Prevalence and Correlates of Current Depressive Symptomatology Among a Community Sample of MDMA Users in Ohio

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Research suggests that MDMA can cause serotonin depletion as well as serotonergic neurodegradation that may result in depression among users of the drug. Several small-scale studies have used various editions of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to quantify depressive symptomatology among MDMA users. This study represents the largest application of the BDI to date to explore symptoms of current depression among a community sample of young adult MDMA users (n = 402). Internal consistency testing of the BDI-II with this sample revealed Cronbach's α = .92. Results show a mean BDI-II score of 9.8, suggesting low levels of depressive symptomatology among study participants. Two-thirds of the sample had scores that placed them in the non-depressed/minimal depression category, while 4.7% had scores indicative of severe depression. Logistic regression analysis revealed that men were significantly less likely than women and people who used opioids were significantly more likely than non-users to have higher levels of depressive symptomatology. Higher lifetime occasions of MDMA use were marginally related to symptoms of serious depression.



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