Andrew C Parrott

Andrew C Parrott
Swansea University | SWAN · Department of Psychology

Bsc, PhD, CPsychol, FBPS.

About

256
Publications
115,459
Reads
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10,522
Citations
Citations since 2017
7 Research Items
1934 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
20172018201920202021202220230100200300
20172018201920202021202220230100200300
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - January 2017
Swinburne University of Technology
Position
  • Adjunct (Visiting) Professor

Publications

Publications (256)
Article
Full-text available
MDMA/Ecstasy has had a resurgence in popularity, with recent supplies comprising higher strength MDMA, potentially leading to increased drug-related harm. Neurocognitive problems have been widely reported in ecstasy users, equally some studies report null findings, and it remains unclear which factors underlie the development of neurocognitive impa...
Article
In many communities, cannabis is perceived as a low-risk drug, leading to political lobbying to decriminalise its use. However, acute and chronic cannabis use has been shown to be harmful to several aspects of psychological and physical health, such as mood states, psychiatric outcomes, neurocognition, driving and general health. Furthermore, canna...
Article
Aims: The purpose of this article is to debate current understandings about the psychobiological effects of recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy'), and recommend theoretically-driven topics for future research. Methods: Recent empirical findings, especially those from novel topic areas were reviewed. Potential causes...
Article
The recreational use of various stimulant drugs has been implicated in the development of movement disorders through dysregulation of the dopaminergic and serotoninergic neurotransmitter systems. The present study investigated psychomotor differences in current and former recreational stimulant drug users compared with nonusing controls. Sixty part...
Article
Aims: Recreational drugs are taken for their positive mood effects, yet their regular usage damages well-being. The psychobiological mechanisms underlying these damaging effects will be debated. Methods: The empirical literature on recreational cannabinoids and stimulant drugs is reviewed. A theoretical explanation for how they cause similar typ...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of mephedrone and 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), as reported by young recreational polydrug users. Methods: 152 MDMA users and 81 mephedrone users were recruited through snowballing on social network sites. They completed a standard online questionnaire for either mephedrone...
Article
Most research into 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has debated its psychobiological effects in relation to neurotransmission. This article debates the contributory roles of the neurohormones oxytocin and cortisol for their psychobiological effects in humans. The empirical literature on these neurohormones is reviewed and suggestions for fu...
Book
Full-text available
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including a variety of cancers, lung disease and damage to the cardiovascular system. The World Health Organization recently calculated that there were 6 million smoking-attributable deaths per year and that this number is due to rise to about eight million per year by the end...
Article
Full-text available
Alcohol drinking is pervasive across many societies worldwide. Small amounts of alcohol on an occasional basis are generally not problematic. Binge drinking and heavy regular consumption can however be very damaging to the individual and wider society. Hence, we want to encourage patterns of light or zero alcohol consumption, amongst both novice an...
Article
Previous studies have shown increased sexual risk-taking in experienced MDMA/ecstasy users. The main objectives of this study were to compare levels of sexual risk-taking between a young student sample of predominantly heterosexual MDMA users and alcohol-drinker controls and investigate potential gender differences. Recreational drug use and sexual...
Article
This paper aims to review findings from a longitudinal study of prenatal methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") on infant development. In a prospective, longitudinal cohort design, we followed 28 MDMA-exposed and 68 non-MDMA-exposed infants from birth to 2 years of age. Women recruited voluntarily into a study of recreational drug use duri...
Article
Stimulant drugs such as nicotine and Ecstasy/3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) are taken for positive reasons, yet their regular use leads to deficits rather than gains. This article outlines the psychobiological rationale for this paradox. The empirical literature on nicotine, cocaine, amphetamine, Ecstasy/MDMA, and mephedrone are reviewed...
Article
The goals of this study were to measure the neurocognitive performance of recent users of recreational Ecstasy and investigate whether it was associated with the stress hormone cortisol. The 101 participants included 27 recent light users of Ecstasy (one to four times in the last 3 months), 23 recent heavier Ecstasy users (five or more times) and 5...
Article
Stimulant drugs such as amphetamine, nicotine and Ecstasy/MDMA, are taken for positive reasons such as mood enhancement. Yet their repetitive use can lead to a range of psychobiological deficits and psychiatric distress. There are several underlying neurobiological factors for this. Their acute subjective effects are typically positive, with greate...
Article
Assessment of animal internal “state” – which includes hormonal, disease, nutritional, and emotional states – is normally considered the province of laboratory work, since its determination in animals in the wild is considered more difficult. However, we show that accelerometers attached externally to animals as diverse as elephants, cockroaches, a...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Aims and rationale: to investigate body temperature and thermal self-ratings of Ecstasy/MDMA users at a Saturday night dance club. Methods: 68 dance clubbers (mean age 21.6 years, 30 females and 38 males), were assessed at a Saturday night dance club, then 2-3 d later. Three subgroups were compared: 32 current Ecstasy users who had t...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The mood and psychomotor effects of caffeine are well documented; however, many previ-ous studies assessing these factors have been carried out on habitual consumers of caffeine. Thus, it is dif-ficult to discern whether beneficial findings are due to the positive effects of caffeine or the reversal of negative withdrawal symptoms. Aims...
Article
Stress develops when an organism requires additional metabolic resources to cope with demanding situations. This review will debate how recreational 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') can increase some aspects of acute and chronic stress in humans. Laboratory studies on the acute effects of MDMA on cortisol release and neurohormone...
Article
Full-text available
MDMA has properties that may make it attractive for psychotherapy, although many of its effects are potentially problematic. These contrasting effects will be critically reviewed in order to assess whether MDMA could be safe for clinical usage. Early studies from the 1980s noted that MDMA was an entactogen, engendering feelings of love and warmth....
Article
Human Psychopharmacology recently published my review into the increase in empirical knowledge about the human psychobiology of MDMA over the past 25 years (Parrott, 2013a). Deficits have been demonstrated in retrospective memory, prospective memory, higher cognition, complex visual processing, sleep architecture, sleep apnoea, pain, neurohormonal...
Article
Full-text available
The illicit recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or Ecstasy has strong neurohormonal effects. When taken by recreational users at dance clubs and raves, it can generate an 800% increase in the stress hormone cortisol, whereas drug-free users show chronically raised levels of cortisol. The aim here is to critically debate this...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The recreational drug MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or 'Ecstasy' is associated with heightened psychiatric distress and feelings of depression. The Drugs and Infancy Study (DAISY) monitored the psychiatric symptom profiles of mothers who used Ecstasy/MDMA while pregnant, and followed them over the first year post-partum. Me...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mood state and physical micro-movement changes in cigarette smokers: is there a physical aspect to feeling irritable during nicotine deprivation? Sharon Ahmadi, Brenda Tysse, Rory Wilson, Andrew C. Parrott Departments of Psychology and Biosciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine whether overnight...
Article
Serotonergic neurotoxicity following MDMA is well-established in laboratory animals, and neuroimaging studies have found lower serotonin transporter (SERT) binding in abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users. Serotonin is a modulator for many different psychobiological functions, and this review will summarize the evidence for equivalent functional deficits in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine whether overnight nicotine deprivation would be accompanied by changes in psychomotor measures of fine movement and physical tremor, along with predicted deficits in memory, cognition and mood state. Methods: 20 overnight deprived cigarette smokers (12 female, 8 male), were compared with twenty n...
Article
This paper aimed to review how scientific knowledge about the human psychobiology of MDMA has developed over time. In this paper, the empirical findings from earlier and later studies will be reviewed. When MDMA was a 'novel psychoactive substance', it was not seen as a drug of abuse, as it displayed loss of efficacy. However, recreational users di...
Article
Full-text available
MDMA is a methamphetamine derivative and powerful CNS stimulant, which is taken at dance clubs and parties under the street name of ecstasy. MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamne is an indirect monoaminergic agonist, leading to increased levels of synaptic serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters. It also stimulates the hypothalamic-pitu...
Article
Previous research has revealed an acute 8-fold increase in salivary cortisol following self-administrated Ecstasy/MDMA in dance clubbers. It is currently not known to what extent repeated usage impacts upon activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis over a more prolonged period of time. This study investigated the integrated cortisol level...
Article
Serotonergic neurotoxicity following MDMA is well-established in laboratory animals, and neuroimaging studies have found lower serotonin transporter (SERT) binding in abstinent Ecstasy/MDMA users. Sero-tonin is a modulator for many different psychobiological functions, and this review will summarize the evidence for equivalent functional deficits i...
Article
Full-text available
A widely used illicit recreational drug among young adults, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy, is an indirect monoaminergic agonist/reuptake inhibitor affecting the serotonin system. Preclinical studies found prenatal exposure related to long-term learning and memory impairments. There are no studies of sequelae of prenatal MDMA e...
Article
In this issue of the BJP, Green et al. suggest that animal data could not be used to predict the adverse effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in humans and that MDMA did not produce 5-HT neurotoxicity in the human brain. This proposal was, however, not accompanied by a review of the empirical evidence in humans. The neuroimaging data...
Article
To explain how nicotine dependency causes mood fluctuation and increases daily stress. Prospective studies show that taking-up smoking leads to higher stress and depression. Cross-sectional studies show that adult smokers report more irritability, stress and depression than non-smokers. Prospective studies show that smoking cessation leads to endur...
Article
Previous research has shown that recreational drug use is associated with more psychiatric symptoms and psychobiological distress. This study investigated whether symptoms of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were also raised in polydrug users. We assessed a non-clinical sample of 84 unpaid volunteers (mean age 27.5 years): n =...
Article
Full-text available
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or “Ecstasy” is one of the most widely used illicit recreational drugs among young adults. MDMA is an indirect monoaminergic agonist and reuptake inhibitor that primarily affects the serotonin system. Preclinical studies in animals have found prenatal exposure related to neonatal tremors and long-term learni...
Article
To review the thermal effects of MDMA in humans, and discuss the practical implications. The literature on Ecstasy/MDMA, body temperature, and subjective thermal self-ratings was reviewed, and explanatory models for the changes in thermal homeostasis were examined and debated. In human placebo-controlled laboratory studies, the effects of MDMA were...
Article
Turning to the question of serotonergic neurotoxicity, Halpern et al. [1] suggested that that their relatively ‘modest’ performance deficits may have been be due to other confounds, and that ‘our findings indicate that the neurotoxicity of ecstasy use remains incompletely resolved’[note: median last ecstasy usage was 121 days, hence their findings...
Article
Full-text available
Ecstasy/MDMA use has been associated with various memory deficits. This study assessed declarative and procedural memory in ecstasy/MDMA users. Participants were tested in two sessions, 24 h apart, so that the memory consolidation function of sleep on both types of memory could also be assessed. Groups were: drug-naive controls (n = 24); recent ecs...
Article
Full-text available
Ecstasy is a recreational drug whose active ingredient, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), acts predominantly on the serotonergic system. Although MDMA is known to be neurotoxic in animals, the long-term effects of recreational Ecstasy use in humans remain controversial but one commonly reported consequence is mild cognitive impairment parti...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the acute mood effects of oral MDMA, methamphetamine, and placebo in a double-blind laboratory study. Fifty-two healthy participants comprised abstinent recreational users of stimulant drugs, 27 female and 25 male, mean age 24.8 years. Three test sessions involved acute 100 mg oral 3.4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 0....
Chapter
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Chapters 8 and 9 outlined, in detail, findings on the emerging longitudinal outcomes of two of the most popular so-called recreational drugs, cannabis and cocaine. In contrast, there are far fewer data on the impact on the developing human fetus of other increasingly popular synthetic amphetamine derivatives MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylampheta...
Article
Introduction MDMA/Ecstasy is associated with a range of psychiatric disorders. There is debate over this is caused by drug usage, or reflect pre-existing premorbid characteristics. Aims and objectives To examine how the diathesis-stress model can explain the patterns of psychiatric distress observed in recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users. Methods The...
Article
Full-text available
Our group has conducted several Internet investigations into the biobehavioural effects of self-reported recreational use of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or Ecstasy) and other psychosocial drugs. Here we report a new study examining the relationship between self-reported Ecstasy use and traces of MDMA found in hair samples. In a laborato...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes a short self-report measure of problems with executive function designed for use in Internet-mediated research. In Study 1, participants completed the online measure (Webexec) using a browser but under laboratory conditions. They also completed a paper self-report measure of executive problems (the Dysexecutive Questionnaire;...
Article
This study investigated the associations between chronic cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA use and one objective and two subjective measure of creativity. Fifteen abstinent Ecstasy users, 15 abstinent cannabis users, and 15 nondrug-user controls, completed three measures of creativity: the Consequences behavioral test of creativity, self-assessed performan...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the potential heterogeneity of ecstasy or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) users. Data came from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression procedures were used to identify subtypes of ecstasy users. Appr...
Article
Full-text available
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) can affect both neurotransmitter and neurohormonal activity. This review will debate the role of the metabolic activation hormone cortisol for the psychobiological effects of ecstasy/MDMA. The empirical literature on cortisol release following acute MDMA administration and cortisol functioning in drug-free r...
Article
Full-text available
While recreational drug use in UK women is prevalent, to date there is little prospective data on patterns of drug use in recreational drug-using women immediately before and during pregnancy. A total of 121 participants from a wide range of backgrounds were recruited to take part in the longitudinal Development and Infancy Study (DAISY) study of p...
Article
Full-text available
This Ecstasy/MDMA symposium was held at the Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Hobart, Tasmania, in September 2008. The Australian government has been funding research into MDMA for many years, and hence there are several Australian groups at the forefront of international research in this field. Included in the studies repo...
Article
Full-text available
Ecstasy [3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)] use has been associated with a number of psychopathological problems. However, research suggests that reported symptoms might be associated more with heavy polydrug use in general rather than ecstasy per se. The current study aimed to determine the role of other drug use in reports of long-term eff...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the resurgence in MDMA use and its association with polysubstance use, we investigated the 12-month prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) among adult MDMA users to determine whether they are at risk of other drug-related problems that would call for targeted interventions. Data were drawn from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use...
Article
Full-text available
Psychosocial and recreational drugs are generally taken in order to feel better, yet their regular use often leads to increased distress. For instance, MDMA [Ecstasy] is a very powerful euphoriant, but its positive effects last for only a few hours, and they are followed by a more prolonged recovery period, when negative moods predominate. Regular...
Article
Smoking has been associated with both enhanced and impaired cognitive performance; across a variety of domains, but there is limited evidence demonstrating the effects on verbal learning. The current study assessed the effect of smoking and abstinence on verbal learning, immediate memory and retention using the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT)....
Article
Full-text available
The present study is the first to prospectively compare a group of recreational Ecstasy users when dance clubbing on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and when clubbing during abstinence from Ecstasy/MDMA. Twelve normal healthy volunteers (mean age = 23.2 years) were assessed at a Saturday night dance club under self-administered MDMA. On th...
Article
Full-text available
AIMS AND RATIONALE: The purpose of this study was to review whether methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has the appropriate pharmacodynamic profile to be a therapeutic agent. Empirical descriptions of MDMA's subjective effects in humans will be reviewed to evaluate the proposal that MDMA has psychotherapeutic properties. The focus will be publishe...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users (90-98%) also take cannabis. This co-drug usage is often viewed as a methodological confound, which needs to be removed statistically. Here we take a rather different approach, and debate the potential complexities of their psychobiological interactions. The ring-substituted amphetamine derivate MDMA...
Article
Non-drug factors such as ambient temperature can heighten the adverse effects of MDMA (3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine) in animals. We assessed whether dancing and feeling hot on Ecstasy would be associated with more psychobiological problems in recreational users. In an internet study, 206 unpaid participants (modal age 16-24) reported that they...