What is the Biggest Risk Factor for Teen Ecstasy Abuse?

Researchers are always looking for identifiers that can predict substance abuse, and a new study published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse found that the single largest risk factor for Ecstasy use among 12th graders is use of other drugs.

The study also noted that:

  • About 4.4 percent of 12th graders reported use of Ecstasy during the year prior to the study.
  • Males are more likely than females to abuse the drug.
  • A weekly income higher than $50 from a job or higher than $10 from any source is also a risk factor for Ecstasy use among teens.
  • Urban dwellers were more likely to use the drug as compared to their rural-dwelling peers.

Ecstasy is also known as E, X, or Molly. Many kids take Molly without realizing they’re taking Ecstasy. This means that the numbers are likely much higher than the study indicates because kids may be falsely reporting that they’ve never used Ecstasy when they’ve used Molly.

The Danger of Ecstasy Abuse

In addition to the issues that can occur while the user is under the influence (e.g., accidents, overdose), Ecstasy abuse can lead to the addictive use of other substances as well.

Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, was the lead researcher on the study. In a news release, he said, “Ecstasy use also tends to precede use of other club drugs, so preventing Ecstasy use (e.g., among those who attend nightclubs and parties) may also prevent initiation and use of drugs such as ketamine (“Special K”) and GHB. Hundreds of new designer drugs have emerged in recent years, some of which were created to mimic the effects of Ecstasy. Many individuals may be ingesting what they think is Ecstasy, but it may in fact be an even more dangerous new substance. Likewise, today Ecstasy commonly comes in powder form instead of pill form, which may even further increase the chances of receiving the drug cut with additional designer substances.”

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Drug Abuse

If your son is experimenting with illicit substances, you can help him to stop. If instituting tough boundaries and following through on consequences if those boundaries are crossed have not worked, treatment can help. Choosing a teen-centric rehabilitation program for boys is the best option. At Muir Wood, we specialize in helping boys overcome substance abuse of all kinds. Contact us today to learn more about our intensive, evidence-based program.