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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Nov-Dec;45(5):425-33.

Social contacts and Ecstasy offers: findings of a population-based study.

Author information

1
Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, Australia. a.smirnov@uq.edu.au
2
Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, Australia.
3
Crime and Misconduct Commission, St Pauls Terrace, FortitudeValley, QLD, Australia.
4
Drug Harm Reduction Branch, Preventative Health Directorate, Queensland Health, Division of the Chief Health Officer, Herston, QLD, Australia.

Abstract

Ecstasy (MDMA) use is relatively common among young adults in many developed countries. However, little is known about how young non-users are first introduced to Ecstasy, including the relative contribution of peer networks and individual risk factors. We assess the role of social contact with Ecstasy-using peers in regard to young adults' exposure to offers of Ecstasy, using data from the Natural History Study, a population-based study conducted in Australia. Population screening of young adults (19- to 23-year-olds) identified a sample of young Ecstasy users (N = 315) and a comparison group of Ecstasy-naïve participants (N = 199). Two outcomes are considered: being exposed to any Ecstasy offers and being exposed to > 3 offers. Extensive social contact with Ecstasy users was defined as knowing > 10 Ecstasy users. Of the Ecstasy-naïve young adults, > 40% had ever received Ecstasy offers. Extensive social contact with Ecstasy users independently predicted exposure to multiple (> 3) Ecstasy offers for Ecstasy-naïve young adults. These findings indicate that Ecstasy offers are widespread among users and non-users of Ecstasy. For non-users, exposure to Ecstasy offers occurs through social contact with drug-using peers independently of individual risk factors. The pervasiveness of Ecstasy offers suggests that universal education concerning Ecstasy use is required.

PMID:
24592669
DOI:
10.1080/02791072.2013.845708
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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