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MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse

What is the scope of MDMA use in the United States?

In 2015, changes were made to the NSDUH questionnaire and data collection procedures for hallucinogens and other substances that do not allow comparisons of 2015 and 2016 with previous years for a number of outcomes.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that in 2014 more than 17 million persons aged 12 or older reported using MDMA at least once in their lifetimes.43 This is an increase from 11 million reported 10 years prior.44 In 2014, the number of people who used in the past month was estimated to be 660,000,43 up from 450,000 in 2004.44

In 2016, NIDA’s annual survey on teen drug use, the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey, found that past-year MDMA use was reported by 2.7 percent of 12th graders, 1.8 percent of 10th graders, and 1 percent of 8th graders. A downward trend in perceived availability indicates that teens across all grade levels believe that MDMA is harder to obtain than it was a decade ago.45 According to an analysis of MTF data from 2007 to 2012, use was higher among males as well as specific groups of teens, including those living in the city, with a weekly income, or with lifetime use of other substances.46  

Monitoring the Future Study, Trends in Past-Year Use of MDMA in Teens from 2006-2016
Monitoring the Future Study showing Trends in Teens' Perceived Availability of MDMA from 2006 - 2016Note: These data are from the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and conducted annually by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. "Annual" refers to use at least once during the year preceding the survey.

 

The Drug Abuse Warning Network, maintained until 2011 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), reported that mentions of MDMA in drug-related hospital emergency departments visits were 22,498 for 2011, equating to approximately 1.8 percent of all drug-related emergency department visits. The majority of patients who came to emergency departments with recent MDMA use as a factor in their admissions during that time were aged 18 to 20.47 In addition, of those seeking treatment for a substance use disorder in 2015, 3,510 people reported MDMA as a factor.48

This page was last updated September 2017

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NIDA. (2017, September 26). MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse

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