Despite the field's knowledge of some of the risks associated with MDMA and other club drugs, little is known about the people who use these drugs, including the process of initiation to club drug use, poly-substance abuse practices, psychological and other problems, perceived need for substance abuse or mental health services, or sexual behaviors that may place users at risk for HIV and other STD infections.
In June 2001, the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded funds to Wright State University to conduct a longitudinal epidemiologic study of MDMA and other club drug users that is informed by ethnographic research. The specific aims of the Young Adult Health Study were to:
- Describe key dimensions in club drug use and risky sexual practices among young adults, using ethnographic/qualitative methods;
- Describe the characteristics of users (age 18-34);
- Describe and analyze changes in MDMA use and the relationship between MDMA and other drug use practices among young adults over a three-year period;
- Identify the factors that predict risky sexual behaviors among MDMA users; and
- Determine the feasibility of initiating a study of club drug use among minors under the age of 18.
The results of the study can be used to inform future sex risk-reduction interventions as well as club drug prevention and treatment initiatives. A "respondent-driven sampling" plan was be used to recruit active MDMA users.
Field operations began in October 2001 and closed in May 2007. The project ended in May 2008.
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- McCaughan, J., Carlson, R.G., Falck, R.S., Siegal, H.A. (2005). From "Candy Kids" to "Chemi-Kids": A typology of young adults who attend raves in the Midwest and implications for drug prevention. Substance Use and Misuse, 40(9):1503-1523. [Abstract]
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