EDRS Bulletin July 2011: Alcohol use disorders amongst a group of regular ecstasy users

Key findings

  • Almost all participants reported consuming alcohol in the previous six months
  • On their last occasion of ecstasy use, 84% of participants also consumed alcohol on this occasion, indicating a high prevalence of polydrug use
  • The average number of drinks consumed in a session was nine drinks
  • 84% of the sample indicating drinking patterns that were indicative of hazardous or harmful alcohol use
  • Those in the higher categories of alcohol use disorders were more likely to use ecstasy more frequently
  • Psychological distress was more prevalent amongst this sample of regular ecstasy users than in the general population. There was a significant association between psychological distress and risky drinking patterns amongst this group.
  • Those with alcohol use disorders were more likely to experience social, legal, risk and responsibility related problems than those with less hazardous patterns of drinking. However those with alcohol use disorders were also more likely to have seen a mental health professional for their alcohol/drug use in the previous six months.
  • This group is at an increased risk of experiencing alcohol related harms as well as harms associated with polydrug use, in particular psychological distress.