Learn About MDMA Reference List

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

 

The list below provides the references to the research studies discussed in Learn About MDMA. The references are arranged according to the relevant section where the research is mentioned. Within each section, pertinent sentences are listed in the order they appear in the information sheet. Links to the studies are included if available online. Materials not available online may be accessed through your local library.

What is MDMA?

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by a pharmaceutical company:

Freudenmann, R. W., Oxler, F., & Bernschneider-Reif, S. (2006). The origin of MDMA (ecstasy) revisited: The true story reconstructed from the original documents. Addiction, 101(9), 1241–5.

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Why do we use MDMA?

Only about 6% of BC residents have tried MDMA:

Zhao, J., Vallance, K., Martin, G., Macdonald, S., & Stockwell, T. (2014). Prevalence of Substance Use in Lifetime, Past Year and Past 30 days in British Columbia and Other Provinces of Canada from 2008 to 2012(2). www.uvic.ca/research/centres/carbc/assets/docs/aod/gp-prevalence-report-cocaine-ecstasy-heroin.pdf

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What happens when we use MDMA?

But combining MDMA with dancing in a hot room may lead to a dangerous increase in body temperature and loss of body fluid:

Rogers, G., Elston, J., Garside, R., Roome, C., Taylor, R., Younger, P., et al. (2009). The harmful health effects of recreational ecstasy: A systematic review of observational evidence. Health Technlogy Assessment, 13(6), 1–315.

Gowing, L. R., Henry-Edwards, S. M., Irvine, R. J., & Ali, R. L. (2002). The health effects of ecstasy: A literature review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 21(1), 53–63.

MDMA use is associated with negative effects on memory:

Murphy, P. N., Bruno, R., Ryland, I., Wareing, M., Fisk, J. E., Montgomery, C., & Hilton, J. (2012). The effects of “ecstasy ” (MDMA) on visuospatial memory performance: Findings from a systematic review with meta-analyses. Human Psychopharmacology, 27, 113–138.

Nulsen, C. E., Fox, A. M., & Hammond, G. R. (2010). Differential effects of ecstasy on short-term and working memory: A meta-analysis. Neuropsychology Review, 20(1), 21–32.

Rogers, G., Elston, J., Garside, R., Roome, C., Taylor, R., Younger, P., et al. (2009). The harmful health effects of recreational ecstasy: A systematic review of observational evidence. Health Technlogy Assessment, 13(6), 1–315.

Laws, K. R., & Kokkalis, J. (2007). Ecstasy (MDMA) and memory function: A meta-analytic update. Human Psychopharmacology, 22(April), 381–388.

Zakzanis, K. K., Campbell, Z., & Jovanovski, D. (2007). The neuropsychology of ecstasy (MDMA) use: A quantitative review. Human Psychopharmacology, 22(July), 427–435.

Research suggests a link between MDMA use and depression:

Rogers, G., Elston, J., Garside, R., Roome, C., Taylor, R., Younger, P., et al. (2009). The harmful health effects of recreational ecstasy: A systematic review of observational evidence. Health Technlogy Assessment, 13(6), 1–315.

Guillot, C. (2007). Is recreational ecstasy (MDMA) use associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 39(1), 31–9.

Sumnall, H. R., & Cole, J. C. (2005). Self-reported depressive symptomatology in community samples of polysubstance misusers who report ecstasy use: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 19(1), 84–92.

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When is using MDMA a problem?

One consequence that can develop is tolerance:

Parrott, A. C. (2005). Chronic tolerance to recreational MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or ecstasy. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 19(1), 71–83.

While most people who use MDMA do not become dependent on the drug:

Degenhardt, L., Bruno, R., & Topp, L. (2010). Is ecstasy a drug of dependence? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 107(1), 1–10.

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How to make healthier choices about MDMA

A testing kit can provide some information:

Camilleri, A. M., & Caldicott, D. (2005). Underground pill testing, down under. Forensic Science International, 151(1), 53–8.

Laboratory tests, on the other hand, can provide more precise information:

Kriener, H., Billeth, R., Gollner, C., Lachout, S., & Neubauer, P. (2001). An Inventory of On-site Pill-testing Interventions in the EU. www.emcdda.europa.eu/attachements.cfm/att_2878_EN_pill_testing_report.pdf

Murray, R. A., Doering, P. L., Boothby, L. A., Pharm, D., Merves, M. L., Mccusker, R. R., et al. (2003). Putting an ecstasy test kit to the test: Harm reduction or harm induction. Pharmacotherapy, 23(10), 1238–44.

Winstock, a R., Wolff, K., & Ramsey, J. (2001). Ecstasy pill testing: Harm minimization gone too far? Addiction, 96(8), 1139–48.

 

 
About the author

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The Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, formerly CARBC, is a member of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. The institute is dedicated to the study of substance use in support of community-wide efforts aimed at providing all people with access to healthier lives, whether using substances or not. For more, visit www.cisur.ca.

 
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