Because Ecstasy affects the brain’s response to the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin — naturally produced chemicals that affect mood — the drug can also cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Ecstasy is often thought to be non-addictive, but research shows that regular users experience the signs of physical and psychological dependence, including increased tolerance to the drug and the compulsive need to obtain and use it.
For many recovering alcoholics, the mental health aspects of treatment are the most important. Improving mental health means helping patients better understand the chronic condition they are suffering from. It means equipping them with the tools they need to control their thoughts and emotions, avoid addictive triggers, and just stay away from alcohol altogether.
The official diagnosis of drug addiction by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), which makes distinctions between drug use, abuse, and substance dependence, is flawed. First, diagnosis of drug use versus abuse can be arbitrary and reflect cultural norms, not medical phenomena. Second, the term substance dependence implies that dependence is the primary pharmacologic phenomenon underlying addiction, which is likely not true, as tolerance, sensitization, and learning and memory also play central roles. It is ironic and unfortunate that the Manual avoids use of the term addiction, which provides the best description of the clinical syndrome.
Patients in drug rehab treatment programs are encouraged to end toxic relationships. Toxic relationships are those that have the propensity to lead to drug abuse. Conversely, patients are encouraged to seek help from other people who can support them on their journey. These supportive relationships could include friends, family members, and even other rehab patients.
No matter where you are in your recovery, there is an addiction treatment center that can help you. For those just starting out and in need of medical treatment, alcohol detox may be the most appropriate. For those who have safely surmounted the challenge of acute alcohol withdrawal and have already made progress with the physical dependence associated with alcoholism, ongoing inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab that offers therapy can help further the recovery journey.