New research has found that young adults with college degrees are now more likely to use ecstasy.
The Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal has published the study, which analyses data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The researched found that although the number of ecstasy users remained relatively consistent, with about 2.2 per cent to 2.6 percent of Americans having used ecstasy within the past year, it’s target market and user demographic has changed. Young adults with a higher education are now twice as likely to use ecstasy than those in 2007.
The author of the new study, Joseph J. Palamar of New York University Langone Medical Centre, spoke up on why he decided to conduct the research:
“I’ve been researching ecstasy use since my own party days… Ecstasy has been the most popular ‘club drug’ for decades, yet many national surveys show use has declined, despite the popularity of ‘Molly’. This is one of many recent papers in which I examine trends in ecstasy use to help inform prevention and harm reduction.”
The number of ecstasy users between the ages of 12 and 17 decreased by 42.9 per cent from 2007 and 2014 (which is great because they don’t really understand the risks) , while the the overall number of ecstasy users remained relatively consistent.
Palamar spoke to PsyPost about how his findings relate to harm reduction techniques:
“Demographics of ecstasy users appear to be changing, and this should be considered when tailoring prevention and harm reduction messages to those who are most likely to use. Most ecstasy users are college-educated and such individuals may not be receptive to typical scare tactics in anti-drug prevention messages.”
Multiple reports have come out this year, revealing thought provoking results. A US study found that only 60 per cent of “Molly” pills contained MDMAwhile ecstasy-related deaths are at a record high. For more on harm-reduction, read more here.
Read the full study on the shifting demographic of ecstasy users here