Hair MDMA samples are consistent with reported ecstasy use: findings from an internet study investigating effects of ecstasy on mood and memory.

Andrew Scholey, Lauren Owen, J. Gates, Jacqui Rodgers, Tom Buchanan, Jonathan Ling, Tom Heffernan, P. Swan, Andrew Parrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Our group has conducted several Internet investigations into the biobehavioural effects of self-reported recreational use of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or Ecstasy) and other psychosocial drugs. Here we report a new study examining the relationship between self-reported Ecstasy use and traces of MDMA found in hair samples. Methods: In a laboratory setting, 49 undergraduate volunteers performed an Internet-based assessment which included mood scales and the University of East London Drug Use Questionnaire, which asks for history and current drug use. They also provided a hair sample for determination of exposure to MDMA over the previous month. Results: Self-report of Ecstasy use and presence in hair samples were consistent (p <0.00001). Both subjective and objective measures predicted lower self-reported ratings of happiness and higher self-reported stress. Self-reported Ecstasy use, but not presence in hair, was also associated with decreased tension. Conclusion: Different psychoactive drugs can influence long-term mood and cognition in complex and dynamically interactive ways. Here we have shown a good correspondence between self-report and objective assessment of exposure to MDMA. These data suggest that the Internet has potentially high utility as a useful medium to complement traditional laboratory studies into the sequelae of recreational drug use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
JournalNeuropsychobiology
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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