The Dangers of Mixing Molly and Alcohol

Molly and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The Dangers of Mixing Molly and Alcohol – Combining any drug with alcohol is risky, but using Molly (MDMA) while also consuming alcohol is especially dangerous. It can result in severe dehydration and increase the risk of organ damage as well as the potential for risky behaviors, such as drunk driving or engaging in unsafe sex.

Both Molly and alcohol use alone can lead to dehydration, especially when used in the typical club/rave environments where people are dancing and sweating profusely. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and MDMA is a stimulant with mild hallucinogenic properties.

Moreover, these substances induce contrasting effects, and the use of MDMA can mask alcohol’s sedating properties. This effect can result in the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol, which may, in turn, lead to acute alcohol poisoning.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Ecstasy?

Molly is commonly found at electronic dance music festivals, concerts, and in the rave scene. Because alcohol use is prevalent at such venues, the combining of the two substances is common. Some people use both substances to enhance the euphoric effects of Molly, and research has provided a good explanation for why this occurs.

A study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics from 2002 examined the interaction between MDMA and alcohol. Investigators found that the concentration of MDMA in the subject’s blood increased 13% after they drank alcohol. And although the MDMA-alcohol cocktail actually reduced blood alcohol concentration by up to 15%, study participants experienced a euphoric high that lasted longer than when they used either substance alone.

The study also revealed that while MDMA decreased alcohol’s sedating effects, it did not reduce levels of intoxication. Furthermore, the researchers concluded that this overall effect could have dangerous consequences, as an individual might feel much less intoxicated than they actually are. This outcome could increase the chances of impaired driving and other risk-taking behaviors.

Fortunately, the risk of MDMA addiction is low. But, because combining Molly and alcohol induces a longer-lasting high, researchers have theorized that mixing the substances could result in higher abuse potential than using just MDMA alone.

Health Effects of Combining Molly and Alcohol

Mixing ecstasy and alcohol can lead to significant health complications, including dehydration and organ damage. According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA, 2003), there were more than 10,000 MDMA-related ER visits in 2011, nearly 30% of those visits also involved alcohol consumption. News reports of young adults being hospitalized after combining Molly and alcohol at electronic dance music festivals and raves are common.

Molly and Alcohol | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Overheating and Dehydration

As noted, Molly overdoses are often associated with overheating (hyperthermia) and severe dehydration. Reportedly, some people’s body temperatures have climbed as high as 110 degrees, often after dancing and being hyperactive for hours on end, and not drinking enough water to compensate for lost fluids. Alcohol, which is a diuretic, can exacerbate Molly-related dehydration, leading to heatstroke, kidney failure, and death.

Organ Damage

If used independently, Molly and alcohol can both cause damage to the brain and liver. Mixing Molly and alcohol together further increases the risk of brain and liver damage. Studies on rats have suggested that combining alcohol and MDMA may also adversely impact the heart. A study from 2015 published in the journal PLOS One revealed that using the two together increased stress on the rodents’ hearts at the cellular level.

Other Effects

Research from 2011 published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that adolescent mice who were administered MDMA and alcohol appeared anxious and depressed, and exhibited impaired movement. The animals also showed brain inflammation upon autopsy.

Like many drugs, Molly causes an unnatural spike in the body’s feel-good chemicals, and as a person comes down from the drug, the brain is depleted of serotonin, a neurotransmitter related to feelings of well-being. Thus, negative feelings such as anxiety and depression may manifest as the drug is gradually eliminated from the system.

If a person combines alcohol and Molly, his or her mood is probably not going to be any better during withdrawal. This consequence is due to alcohol’s own effect on chemicals in the brain vital for mood regulation.

Treatment for Addiction

MDMA has a low potential for addiction, but there is some evidence that people may develop a psychological dependence. Alcohol is, of course, highly addictive, and alcoholism is among the most common and devastating diseases in the world today. Using the two substances together even once can be extremely dangerous, and people who use them in conjunction on a frequent basis may experience even more unhealthy long-term complications.

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment center that provides support and care for both alcoholism and drug abuse. Using evidence-based services vital to the recovery process, we provide our patients with the knowledge, support, and tools they need to fully recover and begin to experience a healthier, more fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction and/or is abusing prescription or illicit drugs, please contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we help people free themselves from the grip of addiction and learn how to maintain long-lasting wellness and sobriety!

What is Molly?

What is Molly? | Recovery By The Sea

What is Molly? – Molly is a recreational “club drug” that traditionally contains a psychoactive substance known as MDMA (3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.) Molly is essentially the powder/capsule form of MDMA, versus Ecstasy, which also includes MDMA but is more widely available in tablet form.

MDMA (Molly) is a synthetic drug that has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. There is still some debate as to whether MDMA should be classified as a hallucinogen with stimulant effects, vice versa, or a drug class entirely all of its own.

In any case, the desired effects of MDMA or Molly include feelings of high energy and euphoria, hallucinations, as well as increased extroversion, sociability, emotional warmth, empathy, and sexual desire.

But What is Molly, Really?

Although Molly is often touted as being “pure” MDMA and more potent than its counterpart Ecstasy, the reality is entirely different.

Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently stated that only about 13% of the Molly seized in New York, for example, actually contained MDMA. Even then, Molly frequently contains other drugs, including Methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, 4-MMC, MePP, and Pentedone.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that initially, tablet and powder forms of MDMA were 30-40% MDMA, while the rest of the substance including cutting agents to boost dealer profits. NIDA says that currently, Molly, as sold on the street, is probably even less pure, and can contain any number of synthetic and illicit drugs such as synthetic cathinones (bath salts), crystal meth, cocaine, ketamine (Special K), and over-the-counter medicines.

A Brief History of MDMA

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a German company, purportedly for use as an appetite suppressant. It was later employed in the psychiatric community in the 1970’s as an aid to psychotherapy.

As noted, MDMA is considered to be party or “club drug”, and indeed, it is probably the drug most synonymous with this designation. The drug’s popularity peaked in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, typically used among teenagers and young adults in large group social settings such as parties, raves, clubs, festivals, concerts, etc.

The DEA classifies MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that the drug has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and has no legitimate medical purpose.

How Molly Works

What is the drug molly? | Recovery by the Sea

Molly affects three main brain neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals hijack the brain’s reward center and can cause dependence – a condition that results as the brain becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence and is unable to function correctly without it.

After Molly has been metabolized from a person’s system, an effect known as a “crash” is likely to follow – a condition caused by a marked drop in feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. This can result in psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and emotional withdrawal.

Side Effects of Molly

Short-term Side Effects of Molly include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
  • Increasing body temperature
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)

A Word on Overdose

Hyperthermia, in addition to dehydration, is one of the most dangerous complications of Molly abuse and can result in seizures, heart problems, heat stroke, and other life-threatening complications.

While overdoses are rare, they can and do happen – especially considering that drugs purchased as Molly probably actually contain other toxic substances. Also, many people who use Molly are also under the influence of other drugs or alcohol that can result in unpredictable effects and complications.

In January, A&E’s television series “Storm Chasers” co-star Joel Taylor died on a cruise ship. The cause was later revealed to be an overdose of MDMA, and also found were “traces” of ketamine in his system.

Long-term Side Effects of Molly

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Damage to liver and kidneys
  • Mood swings, depression, and anxiety
  • Apathy and dysphoria
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Increased aggression
  • Impaired attention and memory
  • Dependence and withdrawal symptoms, which also include fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

Treatment for Molly Addiction

What is Molly? | Recovery by the Sea

Treatment for an addiction to Molly or MDMA should begin with a medical detox to rid the body of toxins in a supervised environment. Residential addiction treatment in our center should shortly follow for at least 30 days.

After discharge from inpatient treatment, clients are encouraged to participate in intensive outpatient treatment, which offers continued therapy and support while the client transitions back into society.

Both inpatient and outpatient formats make use of behavioral therapies, counseling, 12-step-programs, and activities complementary to treatment such as yoga, meditation, and music and art therapy.

Outpatients attend sessions at the center several times per week but live at a private residence or sober living home. During this phase of treatment, clients have the flexibility to attend work or school and interact with family, friends, and peers.

After addiction treatment at the center is completed, former patients can take advantage of our aftercare planning services and alumni activities.

Want to learn more about getting help for substance abuse? We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

What are the Side Effects of Amphetamine?

Amphetamine Side Effects | Recovery By The Sea

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that increase activity in the body’s central nervous system. They are frequently prescribed for the treatment of Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and include name brands such as Dexedrine and Adderall.

Amphetamines, however, are often abused for their stimulant effects, which include euphoria, wakefulness, alertness, and feelings of excess energy and confidence.

When a person abuses amphetamines, the brain is flooded with a rapid burst of the “feel good” brain chemical, dopamine. Over time, if the brain routinely receives this artificial surge of dopamine, it becomes accustomed to the rush, and the result is a chemical dependency. When this occurs, withdrawal symptoms ensue if the user abruptly discontinues use.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies amphetamines as Schedule II substances. This classification means that although the drugs have a legitimate medical use, they also carry a high potential for abuse and dependence.

Schedule II drugs are considered substances that are dangerous to use without a doctor’s supervision. However, even when used for a valid medical purpose, amphetamines can still cause significant problems.

Amphetamine Side Effects and Symptoms

Amphetamines abuse comes with significant side effects that can impact both the body and mind. The physical symptoms of amphetamine abuse are usually quite evident.

Amphetamine side effects may include the following:

Changes in Energy Levels

Users often experience repeated bursts of unexplained, extreme energy that can last for up to four hours. Changes in energy levels may occur immediately after smoking or injecting amphetamines, and about 40 minutes after swallowing or snorting the drugs. After the effects wear off, a “crash” quickly ensues.

Increased Heart Rate and Breathing

Amphetamines accelerate many of the body’s processes that are controlled by the central nervous system. These include breathing and heart rate, which may become noticeably quicker after using the drug.

Insomnia

Amphetamines increase chemical activity in the brain to the point it becomes difficult for the mind and body to be still. Therefore, insomnia is among the most common amphetamine side effects.

Restlessness

Extreme levels of energy can lead to restless behavior to the point of constant leg shaking and body tremors. This effect may also manifest as constant itching and scratching and also clenching/grinding of teeth.

Weight Loss

Amphetamines suppress the appetite and are sometimes prescribed to help with weight loss. Over time, the addicted individual may incur significant and unhealthy weight loss.

Altered Sexual Behavior

Amphetamine abusers often initially experience an increase in sex drive due to the surges of dopamine in the brain. Increased libido and the impulsiveness that often accompanies drug and alcohol use can result in risky, unprotected sex and related diseases such as HIV.

Dehydration

Amphetamines cause dehydration, and it is difficult to drink enough water to counteract that effect. When a person is using amphetamines in large doses, this problem continues to increase causing dehydration, headaches and dry mouth.

Long-Term Amphetamine Side Effects

Long-Term Amphetamine Side Effects

While it is difficult to stop abusing stimulants once started, long-term stimulant abuse can lead to an even more severe and chronic brain disease – addiction. As the body adapts to amphetamine, it develops a need for more of the drug to achieve the same pleasurable effects.

This condition is known as tolerance and eventually leads to dependency, which is characterized by a need to continue taking amphetamines to avoid highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

But addiction is just one of many problems that prolonged amphetamine abuse can induce. Other severe physical ailments caused by long-term amphetamine abuse include the following:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Immunity-related illnesses
  • Lung problems
  • Kidney complications
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack
  • Increased risk of needle-related infections if injected
  • Vertigo
  • Weakness
  • Repetitive motor activity
  • Ulcers
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiency
  • Skin problems, such as facial blemishes and infections from open sores related to scratching
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • High body temperature and heat injury
  • Inability to feel pleasure from anything else (dysphoria)

Long-term amphetamine abuse can also cause severe psychological problems, including the following:

  • Decreased cognitive abilities
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Paranoia
  • Amphetamine-induced depressive disorder
  • Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Behavioral disorders

Even if addiction does not develop, a dependency on amphetamines can lead to unpleasant withdrawals symptoms upon discontinuation of the drugs, which is characterized by the following:

  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Slowed motor activity
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Nausea and vomiting

Amphetamine Overdose

Amphetamine Overdose | Recovery By The Sea

Like other drugs of abuse, amphetamine use can result in an overdose if a user consumes an excessive amount or combines it with other psychoactive substances. Stimulants increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, and all of these amphetamine side effects can be dangerous if they reach critical levels.

Especially when used in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol or other stimulant drugs, amphetamines pose a significant risk of overdose.

An amphetamine overdose can result in death and is a medical emergency. If you identify any or all of the following, seek emergency help right away:

  • Increase in heart rate or breathing
  • Extreme sweating/hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions, tremors or extreme shakiness
  • Stroke or cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • Chest and/or stomach pains
  • Unexplained aggression or anger
  • Extreme, uncontrollable anxiety or panic
  • Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
  • Paranoia
  • Slurred speech

A Word on Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (meth) is another stimulant drug most often found illicitly that is chemically similar to prescription amphetamines. Meth is also a Schedule II drug because it is sometimes prescribed to patients with particularly stubborn ADHD under the brand name Desoxyn.

The effects of amphetamine and meth when abused are comparable, but meth, however, is characterized by a minor structural difference. This variation allows the drug to reach the brain faster than amphetamine and produces a rush or high more intensely and rapidly. For this reason, meth is considered to have an even higher potential for abuse and addiction.

And unlike amphetamines, most meth on the black market is not a product of drug diversion. Instead, it is produced in homemade, clandestine labs or by drug cartels. The active ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine, but it is also made with a number of other highly-toxic and explosive chemicals including ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorus.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine addiction can develop after a person prescribed amphetamines has become dependent or misused the drugs. It can also occur when someone without a valid prescription uses amphetamines for recreational purposes.

In any case, drug addiction of any kind is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that should be addressed as soon as possible. Clinical studies have found that the most effective treatments are those based on a comprehensive approach that includes psychotherapy, education, counseling, and group support.

Our center offers these therapeutic services in both inpatient and intensive outpatient formats, and are delivered by caring medical professionals who specialize in addiction and mental health conditions. We provide our clients with the education, support, and tools they need to achieve abstinence and sustain a long-lasting recovery.

You can restore sanity and harmony to your life and experience the happiness and wellness you deserve! Call us today to find out how we can help!

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