and avoiding triggers may not be possible if you are constantly surrounded by reminders of drug use. Residential rehab provides a safe environment where clients can dedicate their full attention to recovering. Residential programs include individual and group therapy that will help you understand your addiction, identify why sobriety is important to you, and develop short- and long-term goals for recovery.
- Outpatient Rehab: There are several levels of outpatient drug rehab, ranging from intensive outpatient programs where you will live on-site while you begin to reintegrate into your new life during the day and transition into programs that involve weekly or bi-weekly therapy sessions. After a residential program, most clients will transition to an intensive outpatient program that will gradually become less intense as recovery progresses. Returning to life outside of rehab can be challenging, so it is important that residential and intensive outpatient programs are not rushed.
- Dual Diagnosis: Because MDMA delivers a temporary sense of well-being, empathy, and increased sociability, many people take ecstasy as a way to counteract symptoms that are linked to depression and/or anxiety disorders. Finding a rehab facility that is equipped to evaluate whether you have an undiagnosed mental health disorder (a “co-occurring disorder”) may be one of the most important aspects of your recovery. Untreated depression or anxiety will make recovery more difficult and may contribute to relapse.
- Aftercare & Sober Living: Recovery is typically a lifelong pursuit that requires regular maintenance. Dedication to a sober lifestyle is an important component of long-term recovery, and participating in aftercare can give you new tools and techniques to be successful. Meeting new friends and discovering healthy new hobbies is not only an important component of recovery; it can be fun! Aftercare is often a place where lifelong friendships are made and strong support networks are developed.
How Long Does Rehab Take?
Estimating the amount of time any person will spend in rehab is difficult and depends on the degree of addiction or dependence, whether or not medical detox is required, and the unique context of each situation. Rehab programs should always be tailored to the client, not the other way around. Find a drug rehab center that accommodates your recovery.
What Does Ecstasy Rehab Cost?
As with estimating how long rehab will take, predicting how much rehab will cost is difficult. There are several factors that will contribute to the cost, including:
- Whether or not medical detox is needed;
- The program intensity and duration;
- The quality of care and whether medical care in addition to rehab is needed.
- Residential Rehab: A bare-bones residential program may cost under $10,000, while luxury programs can exceed $25,000. Expense tends to be associated with access to amenities like physical fitness, mental health and well-being, high-quality meals, and cutting-edge therapies.
- Outpatient Rehab: Outpatient costs are among the most variable and depend on the intensity of the program. An intensive outpatient program may exceed $10,000, while a low-intensity program may be a few thousand dollars.
Other potential costs may include:
- Admissions fees ($3,000 to $4,000)
- Medical detox ($300 to $800 per day)
- Medical care outside of the normal rehab program
- Aftercare program registration.
Does Insurance Cover Rehab?
Rehab without insurance is also possible. Some people can pay out of pocket while others come up with creative solutions like GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Many rehab facilities help people afford rehab by providing scholarships or grants. Some also may use a sliding fee scale that can accommodate people from different income brackets. Most states (including Ohio) can provide some form of assistance.
Choosing a Rehab Facility for Ecstasy Abuse in Ohio
Quality rehab facilities are staffed by experienced multidisciplinary teams that are prepared to address physical, psychological, and medical aspects associated with recovery. Some of the factors to consider as you evaluate rehab facilities include:
- Location: Don’t be afraid to look at programs that seem far from home. The right program for you might not be the closest one.
- Cost: If you have insurance, make sure the program you choose is in-network. Grants, scholarships, and sliding fee scales can help mitigate the out-of-pocket expenses.
- Treatment options: Comprehensive facilities provide medical detox, residential and outpatient care, and aftercare programs. Because of the unique challenges that are associated with ecstasy rehab, make sure to find a center with staff that has experience treating ecstasy use disorders. Other things to consider are whether the facility uses evidence-based methods and whether they can offer cutting edge therapies.
- Dual diagnosis: Because ecstasy use is often associated with a co-occurring disorder, make sure that the program you choose can evaluate whether you are a candidate for a dual diagnosis.
- Success rates: Rehab facilities that provide information on their success rates can indicate how effective their programs are. Be cautious of facilities touting 100% success rates.
- Treatment duration: Your rehab program should be tailored to your progress. Make sure that the program will accommodate your recovery.
- Staff-to-patient ratio: For residential or intensive outpatient programs, a low staff-to-patient ratio is especially important.
- Accreditation: Look for a program that is accredited by either The Joint Commission or CARF International.
What to Expect When You Go to Rehab
The first step in rehab is to participate in a potentially lengthy intake and evaluation process. It is important that you be honest about your current and past substance use and medical history in order to develop the most effective treatment plan.
Individual and group therapy sessions are generally cornerstones of rehab, and the more proactive you are about participating, the more you will get out of the sessions. Feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed is normal. Facing your mistakes is never easy, but when you accept and overcome them, you will be well on your way to success in recovery and a healthy future.
Many people find lifelong mentors and friends in rehab. Don’t be afraid to network! Developing a strong support network while you are in rehab will give you motivation and inspiration when you are out of rehab.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.