Commonly mixed drugs with alcohol -  Part 3: Ecstasy

Commonly mixed drugs with alcohol – Part 3: Ecstasy

As the name suggests, ecstasy lets the users feel ecstatic for some time. However, the drug shows unavoidable side effects when its effects wear off. Though the drug was initially popular in the nightclubs and raves, it now affects a larger number of people.

Besides being chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, the drug is dangerously dehydrating and mixing with alcohol (also a diuretic) makes it even more lethal. In fact, there is an increased risk of death due to overheating and extreme dehydration when a person mixes these two substances.

Moreover, the key organs, such as liver and kidneys, are likely to be affected more by the combined effects of both alcohol and ecstasy. However, drug abusers often get high on ecstasy to feel the intense psychoactive effects, which may mimic the aftereffects of the highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine.

The effects of other drugs, such as cannabis and cocaine, when mixed with alcohol have already been discussed in the first two articles of this series. The current article discusses the effects of ecstasy, which is an equally devastating and dangerous drug. Being a synthetic drug, ecstasy can really cause psychotic episodes and damages to the brain. In the light of the above-mentioned repercussions, it is essential to know the serious effects of the drug ecstasy.

Combined effects of both alcohol and ecstasy far more life-threatening

Categorized alongside the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline, ecstasy or MDMA, short for 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is a synthetic and psychoactive drug. By passing through the blood barrier in the brain and reacting with neurotransmitters, the psychotic effects of ecstasy last for a long time.

Moreover, ecstasy causes the brain to produce a large amount of serotonin, which regulates a person’s mood, sexual activity, sensitivity to pain, aggression and sleep. As ecstasy tends to damage the nerves that store or produce serotonin, it becomes difficult for the body to replenish the natural serotonin, when needed.

Ecstasy also leads to the release of another neurotransmitter dopamine. While one may experience the pleasurable effects while taking the drug, he or she turns cranky and depressed when the effects subside. As the body cannot produce the chemicals as fast as ecstasy, one experiences a dramatic change in mood and aggression after the effects of the drug wears off.

Being highly addictive, its use may seriously affect mood, sleep and appetite. The reason for this is the depletion of neurochemicals that cannot be produced quickly by the brain, which may seriously harm the abuser’s psychological, physical and emotional balance.

Besides increasing the body temperature and heart rate,  ecstasy may cause dehydration that results in a heatstroke. When alcohol is used along with ecstasy, the risk for dehydration increases manifold. In fact, the risk of witnessing a heatstroke is comparatively higher when both alcohol and ecstasy are combined than when ecstasy is taken alone.

Being a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, alcohol causes lack of mental clarity, slower reflexes, decreased muscle coordination and many other side effects. Combined with ecstasy, the feeling of drunkenness reduces, which can lead to the overconsumption of alcohol. In addition to the above-mentioned problems, such as dehydration, overheating and the risk of death, the consumption of alcohol with ecstasy together may result in a coma and overdose deaths.

Recovery road map

While mixing ecstasy with alcohol can prove to be dangerous, the entire idea of indulgence in alcohol is itself not good for any person. Compared to other people, people high on ecstasy are more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning. As ecstasy interferes with the body’s metabolism, there is always the risk of overdose when consumed with other substances. Therefore, users need to keep a check over the kind of drugs being combined before consumption.

If you or any of your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to connect to the best alcohol treatment centers in California where the majority of cases related to alcoholism have been successfully treated.

Read the other parts of the series “Commonly mixed drugs with alcohol:”

Part 1: Cannabis

Part 2: Cocaine

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