There’s a price to pay for a few nights of MDMA-induced partying. Turns out, the drug that takes away stress in the short-term may cause more stress in the long-term. A new study found that heavy ecstasy consumers put themselves under nearly four times as much stress as non-consumers. Here’s the scoop on how taking MDMA (ecstasy) directly increases your stress levels.
Many known MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) as the bliss drug. It causes intense euphoria, excitement, connection, and a feeling of peace with the world.
Yet, all of those hours of stress-free enjoyment may come with a long-term cost: more stress.
A recent study conducted by the Swinburne Institute of Technology tested the stress levels of 61 participants. The participants were divided into three groups: light users, heavy users, and non-using controls.
The research team used hair samples to evaluate the amount of stress hormone cortisol secreted over a 3-month duration.
Overall, the heavy users had four times as much cortisol than non-using controls. Light MDMA users had about 50% more cortisol than the control group.
What’s in that white powder, anyway?
It makes sense that a substance that burns through all of your body’s serotonin would cause stress. Ecstasy may cause temporary bliss, but it takes the body quite a while to fully recover from such an experience.
This is even if you take 5-HTP or tryptophan in an attempt to replenish your neurotransmitters.
It’s also important to note that finding pure MDMA on the street is highly unlikely. Any white powdery substance can be cut with methamphetamine, bath salts, powdered milk, or any number of other white powdery things.
Even with pressed tabs, the bathtub manufacturing of any kind of MDMA means that you are taking in some wonky stuff no matter what.
Sorry to say, in the nightclub scene, ecstasy isn’t the best thing you can do if you’re concerned about long-term health. Even in the short term, come-downs can have a serious impact on your mental state.
It’s too difficult to say what exactly you’re using and what impact that cocktail actually has on your body.
Nightclub vs. clinic
In a clinical setting, however, studies have shown that pure, high-quality MDMA can be quite therapeutic for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Psychiatrists are using MDMA to dive deeper into therapy and to help people address trauma in a safe and possibly blissful setting.
One study looked at 12 patients with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The patients were given the MDMA by psychiatrists during two 8-hour therapy sessions.
These 12 patients were compared to 8 controls who were given a placebo. Overall, the patients given MDMA performed better. In fact, 83% of the MDMA group had a clinical response to psychotherapy, versus only 25% in the control group.
There were no adverse events associated with the treatment, even after a 2-month follow-up. A second study reconnected with these 12 patients up to six years later.
The study found that PTSD symptoms were still reduced, the patients did not go on to do other drugs, and they had no harm to memory or concentration.
The key thing here is that the PTSD patients were given a pure dose of MDMA and went into intensive psychotherapy.
Very different environment from your standard nightclub, and a very different product. Are you really looking to have a good time and cut stress? Try some cannabis instead.