JOURNAL ARTICLE

Subacute effects of ecstasy on mood: an exploration of associated risk factors

Rebecca M Scott, Leanne Hides, J Sabura Allen, Dan I Lubman
Journal of Psychopharmacology 2013, 27 (1): 53-61
23095244
Ecstasy use may result in lowered mood, anxiety or aggression in the days following use. Yet, few studies have investigated what factors increase the risk of experiencing such symptoms. Ecstasy users (at least once in the last 12 months) who subsequently took ecstasy (n=35) over the period of one week, were compared on measures of mood, sleep, stress and drug use, with those who abstained from ecstasy (n=21) that week. Measures were administered the week prior to ecstasy use and one and three days following use, or the equivalent day for abstainers. Mood symptoms were assessed using the Kessler-10 self-report psychological distress scale, a subjective mood rating (1-10), and using the depression, anxiety and hostility items from the clinician-rated Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Timeline Followback methods were used to collect information on drug use and life stress in the past month. Self-reported sleep quality was also assessed. Ecstasy use was not associated with subacute depressive, anxiety or aggressive symptoms. Rather, lowered mood and increased psychological distress were associated with self-reported hours and quality of sleep obtained during the three-day follow-up. These findings highlight the importance of considering sleep disruption in understanding the short-term mood effects of ecstasy use.

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