Ecstasy, otherwise known as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or MDMA, is a synthetic substance sold in pill form that was made popular in the early 1990s at all-night dance parties called “raves.” Providing a stimulant, “feel good” effect on its users, Ecstasy is often referred to as the “love” drug because many users describing feeling a sense of empathy and connection with others while they are under the influence.
Unfortunately, the effect of chronic Ecstasy abuse on the user is not quite so positive. Users often find that they develop a tolerance for the drug when they use it repeatedly. This means that they require more and more pills, yet never experience the same level of euphoria that they initially experienced. Many users become frustrated and take increasingly higher doses or attempt to augment the effects of the drug by abusing other substances like alcohol, marijuana or cocaine. This can result in overdose, serious accident, chronic health problems and more, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
At what point does recreational use of Ecstasy turn into an issue that requires intensive treatment? Especially during the teen years when parents may not immediately recognize when drug abuse begins, and there are so many emotional, physical, and personality changes caused by hormonal shifts, peer influence and environment that drug effects may go unnoticed, it can be difficult to pinpoint the moment that treatment becomes a necessary choice.
If you are concerned that your son is struggling with abuse of Ecstasy and/or other drugs and alcohol, don’t wait to connect with a counselor here at Muir Wood. Discuss your family’s options in treatment today.
Regular Use of Ecstasy
When Ecstasy use happens more than once and becomes a regular event, it’s a sign that it’s time to consider treatment options. Outpatient care, support groups or inpatient treatment may be appropriate depending on your son’s length of use, the dosage, behavioral issues and willingness to quit.
You can make the process of enrolling in treatment easier for your child by taking it step by step and talking to him about your concerns, setting boundaries and limits, and making clear the consequences if he continues to abuse drugs. Rather than springing drug rehabilitation on your teen at the last minute in frustration, you can increase the efficacy of care and help him to accept that sobriety is a requirement by moving closer to treatment in stages:
- First, have discussions that make it clear that no amount of any drug use for any reason is permissible.
- If you find that your son has used Ecstasy, smoked marijuana, or drank alcohol, explain that this behavior will not be tolerated and institute a consequence. Make it clear that if the behavior happens again, the consequence will be more severe.
- Make sure to follow through on all consequences.
- Introduce the concept of therapy and treatment, not as a punishment but as a necessary medical and psychotherapeutic intervention that is required when someone is unable to manage their own behavior around drugs and alcohol.
- If your son is unable to stop abusing drugs of all kinds despite repeated interventions on your part, contact us at Muir Wood for information on how to proceed.
Dangerous Choices Under the Influence
If your son is making dangerous and life-threatening choices under the influence of drugs or in pursuit of getting high, treatment is necessary. Behaviors that fall into this category include:
- Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated
- Getting in the car with drivers who are under the influence
- Leaving home without permission or staying gone long past curfew repeatedly
- Leaving town without permission
- Arrest or criminal behavior, including stealing from family members
- Failing multiple classes at school, skipping classes, suspension or expulsion
Inability to Stop Using Ecstasy
Whether he genuinely wants to be drug-free and makes honest attempts at sobriety without success or has no interest in stopping his use of drugs and alcohol, if your son is well aware of the fact that it is not okay to get high or drunk and he doesn’t stop, then treatment is necessary. In many cases, this is a sign of addiction, and addiction is a medical disorder that requires medical intervention.
If you would like to learn more about the different options available to teen boys in need of substance abuse treatment, contact us today at the phone number listed above or download an enrollment packet. We can give you the information you need to make informed choices about your child’s future.