Ecstasy is one of those drugs, like marijuana, that some people will swear up and down, “It’s not addictive,” because you can’t have a physical withdrawal from it. Ecstasy (MDMA) is primarily psychologically addictive meaning people who are hooked could stop right now without becoming physically sick. Psychological addiction tends to be downplayed in the drug world as far more benign when in reality it can be as dangerous territory as physical addiction depending on your personality. For me, psychological addictions tend to suck me in faster and are harder to let go. Ecstasy is the most psychologically addictive drug I’ve ever tried, even more so than meth. The only components that made meth more addictive are ecstasy eventually loses it’s “magic” I quickly developed a tolerance. It’s also far more addictive. But the high I experienced the first several times I took MDMA can’t be rivaled by anything out there.
How I Started Using Ecstasy Pills
I use to look down on people for using this drug. I knew it was organ toxic, but after some time had passed curiosity got the best of me. My ex and I got ecstasy pills, we each took one where my brother worked in Downtown Dallas while we were waiting for him to get off so he could drive us home. He worked at Plaza of the America’s which was an upper-class hotel that resembled a mall. After a while of pacing around anxiously, we decided to sit down in his car that was in covered parking and wait for him to get off of work. While we were sitting there, it hit us like a freight train with little to no warning. There was an extreme dissociation from reality with a buzz so powerful it felt like a small drill bit was carving the inside of my frontal cortex. We both were in disbelief and thought that we were for sure going to die or suffer permanent psychological damage. My brother gets in the car to take us home, we were able to talk but were extremely uncomfortable with any movement as we sat back wishing that we’d never taken this drug. While he was driving us home, I felt terrified, but at some point, within seconds my terror was converted to absolute bliss, unlike anything I have ever felt in my life. It was like a waterfall of euphoria came down my entire psyche and body. As I looked out the window, everything was so bright I felt like I was in an animated movie. We were no longer driving. We were flying on a bridge to Heaven. I looked at my brother and started tearing up telling him how much I loved him. My ex still was feeling the terror I was once in so I tried to comfort her and let her she’d feel better soon. She did feel better and had the same wave of euphoria overcome her entire being. We referred to this wave as “the waterfall.”
The MDMA High in My Experience
Ecstasy has a strangely intense buzz for a stimulant. Other uppers I had taken, including amphetamines and cocaine, were very clean in comparison to MDMA. There would be a robust and nearly-psychedelic buzz from abusing ecstasy that would cause my eyes to vibrate. These effects made it difficult to function in comparison to other stimulants I experienced improved ability to perform. It also had more of a visual aspect to it where it’d make colors brighter, so bright that the outdoors seemed animated. It triggered a sense of astonishment through hyper-clarity which allowed me to recognize the beauty that was all around me. The euphoria was so intense, at its peak it was hard to talk, and words came out as a series of moaning sounds. I’ve heard MDMA makes the skin so sensitive that touch can feel like an orgasm, I never experienced this even though it was blissful to cuddle with a blanket. Instead, the whole ecstasy experience was like my brain and body were in a constant state that felt far better than an orgasm filled with clenching incomprehensible excitement.
One of the most potent effects that distinguished ecstasy as a drug was it’s sheer power as an empathogen. Under the influence, I was in love with everyone and everything. I saw people as mystical beings without separation or judgment. An encounter with someone I had saw many times before left me feeling astonished. Unlike with other stimulants where I’d talk a mile a minute, ecstasy gave me more motivation to listen and empathize with a person. I felt more forgiving as well and would think of the traumatic events from my youth with more forgiveness towards myself and others which allowed me to let go of some resentment which plagued my life. I was sure that ecstasy was therapeutic, and it was the type of therapy I needed.
About 6 hours after the first experience I had with ecstasy I still felt high. The buzzing was gone, but I didn’t feel myself. During the MDMA comedown, I felt everything “right.” Even days after abusing the drug I had less anxiety, improved self-image, I felt lighter. I felt free. There was no comedown. The first time I used ecstasy I told myself I’d only try it once. In retrospect that was a joke. To use ecstasy one time would be like a tease. It’d be like watching porn for its plot alone with no intention of getting off.
Falling in Ecstasy Addiction
I kept using the drug monthly, and in between each use, I would obsess about the next time I’d get it in my hands. I found myself getting pumped up listening to electronic music and researching various ecstasy pills by their press. As it progressed, I started to use the drug bi-weekly. Then, I began to use it on a weekly basis getting more and more impatient between each high. A tolerance started to build. In early use, half a quality ecstasy pill would get me blasted for hours to a soothing comedown that would last days. In the peak of my addiction, a tablet would get me buzzed for 2 hours and led to a somewhat nasty comedown that would last for days.
Then there was the binging. Whenever I’d take however many ecstasy pills I had, and the idea of getting more arose, I would get overly excited wanting more in my system and making it my life mission. This drive led to my ex and me repeatedly going out to get another couple of ecstasy pills while we were already high on the substance. This drive to take more also led to us ingesting ridiculous amounts of the drug on any given night that we used. The most ecstasy pills I took in a single night was 16 which had 100mg of MDMA and were known as some of the most potent ecstasy pills around “Pokeballs.” Eventually, I started dealing and would always have 50 ecstasy pills on me, I never made money but selling somewhat fed my habit. The other plus side was I didn’t have to worry about getting more, enough to be lethal was always at my disposal. Looking back at my history with MDMA, I don’t know how I survived. My ex and I use to play a game where we’d pop half a roll every 30 minutes until we were vomiting. I’d start becoming dissociated after taking eight ecstasy pills over a 6 hour period and would hallucinate. The hallucinations were like waking dreams. I would be laying there with my ex, and out of nowhere I would verbalize, “I’ll take a crispy chicken caesar wrap, value fries, and a small coke.” She would look at me confused as I realized I wasn’t at Wendy’s drive through, I was merely in a hallucinatory state that was so real it was convincing enough for me to verbalize my order. I would repeatedly have these types of hallucinations. How did I survive? To this day, I have no idea other than to say by the grace of God.
How I Quit Abusing Ecstasy – The Self-Defeating Problem
Ecstasy was another self-defeating addiction. I always loved the MDMA high, but my natural tolerance kept building rapidly as the comedowns got worse. It was an expensive habit, I would wake up feeling like garbage and knowing that my ex and I had spent $180 on a single night to stay high on this drug. In my addiction, I would rationalize my use by telling myself it was therapeutic. I would read biased reports that said the drug caused little brain damage to convince myself it was ok. I would set these rules, “I will only take 20 ecstasy pills in my life. Ok, 25 isn’t that bad… Might as well hit 50. Now I’ve lost count so who cares?” Or the classic, “I’m young, this is just a phase.” After abusing this drug over and over these self-affirmations to make me feel ok with what I was doing didn’t work anymore. The drug’s not working like it use to, I don’t know how many ecstasy pills I’ve taken, I don’t see how substantial the brain damage is, I don’t understand how dangerous this is, and I’m always broke. Quitting ecstasy in my addiction wasn’t purely a deliberate effort, I just lost interest in the drug as my interest was shifted to other substances. To this day, when I think of those ecstasy pills and how they make me felt I miss it. I miss both the beauty and darkness of chasing the high without a care in the world. I miss the late nights bonding with the world submerged a sea of love. Yes, ecstasy is a purely psychological addiction. But it’s the most psychologically addictive experience I’ve ever had by a long-shot by itself. The only thing that made meth more psychologically addictive was it’s aphrodisiac qualities that MDMA was lacking. If it kept working it would have been my drug of choice.
Philip Markoff (Associate of Science) is an online influencer and thought leader on addiction education; he is known as his alias “CG Kid” who’s obtained a large audience primarily on YouTube as a vlogger and journalist. His current sobriety date from polysubstance chemical dependency is June 9th, 2013.