Depressive symptomatology in young adults with a history of MDMA use: a longitudinal analysis
ABSTRACT Research suggests that methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)/;ecstasy' can cause serotonin depletion as well as serotonergic neurodegradation that may result in depression. This longitudinal study used the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) to assess depressive symptomatology every six months over a two-year period among a community sample of young adult MDMA/;ecstasy' users (n = 402). Multilevel growth modeling was used to analyze changes in BDI scores. Between baseline and 24 months, the mean BDI score declined from 9.8 to 7.7. Scores varied significantly across individuals at baseline and declined at a rate of 0.36 points every six months. Persons with higher baseline scores were more likely to have their scores decrease over time. Several factors were significantly associated with score levels, independent of time: gender - men's scores were lower than women's; ethnicity - whites' scores were lower than those of non-whites; education - persons with at least some university education had scores that were lower than those without any college experience; benzodiazepines - current users' scores were higher than non-users'; opioids - current users' scores were higher than non-users'; and cumulative ecstasy use - people who had used MDMA more than 50 times had scores that were higher than persons who had used the drug less often. The results reported here show low levels of depressive symptoms among a sample that, after 24 months, consisted of both current and former MDMA users. The low and declining mean scores suggest that for most people MDMA/;ecstasy' use does not result in long-term depressive symptomatology.
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ABSTRACT: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance world-wide. Marijuana use is especially prevalent among college and university students and has been associated with both positive and negative well-being. The present study investigated the relationships between the frequency of marijuana use, negative consequences resulting from drug use, well-being, and personality. Undergraduates (N = 570) completed online measures of marijuana use, negative consequences (using a modified form of the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index), well-being (happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and positive and negative affect), and personality (using the NEO-PI-R). Rates of marijuana use were higher than those reported in many previous studies. Males reported using marijuana more frequently and using greater amounts than females. Frequency of marijuana use was not associated with well-being. However, negative consequences resulting from drug use were positively correlated with negative well-being, and negatively correlated with positive well-being. People low in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness were more likely to use marijuana and experience negative consequences. After controlling for personality, negative consequences did not explain any further variance in positive well-being, but explained a small amount of variance in negative well-being. After marijuana, the most commonly used drugs were hallucinogens, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA, ketamine, Oxycontin, and prescription stimulants. The relationships between these drugs and well-being varied per individual drug. However, stimulants were consistently related to both well-being and negative consequences. Overall, marijuana use was the greatest contributor to negative consequences.Journal of Happiness Studies 04/2014; 15(2). DOI:10.1007/s10902-013-9423-1 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It still remains unclear whether psychopathological abnormalities described in human 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine users (MDMA users) and d-amphetamine users (AMPH users) existed before the beginning of regular use or if they develop with ongoing use.Psychopharmacology 08/2014; 232(5). DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3722-z · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a worldwide recreational drug of abuse. Unfortunately, the results from human research investigating its psychological effects have been inconsistent. The present study aimed to be the largest to date in sample size and 5HT-related behaviors; the first to compare present ecstasy users with past users after an abstinence of 4 or more years, and the first to include robust controls for other recreational substances. A sample of 997 participants (52 % male) was recruited to four control groups (non-drug (ND), alcohol/nicotine (AN), cannabis/alcohol/nicotine (CAN), non-ecstasy polydrug (PD)), and two ecstasy polydrug groups (present (MDMA) and past users (EX-MDMA). Participants completed a drug history questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised which, in total, provided 13 psychometric measures. While the CAN and PD groups tended to record greater deficits than the non-drug controls, the MDMA and EX-MDMA groups recorded greater deficits than all the control groups on ten of the 13 psychometric measures. Strikingly, despite prolonged abstinence (mean, 4.98; range, 4-9 years), past ecstasy users showed few signs of recovery. Compared with present ecstasy users, the past users showed no change for ten measures, increased impairment for two measures, and improvement on just one measure. Given this record of impaired memory and clinically significant levels of depression, impulsiveness, and sleep disturbance, the prognosis for the current generation of ecstasy users is a major cause for concern.Psychopharmacology 10/2013; 231(4). DOI:10.1007/s00213-013-3288-1 · 3.99 Impact Factor