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Prior drug use is the greatest predictor of ecstasy use US high school seniors
Date:6/24/2014

Ecstasy, also known by its chemical abbreviation MDMA, is an illicit drug that is commonly taken at nightclubs and dance parties. Ecstasy's street names include: "Molly" (U.S.), "Mandy" (U.K.), "E," and "X." Although not limited to nightlife scenes, ecstasy is popular at dance parties, as it tends to enhance the party experience (e.g., perceptions of lights and music, nightlife socialization).

A study just published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse by researchers affiliated with New York University's Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR), examined a national sample of high school seniors to determine who is currently at high risk for ecstasy use. Although ecstasy use in the U.S. is not as prevalent as in the late 1990s and early 2000s, its use remains popular among adolescents and young adults. The authors feel the popularity of ecstasy use may be related to increasing popularity of electronic dance festivals.

"We found that roughly 4.4% of high school seniors reported use of ecstasy within the last year, with males being at particularly high risk for use," said Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, a CDUHR affiliated researcher and an Assistant Professor of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center. "We delineated many important sociodemographic risk factors, but the most consistent and important risk factor we found is use of other drugs."

The study, "An Examination of Sociodemographic Correlates of Ecstasy Use Among High School Seniors in the United States," used data from Monitoring the Future (MTF), a nation-wide ongoing annual study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students. The MTF survey is administered in approximately 130 public and private schools throughout 48 states in the US. Roughly 15,000 high school seniors are assessed annually. The researchers examined the most current data for high school seniors (modal age = 18), focusing on 26,504 students from 2007-2012.
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Contact: christopher james
christopher.james@nyu.edu
212-998-6876
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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