DAYTON, OHIO-A study of young adult MDMA/Ecstasy users conducted by the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research (CITAR) at Wright State University School of Medicine indicates that friends are the number one source of information about the drug.
"Results call attention to the importance of communication sources in drug abuse prevention," states Russel Falck, M.A, assistant professor of community health and lead author of the study. "Who talks determines who listens. While this observation seems obvious, it requires people working to prevent drug abuse to acknowledge this and to tailor drug prevention programs accordingly."
This cross-sectional study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted as part of an on-going study, provides results from interviews with 304 young adult Ecstasy users (age 18 to 30) from central Ohio. "Clearly not all sources of drug information and education are viewed as equally credible," says Robert Carlson, Ph.D., professor of community health and principal investigator. "The findings from this study can help inform prevention programming, and it highlights the importance of the Internet as a source of drug information."
Investigators queried recent MDMA users about their perceptions of the importance and accuracy of various sources of information about the drug. Results of the study indicate that friends were considered the most important source of information followed by Web sites like DanceSafe.org, and MTV/VH1 television specials. One-half of the participants used the Internet as a resource, with younger and more educated users most likely to access the Internet for information. Friends, drug abuse treatment programs, and physicians were seen as the top three sources in terms of accuracy, although the latter two were used infrequently. Parents, mainstream newspapers, and radio were considered the least accurate sources of information. Results also showed that non-government Web sites were visited by four times as many individuals as were government information sites.
The study, "Sources of information about MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine): Perceived accuracy, importance, and implications for prevention among young adult users" was published in the current issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Besides Falck and Carlson, co-investigators and co-authors include Jichuan Wang, Ph.D., professor of community health; and, Harvey Siegal, Ph.D., professor of community health and director of the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research.
Drugs and Alcohol Dependence is the official journal of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (www.cpdd.org), the largest and oldest organization for the scientific study of drug dependence. The peer-reviewed Drug and Alcohol Dependence (www.elsevier.com/ locate/drugalcdep) is published by Elsevier Science Inc., a leading publisher of scientific, technical, and medical journals, as well as books and reference works.
For more information about the study contact: Russel Falck, Wright State University School of Medicine, at (937) 775-2066.
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