Australia is seeing an ageing population of ecstasy users who started using ecstasy in their youth and are still using as they reach their 40s, according to a report from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Research to explain and respond to the ecstasy situation in Australia: A birth cohort analysis of national ecstasy use trends.
Dr Rebecca McKetin, lead author of the report, which was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, said that while most users, 70 per cent, stop by the time they reach their 30s a significant minority, one in three who have ever used ecstasy, continue to use into their later adulthood. Men were more likely than women to continue using. Most people use the drug infrequently, she said.
There was little evidence that people initiated use after the age of 30, or that former users had returned to use.
The increase in the number of older ecstasy users is explained by ecstasy users who started using in the ‘90s, when the drug first became popular, and who have continued to use into later adulthood, she said.