With clinical use of MDMA steadily on the rise, the question of; can you get addicted to MDMA, is an important one for patient health. Research is yet to answer definitively whether or not MDMA is addictive but that is in part due to an abundance of caution. In general findings point towards dependence on MDMA being unlikely, but as with any substance that alters the chemistry or function of a body’s systems, addiction can’t be ruled out.
Various research studies have looked at the rate at which individuals self-administer MDMA as an indicator or possibility of MDMA addiction. In general, they’ve found the degree of self-administration is lower than many other drugs that are associated with addiction, like cocaine. However, it affects some of the same neurotransmitter systems as other addictive drugs so there’s reason to dig deeper.
The Addictive Potential Of MDMA
Data from animals and humans predict that the use of MDMA regularly causes adaptations in the dopamine and serotonin systems. These components are linked to substance use disorder and similar behaviors, including high impulsivity.
Several studies have tried to assess MDMA addiction among individuals who have used MDMA in the past in the general population. The studies have produced different results since different measures were applied in various population samples.
Some individuals who use it regularly report signs of MDMA addiction, such as continued use even after negative psychological or physical outcomes, withdrawal and tolerance, and craving.
The Development of Addiction as A Result of MDMA Abuse
Developing a formal substance use disorder due to MDMA abuse is crucial when determining whether you can get addicted to MDMA. People who abuse drugs and develop problems functioning and controlling their usage are at risk of suffering from substance use disorder.
It translates into severe mental health disorders that affect a person’s ability to evaluate their behavior, causing distress and huge impairments in the ability to operate within reasonable limits.
If you chronically use MDMA and develop problems, you will be diagnosed with substance use disorder. According to the American Society for Addiction and American Psychiatrist Association, persons who have developed immense abuse issues with MDMA might be diagnosed with hallucinogen use disorder.
This diagnosis shows a harmful and dysfunctional pattern of substance use which is quite a realistic representation of term addiction.
Symptoms of MDMA Addiction
Research is yet to show that withdrawal symptoms occur as a result of abusing MDMA but logically it makes sense there would be some symptoms. There does appear to be a level of tolerance that can be built up with regular use so requiring a regularly increased dose could indicate an issue.
The use of MDMA for a prolonged period can lead to certain emotional and physical effects. Behaviors shown by such people who use MDMA might also suggest the need for individual evaluation for substance abuse disorder.
Immediate symptoms of using MDMA include:
- Talking excessively
- Having excess energy
- High sensitivity to sound, light, and touch
- Being more empathetic, emotional, and trusting
- Feelings of euphoria and giddiness.
In addition to these symptoms, MDMA abuse might have serious and life-threatening impacts on your body so we recommend only using it under appropriate medical supervision.
Negative effects of MDMA addiction include:
- High blood pressure
- Rise in body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
Ultimately, yes, you most likely can get addicted to MDMA as with any substance that alters the body’s systems. Although it is questionable whether the individuals abusing MDMA develop an emotional and physical dependence on the drug, continuous use of MDMA can be classified as a substance use disorder.
It is therefore imperative that the use or application of MDMA is only done in a clinical setting under the careful supervision of trained medical professionals.