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MDMA Treatment & Rehab

Written by Megan Hull

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP

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Last Updated - 01/19/2021

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Updated 01/19/2021

MDMA is one of the most addictive drugs available today. The good news is that recovery is possible with comprehensive, evidence-based treatment.

MDMA rehab and addiction treatment can be an important tool to break the cycle of addiction. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a drug with a high potential for abuse and addiction. The drug is popular at raves and clubs and is often combined with other drugs into mixtures called Molly, ecstasy, XTC or E.

Ecstasy Abuse in Florida

report of drug abuse in South Florida in 2014 notes that MDMA use has actually declined overall. In 2012, there were three deaths in Florida directly caused by MDMA consumption, and a total of nine deaths where MDMA was involved. This is a decrease from 19 MDMA-related deaths in 2011. The drug MDA (3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine), which is a common adulterant in ecstasy, was involved in six deaths in 2012 and nineteen deaths in 2011.

The number of MDMA-related injuries and deaths may be decreasing because other drugs like bath salts are taking its place. However, despite other drugs taking the place of MDMA as a primary ingredient in Molly or ecstasy, MDMA is still as addictive as ever.

Ecstasy Addiction Treatment Options

Addiction to ecstasy can be measured against a list of eleven diagnostic criteria:

  • Giving up important activities to use MDMA
  • Inability to manage commitments like work and school because of MDMA use
  • Increased tolerance to MDMA
  • Spending a significant amount of time getting, using or recovering from MDMA use
  • Using MDMA even when it causes problems with friends and family members
  • Using MDMA even when it makes physical or psychological problems worse
  • Using MDMA even when it puts one in danger
  • Using MDMA more often or longer than intended
  • Wanting to stop or cut down on MDMA consumption but being unable to
  • Withdrawal symptoms

People that exhibit two or more of the above symptoms are considered to have mild substance use disorder related to MDMA. Four or more symptoms indicate a moderate substance use disorder, and six or more indicate a severe substance use disorder.

Once a person is diagnosed with a substance use disorder, they are encouraged to seek addiction treatment. Addiction treatment can be broken down into three stages: detox, treatment, and maintenance.

  • Medical Detox: Medical detox is the supervision of drug detox by medical staff. It can occur before or at the beginning of addiction treatment, depending on the readiness of a person to enter a treatment program. Detox for MDMA is about 30–45 hours, and the time it takes to detox is based on the half-life of MDMA. Detox is characterized by physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone detoxing from MDMA needs medical treatment, but it is the safest way to do so. Detoxing at home is not recommended.
  • Inpatient Treatment: Once detox is complete, some people may choose to enter addiction treatment. Treatment at an inpatient facility happens in a closed environment where someone lives for several weeks or months while undergoing treatment for their addiction. Inpatient care is the best option for people with severe substance use disorder.
  • Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment is an option for people with mild to moderate addictions who are motivated to participate in treatment. Those in outpatient treatment live at home and can still fulfill obligations like work and school while undergoing treatment part-time. They typically commute to a treatment center multiple days per week.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Some people have both a substance use disorder and mental health diagnoses like schizophreniabipolar disorder or depression. People with mental health disorders can experience symptoms that look like substance use disorder symptoms but actually stem from an underlying mental health condition. For this reason, treatment programs that offer dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders treatment must have clinicians trained to recognize both substance use disorders and mental health symptoms.
  • Rehab Aftercare Programs: After detox and treatment, most people will continue into an aftercare program. Aftercare programs help patients develop and plan to stay sober and prevent relapse. Aftercare may include 12-step support programs, continued counseling, and classes that teach coping and relapse-prevention skills.

Popular Treatment Methods

Once someone enters a treatment program, whether it be inpatient or outpatient, they may receive a variety of different treatments based on their specific needs and the design of the program.

Some of the most common treatment methods used in MDMA rehab include:

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapy is a broad group of therapy techniques that focus on teaching a person healthier and more sustainable behavior. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most notable example. CBT focuses on modifying thoughts and expectations to increase coping skills when life becomes stressful.

Individualized Therapy

Therapy techniques like CBT can be utilized in either an individual or group setting. Individual therapy has the advantage of allowing a person to work through issues they might not want to share in a group. It also allows a person to focus more on their individual treatment plan.

Group Therapy

Group therapy helps teach and encourage social skills. Not everyone can benefit from group therapy, but most treatment programs encourage participation in group therapy because it is an effective treatment strategy. Group therapy activities can range from CBT to yoga and art therapy.

Medical Management

Currently, there are no medications with FDA approval to treat MDMA substance use disorder. However, some treatment programs may utilize medications to treat withdrawal symptoms and make the process more comfortable when deemed clinically appropriate.

Importance of Rehab

For many people, MDMA or ecstasy treatment is the first step toward a healthier and happier life. Substance use disorder is recognized as a disease, and the medical community no longer considers it a moral failing. Treatment and recovery are possible for anyone.

Rehab is one of many possible tools to treat addiction, and the first step towards recovery should be contacting a South Florida drug rehab facility like The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health.

Rehab helps people to think about and manage their addiction like a disease. Similar to other chronic diseases like high blood pressure and asthma, substance use disorder requires a high level of motivation on the part of the patient to be successful in treatment. But given the right tools, anyone can treat and recover from a substance use disorder.

Length of Treatment

The most successful treatment programs last at least 90 days. Research has shown that programs should be at least this long to be effective. Further success correlates with increased time in treatment. In other words, the longer the program is, the more successful its participants are.

Life After Ecstasy Rehab

The goal of addiction treatment is to return people to productive functioning in their family, workplace, and community. While a symptom-free and relapse-free life is the goal, it is not always realistic for some.

Relapse does happen and is normal with substance use disorder, just as it is for any chronic condition. Therefore, treatment programs focus on teaching skills to prevent relapse and help reduce the impact of a relapse on the health and life of the individual.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

Rehab cost varies based on many different factors. Each rehab facility can charge their price based on the treatment and services they provide. Some programs will work with state agencies to provide low-income and free services. Other programs may have sliding-scale payment options that charge based on the income of the individual. On the other end, luxury rehab facilities also exist that provide a pampered spa-like experience. These programs will be significantly more expensive than most other facilities. The best way to accurately estimate the cost of rehab is to reach out to each prospective center directly and ask about their specific rates and payment policies.

Does Insurance Cover Rehab?

Most plans will cover addiction treatment, but coverage depends on the plan of the individual. For questions about insurance coverage, a person should call the number on the back of their insurance card.

Finding MDMA Addiction Treatment

Most drug treatment programs will offer MDMA treatment. The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health has a variety of services available, including inpatient or outpatient treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, family programs, and aftercare services.

View Sources

‌Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. “Specialized Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.” 2017. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

McLellan, A. Thomas. “Substance Misuse and Substance Use Disorders: Why Do They Matter in Healthcare?” Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 2017. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

‌Miami-Dade, Broward, and Counties. “Drug Abuse Trends in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, South Florida” 2014. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

‌National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How Are MDMA Use Disorders Treated?” 2019. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

‌National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How Long Does Drug Addiction Treatment Usually Last?” 2019. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

‌National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How Effective Is Drug Addiction Treatment?”  2019. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.

SAMHSA. ‌“Home – SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.”  2019. Accessed Aug 14, 2019.