Sunday, February 21, 2016

Molly Users versus Non-users in a Sample of College Alcohol Drinkers: Differences in Substance-Related Harms and Sensation Seeking

Molly is one form of MDMA that is touted to be more "pure" and potentially less harmful than other forms, such as ecstasy. Media reports and case studies suggest this drug is popular among college students and is related to adverse health problems. The current study sought to address the gaps in our knowledge about Molly by examining whether users differ in substance use outcomes and sensation seeking than non-users. Specifically, we tested whether Molly users engaged in heavier use of other substances and experienced more substance-related harms in general than non-users. Further, we investigated whether Molly users exhibited higher levels of sensation seeking than non-users. Lastly, we examined whether Molly user status would be associated with substance-related harms beyond the confounding influence of other substance use and trait sensation seeking.

Participants were 710 (71.9% female) college alcohol drinkers who completed self-report surveys about substance use (i.e., Molly, alcohol, other drug use), substance-related problems, and sensation seeking.

Results revealed that approximately 12% of our sample reported lifetime Molly use. Molly users compared to non-users reported higher levels of other drug use, alcohol use, substance-related problems, and sensation seeking. Further, Molly users reported experiencing poorer substance use outcomes (e.g., blacking out, academic/occupational problems, withdrawal symptoms) after accounting for sensation seeking and other substance use.

Our findings indicate that Molly users are higher in sensation seeking and use is uniquely related to greater risk for substance-related harms. These preliminary findings demonstrate a need for correcting possible misperceptions regarding the purity of Molly and educating users on the potential for experiencing associated harms. Such information could be used to develop efficacious prevention programming for college students.

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  • 1 Old Dominion University , Norfolk , VA , USA.
  • 2 Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology , Norfolk , VA , USA.
  •  2016 Jan 28:0. [

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