MDMA Withdrawal

Way back in 1912, an appetite suppressant was developed that would one day become a lethal party drug. Now known as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) — or by its common street names, Molly or Ecstasy — this synthetic drug is usually thought of as harmless. But it is illegal and it can be deadly. MDMA is a stimulant that is most often used at dance raves or parties. The effects wear off in about three to six hours. People who take it may experience MDMA withdrawal symptoms for about a week after last taking the drug.

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What Are the MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms?

While taking MDMA or Ecstasy can cause a very powerful high in the short term, MDMA withdrawal can cause very unpleasant symptoms. Because it affects the neurotransmitters in the brain, it can cause serious psychological symptoms as well as physical discomfort.

Sometimes, other drugs or chemicals are unknowingly mixed into the drug.

These substances may cause additional symptoms and dangers.

MDMA withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impulsivity
  • Aggression
  • Less interest in sex
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Reduced appetite

What Are the Stages in the MDMA Withdrawal Timeline?

During the first few days after the MDMA high wears off, an individual may experience what’s known as a “comedown” from taking the drug. This is compared to a hangover, but it can last a few days.

Some people experience much stronger comedown symptoms, or they have a tendency to binge on MDMA. These individuals may struggle with MDMA withdrawal symptoms, which last about a week after last taking the drug, and can be severe. These people may struggle with relapse and addiction to the drug due to the severity of withdrawal.

Why Should I Detox?

Because of the intensity of MDMA withdrawal symptoms, detoxing on your own, or going “cold turkey,” can be dangerous. To detox safely, it’s important to go through a medical detox process that is part of a professional treatment program. An addiction treatment program also improves your chance for a lasting recovery because of the structured medical and emotional support provided.

It should only take about 10 days to medically detox from MDMA, but for some people, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) may occur due to the changes in brain chemistry caused by the drug.

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PAWS may make the withdrawal period longer and more difficult. This is another important reason to seek out a medical detox program.

What is the Next Treatment Step?

While treatment for MDMA addiction is available in different formats and levels of intensity, following a full continuum of treatment provides the most comprehensive approach. It begins with the highest and most intense level of care during the detox phase and then progresses through less intense levels of treatment. Going through the full continuum of treatment will position you better to be successful in your recovery. Stages of treatment usually include: detox/inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and alumni or aftercare.


During the first stage of withdrawal treatment, the goal is medical stabilization. You will receive a complete medical assessment to determine your level of addiction and any additional medical needs you may have. This will include a medical exam and urine or blood tests to screen for drugs.

Your physician may also require additional testing such as: additional blood tests, including a CBC (complete blood count), chest X-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram), and testing for other diseases.

Once the doctor has your test results, he or she will design a detox plan for you. Then, under the care of your medical team, you will begin the detox process. Your medical team will include doctors, nurses, and support staff.

While other drugs are sometimes used to help manage the detox process from certain substances, there are no other drugs available to help manage the symptoms of MDMA withdrawal.

In addition to medical care, your treatment plan will also include behavioral therapy and emotional support.


After completing the medical detox phase of MDMA withdrawal, the next stage is to continue treatment in a partial hospitalization program. During this phase, you’ll live at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive, rigorous, and structured treatment program. Treatment sessions are typically held daily during the week for six hours each day. A combination of individual, group, and family therapy programs are available to meet your emotional and mental health needs.

Learning positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent relapse is the goal during this period. These skills and techniques will help you to be better prepared for long-term recovery as you begin the process of transitioning back to your life outside the treatment center.


The full continuum of treatment is designed to help you slowly adjust to life outside the rehab facility while helping you build the skills and resources you need to cope and avoid relapsing. The next step is the intensive outpatient program (IOP) stage.

This stage is sometimes used as standalone addiction therapy. However, it is also a vital part of the full continuum of treatment. During this phase of treatment, your therapy sessions won’t be scheduled as often and the program will be more flexible. You will still attend intensive therapy sessions and continue with medication management, if required.

This stage of treatment is intended to help you continue to be accountable for your recovery. It will also include periodic weekly drug testing. The main focus of IOP is to help you continue to build coping skills and prevent relapse.


After you have completed the treatment program, you will have the opportunity to join other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events. Meeting other program graduates at these events can help you develop new friendships and build social support with others who understand the recovery process. You will likely find that this support network can be a vital resource to help you grow and stay focused on your recovery as you continue to adjust to life after the treatment program and take on new responsibilities.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you’re wondering how to get started withdrawing from MDMA safely, contact the admissions specialists at Ocean Breeze Recovery for free and confidential help. They can provide the guidance and support you need to start your recovery. They will explain the treatment process and answer any questions you may have. After you speak with a specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services and feel prepared to make an informed decision about your treatment plans.

Our specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Call us today at 844-554-9279, and let us help you get started on your journey to recovery.