Hug Drug or Thug Drug? Ecstasy Use and Aggressive Behavior

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While clinical studies have established a link between aggression and ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymeth-amphetamine [MDMA]), no research has attempted to explore how this link manifests itself in behavioral outcomes. In this research we examine the effects of ecstasy on aggressive and violent behavior in a sample of active users. Data were collected from 260 ecstasy users in Atlanta, Georgia. Data analysis included ordered logit regression to examine the likelihood of engaging in aggressive behavior, controlling for key predictors of aggression independent of ecstasy use. Our results indicate that those with a higher prevalence of lifetime ecstasy use exhibit higher levels of aggressive and violent behavior. However, the effect of lifetime ecstasy use differs by levels of low self-control as a measure of propensity for aggression. Those who exhibit low self-control are more affected by ecstasy use than those who do not in terms of aggression. Our findings add an important dimension to our current knowledge about the relationship between aggression and ecstasy.

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