Ecstasy (MDMA) dependence

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1999 Jan 7;53(2):121-4. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(98)00111-2.


Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is generally described as non-addictive. However, this report describes three cases in which criteria for dependence were met. A wider understanding that MDMA can be addictive in rare cases is important as very heavy use may cause lasting neuronal changes. This risk could be reduced with effective identification and treatment of dependent persons. In one case dependence was linked with self-medication of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Hallucinogens / adverse effects*
  • Hallucinogens / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / therapeutic use
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Self Medication
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*


  • Hallucinogens
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine