Popular teen party drug tied to depression

MDMA, better known as ecstasy, is a widely used “party drug” for teens and young adults. The short-lived high these kids experience from the MDMA or use of amphetamines they take could very well lead to depression later on in life, or so a new study suggests.

The Canadian based research surveyed almost four thousand teenagers in low-income Quebec neighborhoods. When compared to their peers who used neither MDMA or amphetamines, the ones who reported using only MDMA had sixty to seventy percent higher odds of developing depression by the eleventh grade. The participants were in tenth grade. Using both drugs combined, however, nearly doubled the risk of developing adolescent depression.

Although the findings did not prove a cause and effect relationship, is was close enough to suggest that they are in fact related. The study used control methods for a lot of what could be confounding variables, solidifying the study’s validity. “This doesn’t ensure causality, but that’s the closest we can get from this kind of study,” says Jean Sebastian Fallu, a PhD, study co-author, and an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of  Montreal in the city of Quebec.

The use of this drug is extremely popular among the younger age groups, from as young as middle school aged kids all the way through college aged young adults. The draw of the drug is the feeling of euphoria, heightened senses of intimacy, increased sensitivity to sound and to touch. I personally have never used this drug, but I know many, many people who do. They have all described it to me as feeling similar to taking a huge dose of caffeine, but without the panicked or jittery feeling. But is a few hours of being the friendliest person at the party worth developing a severe case of depression? I don’t think so.

It’s clear that young people in this day and age have a bit of a warped sense of self-preservation. It’s almost as if kids want to make life hard for themselves in the long run. Maybe it’s about “living in the moment” or having as many experiences as possible. But I think that it’s just as easy to do something that’s both safe and exhilarating. What ever happened to hobbies? Things like art, music, running? Drugs are a dangerous path to even set one foot on, and I feel fortunate to be smart enough to treat my body like a temple, and not a trash can.


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