Ecstasy users unlikely to suffer worse health problems: Study

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Melbourne, Oct 26 (ANI): A new study has found that young ecstasy users are unlikely to suffer worse health or behavioural problems than non-users of the party drug.

The Queensland Alcohol Drug and Education Centre (QADREC) study of 6051 young adults aged between 18 and 23 in Brisbane and the Gold Coast assessed the health of those who had taken the drug at least three times in 12 months, compared with those who had never taken it.

QADREC senior research officer Andrew Conroy said there was little difference in the mental health of the two groups when anxiety and depression levels were measured during telephone and face-to-face interviews.

"Essentially there's no differences in mental health between the two groups," News.com.au quoted Conroy as telling AAP.

There were also no differences identified in levels of anti-social or aggressive behaviour.

Conroy said ecstasy users tend to live independently from their families, are engaged in full-time jobs rather than full-time study, with higher levels of disposable income than non-users.

The study found there was little dependence on the drug, with 90.3 per cent of users taking the drug less than weekly.

Access to the drug was strongly linked to groups of friends.

"People usually go out to a venue or to some sort of event or party with their friends and people in the friendship network will buy a batch of ecstasy for everyone," he said.

"It's a very persuasive and easy set of circumstances to try the drug."

And while the effects of coming down from ecstasy can include short-term bouts of lethargy and depression in the days immediately following use, there did not appear to be persistent impacts, he added.

Severe reactions, including overdoses, appear to arise when the purity of the drug is mixed with other chemicals.

"The negative effects of people taking pills tend to be when there's something apart from MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) in the pills," he said.

"We asked people for the last occasion that they used ecstasy whether they thought it was real ecstasy and a third thought that it probably wasn't," Conroy added. (ANI)

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