A Canadian study on the effects of speed and ecstasy on young teens has found that those taking the drugs have a much higher chance of becoming depressed a year after usage. The study was conducted over a 5 year period and focused on 15 and 16 year-olds.
The study was conducted at the University of Montreal and found students in grade ten who used ecstasy (MDMA) or speed (meth/ampthetamine) were, in the case of ecstasy 1.7 times more likely to be depressed one year later, and with speed 1.6 times more likely to be depressed a year later. An April 19 press release said the "researchers worked with data provided by 3,880 students enrolled at schools in disadvantaged areas of Quebec."
Study on drug use and depression
“Our findings are consistent with other human and animal studies that suggest long-term negative influences of synthetic drug use,” co-author Frédéric N. Brière of the School Environment Research Group at the university wrote in the press release. “Our results reveal that recreational MDMA and meth/amphetamine use places typically developing secondary school students at greater risk of experiencing depressive symptoms.”
The participants in the study were asked a wide range of questions including detailed questions on the history of their drug use, on their home life, their parents and even on how their parents got along. Briere said such a range of questions allowed them to take into account other factors which may have influenced their psychological state a year after usage.
Dangers of ecstasy for teens
RCMP Corpl. Rich De Jong of Vancouver recently told Digital Journal that ecstasy can appeal to young people because it is cheap, easy to obtain and marketed with 'hip' words on the front like 'sex' or with happy faces. In B.C., De Jong said there are 20 plus ecstasy-related deaths each year. He has found depression to be higher in teens who have used the drug than those who have not, though he has not conducted research in that area.
The authors of the University of Montreal study say the would like "to do further research into how drug combinations affect a person's likelihood to suffer depression" and want to look into differences between drug usage and depression in adults and teenagers.