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J Psychopharmacol. 2009 Sep;23(7):745-58. doi: 10.1177/0269881108092594. Epub 2008 Jul 17.

Attributions for psychobiological changes in ecstasy/MDMA and other polydrug users.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of East London, London, UK.


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 effects by some ecstasy-polydrug users. Problematic ecstasy users (n = 53), reporting problems which they attributed to ecstasy use, were compared with non-problematic ecstasy users (n = 62), polydrug (n = 62) and alcohol/nicotine using controls (n = 111). Drug use was recorded, and positive and negative life changes were assessed along with which previous drug use, if any, they attributed these changes too. Both ecstasy groups reported higher drug use compared with polydrug controls. Polydrug and ecstasy users more often reported life changes compared with non-drug users, and ecstasy users appeared to experience more life changes than polydrug users, with problematic ecstasy users experiencing most alterations. Ecstasy users reported changes more to a combination of drugs than to one specific drug, suggesting that polydrug use in these groups has an impact on their life experiences. These findings emphasise that research into the psychological effects of ecstasy should not underestimate the role of other polydrug use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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