MDMA (usually called “Molly” or sometimes “Ecstacy”) is a drug that became popular in rave culture in the 1990s. Initially, all Molly pills were considered pure MDMA, which stands for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Today, most MDMA is sold as Molly and may not even contain the original drug but instead may have traces of other drugs, such as methamphetamine or even fentanyl.

MDMA itself is a potent drug similar to hallucinogen and stimulant drugs. This was what made it famous in dance clubs and all-night raves.

What Does Molly Do?

Molly is usually taken as a pill. Sometimes the tablet will have decorations such as a smiley face or star that the drug dealers use as branding.

People who take pure MDMA may describe a heightened sense of touch, exaggerated emotions, and distorted perception of time and space. Many people describe a feeling of elation as “warm and fuzzy.” People may react differently to different formulations because Molly isn’t just one drug nowadays.

Molly is a drug that can last up to 3-8 hours, and there is a peak where there is a maximum effect, usually about 3 hours after taking MDMA.

The Dangers of Molly

It’s essential to remember that much of today’s Molly doesn’t contain MDMA. If it includes MDMA, it may have other contaminants that can turn deadly, like fentanyl, PCP, and cocaine. While there is scant evidence of people overdosing on pure MDMA with unknown drug combinations, there is always a chance that taking Molly can be deadly.

Some people may have bad reactions to MDMA. A person may have high blood pressure or heart rate. People who take MDMA and other drugs together also have a higher chance of psychosis.

Many people who have bad experiences with Molly experience them when the high has worn off, but their body is still experiencing the effects. Up to a week later, a person may feel confused or depressed, have trouble sleeping, or feel anxiety due to using Molly.

People who take antidepressants called SSRIs alongside Molly are in danger of developing a life-threatening condition, serotonin syndrome. Regular and heavy users can also develop this syndrome.

Longer-Term Effects of Molly Use

MDMA itself isn’t innocuous. The drug itself creates a rapid supply of serotonin, a chemical in our body that helps control our emotions, especially empathy, a feeling of love, sexual stimulation, sleep, and even pain. The rush of serotonin creates a euphoric feeling. Most people who use the drug describe having an elevated mood for days. However, it will take more time for the body to replenish ecstasy.

Regular use of ecstasy may change the way a person’s brain works. Regular users have often reported feelings of depression about a week after using it, and some users continue to have mental health issues even after they stop using it. Research shows that users may have long-term anxiety and depression due to the lack of serotonin.

Getting Help for Substance Abuse

Many people who have a substance use disorder may not be sure how to get help. Support is available whether you use Molly, alcohol, or other substances! No matter what drug you use, you can recover! We’re here to help you begin your journey and decide your first steps in recovery. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more.




Recovery from addiction is a complex process where commitment and community are required for success. Often, people assume recovery is completing a treatment program through an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, then going back to life as usual.

People may mistake treatment for the end of the recovery process. In reality, it is just the beginning. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong endeavor with many ups and downs before sobriety is solid.

Pink Cloud Syndrome

In early recovery, you may sometimes feel the effects of the pink cloud syndrome, feeling confident and enthusiastic about starting your new life. Pink cloud syndrome usually occurs after the detoxification stage of recovery and produces an overwhelming assurance about overcoming addiction. Pink cloud syndrome generates particular feelings, which include:

Pink cloud syndrome has many advantages, but it also has many endangerments. You might wonder why feeling assertive and excited about recovery can be harmful. Pink cloud syndrome is beneficial because it creates positive perspectives creating enthusiasm about life.

After struggling through addiction for so long, feeling happy about the future is like fresh air. However, pink clouding can diminish once you return to everyday life, such as returning to work, interacting with loved ones, or handling household duties.

To balance a new way of life in recovery, focusing on small and attainable goals be may helpful. Some small steps that can help you succeed include:

Finding Support to Nurture Your Recovery

The process of a substance use disorder results in profound alterations in the brain, behavior, and social functioning. Correspondingly, the process of recovery entails many changes.

Recovery support services can assist in providing healthy living resources. These recovery resources typically consist of housing, education, employment, social resources, and improved well-being.

Recovery can include unexpected events; therefore, it is essential to find community after treatment. With community comes accountability. Mutual aid groups are a well-known recovery support service that provides community and accountability.

In mutual aid groups, individuals focus on personal change. Those in the group can relate to one another because they share similar problems, and they can learn from each other’s experiences, which is the essential element of the support service.

12-Step Mutual Aid Groups

Women for Sobriety, AA, NA, and SMART Recovery are mutual aid groups for those in recovery. Research has provided evidence for effectiveness in recovery due to these groups’ supportive social networks. They increase the members’ capability to cope with dangerous social situations and negative emotions. In addition, they increase the motivation to recover, reduce depression, curb cravings, and improve psychological and spiritual well-being.

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-non is a mutual aid group for friends and family members struggling with a loved one’s substance use disorder. Al-Anon is a 12-Step program that assists affected family members, concerned significant others, and friends through face-to-face or online meetings.

Al-Anon helps to promote emotional stability and sympathetic detachment from the loved one instead of teaching members to get their loved ones into treatment or recovery.

Peer Recovery Coaches

Peer recovery coaches are individuals in recovery that use their understanding and lived experience to help others struggling with addiction. Below are some crucial distinctions concerning peer recovery coaches:

Prepare Yourself

Remember that your recovery does not end after treatment; it is the beginning. Before rehab is completed, the treatment center can help create a plan that includes continuing care to improve your chances of staying sober. Developing a post-treatment plan can help maintain sobriety. Connect with reliable support, including health care professionals, friends, and family, to assemble your recovery team and enhance your life as you live in recovery.

Take control of your recovery. Addiction treatment and recovery are the two of the most important decisions you will make in your life. If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, we are here to help. Present Moments Recovery center in San Diego, California, provides an individualized and comprehensive approach to addiction with several levels of care to guarantee a successful recovery. At our family-run treatment center, you will be able to talk with therapists one-on-one, ensuring that all your needs are fulfilled. We concentrate on extensive treatment that is less intensive to support long-term sobriety. Present Moments Recovery center provides a comforting and home-like environment where you can finally allow yourself to heal. Present Moments Recovery believes recovery only happens in the present moment. Call us today to take control of your recovery and learn more about our services at (619) 363-4767

Anyone in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction can relapse. It does not matter how long the individual has been sober, how happy someone seems, or how much they believe it could never happen to them. Relapse is real, and the sooner individuals realize that reality, the sooner they can overcome obstacles that stand in their way to long-lasting recovery. Relapse prevention is essential for success.

Understanding Relapse

Relapse is a slow and steady development with separate phases. The ultimate goal in relapse prevention is to help people become aware of the early stages of relapse. Recovery is different for each person. It is a development of personal growth, where each phase has risks of relapse. Relapse prevention is often the reason majority of people pursue treatment. In most cases, when individuals get help, they have struggled to quit on their own and are searching for a better solution.

To fully recognize how relapse can occur, it is crucial to know the stages of relapse:

Education helps teach relapse prevention. Teaching the following concepts can help clients focus on what is most important:

Relapse Means a Second Chance

If someone does relapse, they need to remember that it is going to be okay. It is crucial to acknowledge relapse as a normal part of the recovery process. It helps to understand that relapse is common and expected to occur at least once before successfully quitting.

People and treatment programs who believe relapse is a normal part of the process are more successful. Those individuals who accept and put in the work to try again after a relapse are more likely to overcome future obstacles with addiction, which is why Present Moments Recovery truly believes in second chances when it comes to relapse.

A drug or alcohol relapse does not mean treatment has failed; it only means there is an opportunity for a second chance. Relapse rates for drug or alcohol use are comparable to rates for chronic illnesses. To put that in perspective, the percentage of people struggling with addiction who relapse is 40 to 60%. In comparison, the percentage of people who relapse from hypertension and asthma is 50 to 70%. Relapse is just an indication of a need to apply a new treatment plan or modify existing treatment.

Relapse Prevention Therapy

Effective treatment programs, like Present Moments Recovery, plan for any possible relapse by incorporating relapse prevention as part of the healing process. Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) is a method that helps individuals in recovery watch for the influences that could cause them to partake in drug or alcohol use again. Most importantly, it teaches individuals how to plan for such situations.

There are three areas of attention in relapse prevention therapy:

#1. Behavioral techniques: Assists individuals in establishing healthy habits that improve recovery and prevent relapse; examples include regular sleep patterns, relaxation strategies, and exercise

#2. Coping skills: Helps individuals cope with cravings and possible situations or emotions that are high-risk

#3. Cognitive therapy: Assists individuals in reframing how they view relapse; the goal is to view relapse as an opportunity to learn instead of a mistake that leads to failure

Do Not Give Up

It is critical to continue on the road to recovery immediately after a relapse. Identifying possible triggers, good or bad, and recognizing what influences caused the relapse is essential to stop it from happening in the future. Stressful situations can trigger a relapse, primarily when the person used substances before to cope with stress. However, happy conditions can also trigger a relapse, such as a wedding or other type of celebration.

Remember, you are trying, and that is enough. People can grow from a relapse with a more profound commitment to preventing future relapses by dealing with triggers before they occur.

A relapse does not mean you have failed, but instead, you now have the opportunity for a second chance. Relapse prevention programs can help you or a loved one who struggles with alcohol or drug abuse. Here at Present Moments Recovery in San Diego, California, we believe in second, third, and fourth chances; we will offer compassion no matter how many times it takes our clients to succeed in recovery. Our family-run treatment center provides a comfortable and home-like atmosphere where each client feels like family. You will be able to connect with therapists one-on-one, ensuring all your needs are met. Recovering in a home rather than in a facility, you can finally give yourself the chance to change. Present Moments Recovery believes recovery can only happen in the present moment. You don't have to do this alone. Call us today and learn more about our services at (619) 363-4767.

During the pandemic, substance use has increased substantially. Medical marijuana has also become more acceptable socially. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry recently found that about 24% of veterans in states with recreational marijuana laws meet the criteria for Cannabis Use Disorder. Veterans in states with medical marijuana laws also tended to use more mrijuana. Veterans who live in poverty or suffer from mental health disorders like PTSD are more likely to use marijuana compulsively.

Thirty-six states in the US have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, which has made it more accessible. However, anyone can develop an addiction to any drug. As marijuana has become more acceptable in modern society, Cannabis Use Disorder has become common in the United States, especially among veterans.

What Is Cannabis Use Disorder?

Cannabis Use Disorder describes marijuana use that is problematic to users, substantially affecting their day-to-day lives. For the user, marijuana may be the primary focus of their daily life. Some veterans may use marijuana to help cope with mental health issues (“medical marijuana”) and become dependent on the drug. While science doesn’t show clear health benefits of marijuana use, people often turn to it to help quell anxiety, chronic pain or depression.

Other symptoms of the disorder may include:

Research has shown that addiction and substance use disorders have increased during COVID-19. Marijuana use disorder is not new; however, as legalization has taken hold, increasingly high amounts of THC in marijuana products may be causing a stronger dependence on marijuana for users.

Forty years ago or so, the strength of smoked marijuana was 12% to 17% THC. Times and technology have changed. Today, dispensaries sell marijuana as vapes or concentrate as high as 68% THC. No one knows for sure the long-term effects of strong  THC use. Preliminary research has shown that it can exacerbate some people's mental health symptoms, such as paranoia or psychosis. Many people anecdotally experience withdrawal effects when they use marijuana products heavily.

People with Cannabis Use Disorder have a disease of the brain. Treatment and recovery are available.

Getting Help for Addiction

No matter what drug you have a problem with, help is available so you can start your journey to recovery. Many people who walk through our doors have struggled with mental health and substance use disorders. We help people create a path that helps them heal and begin to reclaim their lives. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help.

Whether it’s an event or a series of events, going through trauma leaves its mark on people in various ways. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one outcome for people who have experienced trauma. Studies show that PTSD and alcohol use disorder are closely related. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly one-third of those who survive traumatic events such as accidents, violent crimes, or near-death experiences reported drinking problems.

Why Do People With PTSD Drink?

Many people who struggle with PTSD have struggled to control their drinking or substance use. Often, they are self-medicating. Symptoms of the disorder can involve anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. It’s not surprising that alcohol may feel like it can offer a reprieve from symptoms. But often, self-medicating ultimately fails, causing more problems than it solves. People with PTSD are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder than the general population.

People with PTSD can suffer from symptoms of addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms, money trouble, or legal trouble. People with substance use/mental health disorders are also more likely to experience trauma and be a victim of violence. This is a painful cycle that many people go through as they try to survive. It’s not a fulfilling way of life; it is isolating and often full of risks.

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

People with alcohol use disorder often drink heavily regularly. But they don’t always have the same drinking patterns. While some people may binge for 2-3 days, others may start drinking in the day and drink into the evening. Alcohol use disorder can present itself in many ways.

Drinking every day, regularly drinking to excess, blacking out, and passing out are all unhealthy and dangerous drinking patterns. One of the main criteria for the disorder is being unable to control how much you drink when you do drink. A person with alcohol use disorder will probably continue to drink despite negative consequences such as a DUI or being late to work every day. They may also have to drink more and get the desired effects of alcohol and have withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.

Getting Help for Your Alcohol Use

Do you or somebody you love struggle with drinking? Alcohol abuse can alienate relationships, cause damage to your quality of life, and kill your sense of self-worth.

People with PTSD can find real healing, but getting sober is important to start that journey.


We can help you learn more about your disorder, get sober, and begin to reclaim your life. Get in touch at 619-363-4767 for more information about our programs.

If you or somebody you love struggles with symptoms of PTSD, you may have heard about Cognitive Processing Therapy, also called CPT. This type of therapy was explicitly created to help people with PTSD cope with past trauma. PTSD is a mental health disorder that can be complex to treat. While many people seek out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), CPT is beneficial for people with trauma in their past. It can help people who live with PTSD challenge and modify their thoughts and feelings related to the trauma, lending a new perspective.

Understanding PTSD

All people carry trauma in one form or another, but PTSD is a mental health disorder that takes place at least six weeks after the trauma. People with PTSD have intrusive memories, nightmares, anxiety, and other symptoms related to their trauma. The trauma can come from any source. For example, you may have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, a violent crime, or combat.

People with PTSD have in common their emotions and the symptoms they experience. People with PTSD experience panic, anxiety, depression, anger, and isolation. They may have trouble functioning day-to-day or feel like they are reliving their trauma repeatedly.

How CPT Helps People With PTSD

CPT therapy helps individuals confront their trauma and the thoughts they associate with the traumatic event. CPT follows a strict schedule that usually lasts 12 weeks. Through those weeks, a therapist helps clients understand how the trauma affects them today. Breaking the thought patterns can help people break their defeatist behavior patterns.

A person with PTSD may have formed different reactions to the trauma. For example, children may believe that they are unworthy of kindness or love because of how their parents treated them as a child. Unfortunately, this same belief may carry on to adulthood, where instead of forming relationships with a safe partner, an abuse victim may end up in abusive romantic relationships.

Using CPT, a therapist will help a client recognize unhealthy or maladaptive thoughts formed in reaction to trauma. These thoughts and feelings can often lead to self-destructive behavior, increased anxiety, or angry outbursts. Learning to react to these thoughts will come with therapy.

CPT helps a person understand their thoughts and where they come from. Over time and throughout recovery, people with PTSD can change these thoughts and replace them with healthier coping strategies and behaviors.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help overcoming their addiction, we’re here to help you take the first step. You’re worth it! Learn more about how we can help you get sober and get treatment for co-occurring disorders. All calls are confidential.


When a person first gets sober, there is a whirlwind of activity. This is especially true if you go to detox or treatment, where much of your time is spent in therapy and groups. However, we’re all human and sometimes prone to drama. When you first get sober, everything may feel new. Your emotions may be more intense than usual. It may be easy to focus or obsess on a person, place, or thing that you’re unhappy about.

Letting Go Of Obsession

Small things – like arguments, bad traffic, or a bad day at work can loom over you if you let them. You can easily dwell on the bad if you choose to. Why is this? Unfortunately, your mind, which is used to the lifestyle of addiction, is also accustomed to creating distractions that help give you excuses to use your drug of choice.

Many people new to recovery find themselves obsessing over upsetting situations from their past. Sadness, regret, and even mourning your old lifestyle make take the form of obsession, which is a symptom of substance use disorder.

Give yourself time to focus on letting go each day, no matter what you’re upset about. Start and end your day with a “letting go” activity, such as journaling your feelings. You can also do this through meditation, prayer, or simply by taking a long walk and practicing mindfulness. All of these can help quiet your mind and focus on recovery.

Accepting the Help of Others

Accepting the help of others is an integral part of recovery. After all, look at where you ended up! But, unfortunately, your addiction didn’t do you any favors.

Now that you’re sober, you probably wonder what’s next. In recovery, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about your addiction. Treatment will help you through different types of therapy. And in the 12-step programs, you’ll find recovery peers who can help you stay sober. These are places you'll learn essential coping skills.

You will also need to find a sponsor who can help you work the 12 steps. Your sponsor is somebody you can trust with your secrets and who can share their experience, strength, and hope with you.

It can be humbling to accept help. But, just remember, asking for help is a sign of strength. You’ve got this! Calling, texting, and otherwise staying in touch with your recovery will help your focus immensely.

Learn More About Treatment Options

Asking for help is the first step in recovering from addiction. If you or somebody you love needs help, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have. So give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help you get started on the path to recovery.

It’s the holiday season, and while we’re still living with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, strides have been made. Many people who have been vaccinated are now around other people for the first time in a while. It may seem that everyone is partying and celebrating.

Most people in recovery choose to stay away from parties or events where there may be drinking or other substance use. But you may feel pressured to go to family events after a long time of not seeing them. Or you may end up at an event you thought was straight-edge, only to learn there is substance abuse taking place.

A Few Easy Ways to Say No

Saying “no” to somebody isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You may feel pressured if the question catches you by surprise. Making “excuses” isn’t necessarily healthy, so don’t feel pressured to make up a lie. Saying “no” and continuing with whatever you’re doing is a good plan.

Again – for the most part, lying isn’t worth it. If you aren’t upfront about the reason you’ve quit drinking, you may be tempted. However, being upfront doesn’t mean breaking your anonymity. Here are a few ways to reject a drink:

You may want to make an excuse or lie up if you’re with strangers, and you don’t want to divulge what’s going on. But if you’re around people you know, don’t be dishonest. Let them know you don’t drink (or smoke weed) and do not intend to any time soon. If that offends them, that’s their problem.

Think, Don’t Drink! Have A Plan

You don’t have to drink or use marijuana or any other substance if you don’t want to. However, if you’re worried about triggers at holiday events,  it’s vital to have an “exit plan,” such as planning to go to a 12-step meeting or another sober gathering.

In recovery, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. Your safety and serenity should come first in your life. For one thing, COVID isn’t over, and it hasn’t been cured, and you may not even want to go to a party.

If you realize that you’re in a sketchy or uncomfortable situation, it’s time to THINK of your exit plan. Call your sponsor, text a friend, or let somebody else you trust that you’re having a bad time and are heading to a meeting.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help you get started on your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about your options.

Many people who are in recovery have experienced depression. There are many ups and downs in early recovery. For some people, depression is a mental health disorder that needs to be treated by medications, therapy, or other clinical means.

People in your life may want to help you but not know how. They may expect you to “cheer you up” on-demand or try to get you to be social when you really don’t feel up to it. If you suffer from depression, you probably want to talk about it with your support network.

In recovery, depression can feel especially isolating if you don’t share what you’re going through with others. Yet recovering from depression is important! Doing so with the help of others can be very rewarding.

Sharing About Depression With Others

All conversations must start somewhere, but you may worry about how you can kick off a chat about your mental health. In addition, you may wonder if there’s a right way or a wrong way to approach the conversation.

There’s no wrong way, really, but you can do things to help yourself feel more comfortable.

Getting The Conversation Started

Understand that you aren’t obligated to tell anyone about your depression if you’re not comfortable doing so. That includes family, friends, and 12-step support members. Likewise, you’re allowed to keep some information about your life private if you choose to.

If you feel like certain people in your life won't understand will react poorly, the best thing is to protect yourself and do what you need to help yourself.

When you’re ready to talk about your depression, here are some tips on getting the conversation started:


Mental Health, Depression and Addiction

Mental health disorders like depression are common among people who have experienced addiction. Many people describe substance use as a way to “self-medicate” or “feel normal.” However, when a person gets sober, they may feel the symptoms of depression or more intensely.

In treatment, you also may find you need help coping with depression or another mental health disorder. Again, this is a good thing – getting help for a mental health disorder can help you reclaim your life and feel better in general!

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to guide you. Many of our clients also have co-occurring disorders like depression or generalized anxiety. We can help you get the most out of recovery and make a plan for success. Get in touch!


To feel is to be human, and when you first get clean and sober, you’ll go through recovery. Everyone has fears in recovery, especially when they’re brand new to it. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but it can be uncomfortable.

Doubt Or Fears About Recovery

You may also have doubts that help feed your fears in recovery. What are doubts, exactly?  Doubts are those little voices that haunt you when you’re feeling insecure or afraid. For people with a substance use disorder, doubt is familiar. It’s often because a person is used to being disappointed. They may have tried many things to get sober, only to relapse again and again.

The disease of addiction, also called substance use disorder, is insidious. It causes a person’s brain to think differently than a healthy brain. It can talk people into relapsing if they’re not using the tools

It’s okay to have doubts, and fear is natural too, but give yourself a chance. Take suggestions if you can, and listen closely to others in therapy and 12-step meetings.

Writing Down Your Doubt And Fears

Doubts and fears are close relatives of each other. For example, you may doubt that something like the 12 steps can work for you. Maybe you think the program didn’t work the first time you tried it, so it can’t work now. Perhaps you think you are endlessly broken and beyond repair.

Write down your doubts and fears. If you’re afraid of failing, write it down. What are you afraid of failing at? If you doubt that you can stay sober, write about that feeling.

As you write, you may discover that you have more fears than you realized. These are some good things to share with somebody you trust, whether it’s your sponsor or your sister. Write down all of your fears and share a few of them. (Share as many as you can, but if you’re not comfortable, then read the paper silently in your head. Or hand it to your trusted partner so they can read it.)

Once you have done this, set yourself free. Let those fears go. Take them to a safe space outdoors and set them on fire.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, we’re here to help! No matter what your fears are, you deserve a chance to get sober. We’ll help you get started in a safe and compassionate environment. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.