Sunday, January 31, 2016

Correlates of African American Female Adolescent Offenders 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “Ecstasy”) Use and Sexually Transmitted Infection Morbidity

The current study was designed to determine the extent to which self-reported ecstasy use in a population of juvenile adolescent detainees in a southern state is associated with high-risk health behaviors pertaining to sexually transmitted infection (STI) symptomology and past history of STI occurrence. Participants were 764 African American females extracted from an overall sample of 2,260 juvenile offenders housed at selected Youth Development Campuses in the state of Georgia. Significance tests were conducted using univariate logistic regressions to examine the independent associations of participant’s self-reported ecstasy use and dichotomized HIV risk behavior correlates and history of having a prior STI before the most recent incarceration Participants who reported ecstasy use prior to incarceration were 1.7 (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 0.78–3.64) and 1.8 times (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.24–2.81) more likely respectively to indicate having had genital warts or chlamydia, and were more than 1.5 times (OR = 2.21, 95% CI = 0.83–5.44) and two times more likely to report having had gonorrhea or herpes, accordingly. Prevention programs for adolescent offender populations should develop interventions that target adolescents’ substance use behavior as a function of STI risk taking as well as being culturally competent to deal specifically with these problem behaviors.

...Findings demonstrate that the use of this drug occurred among approximately 16% of the study sample, a rate higher than the level of use observed by von Sydow and colleagues in their study, albeit their measure was ecstasy/stimulant/hallucinogen use in a sample of adolescents and young adults (). Our findings of participants’ reported history of ecstasy use prior to this incarceration period was nearly half that of the 30% reported by Cottler and associates in their investigation of ecstasy abuse and dependence among adolescents and young adults, a sample that was 52% were female and 23% nonwhite (). We also observed significant higher rates of STI symptomology in the form of feeling that they needed to urinate frequently, pain in the lower pelvis or deep in the vagina during sex, and bleeding from the vagina at times other than participant’s regular menstrual cycle. African American female detainees in our sample who reported using the drug were significantly more like to report having had chlamydia, with the likelihood of having had gonorrhea previously approaching significance.

This investigation is important for several reasons. First, use of ecstasy can have a neurotoxic impact on users leading to deficits in memory and verbal ability (; ; ), and other problems associated with ecstasy use include but are not limited to lowered immune function and sleeping disorders (; ). Last, adolescent users of ecstasy under 18 years of age are considered to be more vulnerable to its potential neurotoxic effects (), which makes it an important item of investigation in terms of problem behaviors that may occur due to its use, in particular behaviors that manifest in the form of sexual risk taking and outcomes associated with STI morbidity...

Full article at:

Department of Psychology; and Department of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
bDepartment of Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
cDepartment of Biology, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
dDepartment of Biology, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA
eInstitute of Public and Preventive Health, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia, USA
CONTACT: Torrance Stephens ; Email: moc.liamg@dhpsnehpetst Department of Psychology and Department of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University, Knowles Hall 107, 223 James P. Brawley Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314, USA

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