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A Longitudinal Study of Self-Reported Psychopathology in Beginning Ecstasy and Amphetamine Users: A Third Follow-Up Evaluation

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BACKGROUND: It is still unknown whether psychopathological symptoms found in ecstasy and amphetamine users were apparent before the first use or developed subsequent to its use.

OBJECTIVES: The present study presents the third follow-up evaluation of a longitudinal study to assess the nature of the relationship between ecstasy, amphetamine (AMPH) and psychopathology.

METHODS: In this sample, 69 beginning ecstasy and AMPH users were followed over a period of 4 years. To explore different psychopathological dimensions, the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised was applied. Use of ecstasy, AMPH, cannabis and was gathered by structured interviews and use of cigarettes by a questionnaire. First, linear mixed models for repeated measures (unstructured covariance matrix) on the nine primary symptoms of the SCL-90-R with a separate model for each symptom category were performed. Second, linear regression analyses with the nine primary symptom categories of the baseline assessment (T0) as predictors and with ecstasy and AMPH use as dependent variables were fitted.

RESULTS: No significant associations between ecstasy, AMPH, and psychopathology were evident. However, a significant two-way interaction between ecstasy and cigarette use at the baseline assessment, as well as a three-way interaction effect between ecstasy, cigarette use, and time on obsessive-compulsive symptoms, were found.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that nicotine may moderate the effect of ecstasy on obsessive-compulsive symptoms. However, no associations between ecstasy, AMPH, and psychopathology have been found. This is one of the few studies, which highlights the role of nicotine in the study of psychopathology in beginning ecstasy and AMPH users.

Wagner, D., Sauder, T., Koester, P., Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E., & Daumann, J. (2017). A Longitudinal Study of Self-Reported Psychopathology in Beginning Ecstasy and Amphetamine Users: A Third Follow-Up Evaluation. Substance Use & Misuse, 1-8. 10.1080/10826084.2017.1290113
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