Teenagers who take party drugs ecstasy (MDMA) and speed (methamphetamine and/or amphetamine) at 15 or 16 years of age are significantly more likely to suffer from depression a year later, according to a five-year study.
Researcher conducted interviews with 3,880 10th-grade Quebec students, and found that adolescents who did not take speed or ecstasy had a 60 to 70 percent increased risk of having depressive symptoms a year after their last reported use.
Additionally researchers found that participants who said that they’ve tried both speed and ecstasy were twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms compared to participants who did not use the drugs.
"Our findings are consistent with other human and animal studies that suggest long-term negative influences of synthetic drug use," co-author Frédéric Brière of the School Environment Research Group at the University of Montreal said in a statement.
Researchers noted that while the study accounted for more confounding factors, like mental well-being and home life, compared to previous research looking into the association between drugs and depression in adolescents, some of the limitations to the study were that it did not completely rule out the effects of drug combinations and that researchers did not know the "the exact contents of MDMA and meth/amphetamine pills," Brière said.
"Our study has important public health implications for adolescent populations," co-author Professor Jean-Sébastien Fallu, at the University of Montreal said in a statement. "Our results reinforce the body of evidence in this field and suggest that adolescents should be informed of the potential risks associated with MDMA and meth/amphetamine use."
The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.