Millennials, MDMA and Relationships

What goes up must always come back down

Alexis Zygan, Contributor
Illustration by Christine Wei

Standing in line for the Warehouse my friend hands me two pills with a white substance. I swallow one and pass the other to my partner. Suddenly, the constant fighting is reminiscent of a distant memory. Walking into the Warehouse hand-in-hand we giggle about sweet nothings prepared to dance the night away.

For many millennials, MDMA, also known as molly or ecstasy, is the drug of choice for a night out. Often consumed at clubs, music festivals or raves to increase the enjoyment of a night out, MDMA has also been used to help fix relationship problems for decades. It can be implemented in couples counselling by allowing heightened emotions and an increased sense of clarity to rediscover the couple’s mutual happiness and appreciation for each other. However, MDMA is a substance that provides a temporary high and should be not be used even as relationship therapy due to detrimental effects on both mental and physical health.

MDMA is a party drug that works by increasing the activity of three or more neurotransmitters, and subsequently results in the increase of serotonin and dopamine in the brain – pairing perfectly with the euphoric light displays at electronic shows and incredibly catchy bass music. So it is no surprise that it can be used to make couples stop focusing on each other’s negatives for a moment. Because after a night of dancing with your significant other, thanks to the release of endorphins, how could you stay mad each other? However, the fix is temporary. Eventually, the next morning the couple will inevitably wake up, serotonin-depleted, and still be perpetually annoyed at each other’s habits thus leading to another argument.

MDMA is a substance that has been proven to help people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, for many casual users, MDMA becomes a part of their weekend partying routine, allowing the person to dance until the sunrise. Decreasing anxiety, users are overcome with bliss and fabricated ecstasy. Your jaw chews aggressively. Many first-time MDMA-droppers wake up the next day with a bloody or swollen cheek. However, long-term MDMA use can lead to an instability of serotonin, which causes the user to become dependent and develop an addiction – craving the substance to achieve a good time. With increased use, the serotonin levels deplete which leads to a less satisfying high for the user.

Despite MDMA being used widely at clubs and parties, it is essential to consider the repercussions. While it allows for energy and happiness, what goes up must always come down. To avoid the comedown, avoid using MDMA at all. Despite the popularity of raves and festivals MDMA alters brain chemistry and can cause severe psychological side effects which can influence cognitive functions and lead to increased anxiety, depression and impulsive aggression.

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