Risk Factors and Correlates of Ecstasy Use in the Household Population

Dean R. Gerstein, NORC at the University of Chicago
James C. Hendrickson, NORC at University of Chicago

The use of 3-4 Metheledioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "Ecstasy") has increased dramatically in recent years. While appreciable attention has been given to the psychopharmacology of MDMA, risk factors for use of this drug are as yet not well characterized. This analysis utilizes 55,561 interviews from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse to examine the distribution and correlates of MDMA use in the U.S. household population. Bivariate associations are examined between past year (1.4%) and lifetime (3.6%) MDMA use and expected correlates including demographic characteristics, criminal behavior, stress, self rated acceptability of illegal drug use, other substance use, and affective disorders. Multivariate logistic regressions are calculated to determine the strongest net effects of covariates, some of which can be temporally ordered and thus permit reasonable interpretation as risk factors. Implications of the results for public health, law enforcement and scientific understanding of the recent Ecstasy 'epidemic' are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006