Use of MDMA and other illicit drugs by young adult males in northern Spain: A five-year study

J. Bobes, P. A. Sáiz, M. P. González, M. T. Bascarán, M. Bousoño, G. A. Ricaurte, U. D. Mccann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Aim: To measure the prevalence of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and other drug use in young males entering compulsory military service in Asturias (northern Spain) and to define trends in MDMA use in this group during the period from 1995 to 1999. We also sought to determine whether MDMA users have distinct personality features or higher levels of sensation seeking. Methods: 3,634 conscripts [mean age (SD) = 20.19 years (2.52)] who entered military service during the period between 1995 and 1999 were evaluated using the World Health Organization (WHO) questionnaire for drug consumption, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-A (EPQ-A), and the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale. Results and Conclusions: The prevalence of lifetime, previous year and previous month MDMA use among military recruits between 1995 and 1999 was 10.9, 7.8 and 4.5%, ranking fifth among illicit drugs ever used. Once individuals used MDMA for the first time, they were likely to use it again, with 71% of individuals who had ever used MDMA reporting that they had used it during the past year (ranking second only to hallucinogens), and 41% reporting having used it in the last month. Compared to recruits who had never used MDMA (but who may have used other illicit drugs), MDMA users had a more extensive drug abuse history. Recruits who had used MDMA during the year prior to study had significantly higher scores on the Neuroticism and Psychoticism Subscales of the EPQ-A, and reported higher levels of sensation seeking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
  • Epidemiology
  • Military recruits
  • Personality
  • Sensation seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of MDMA and other illicit drugs by young adult males in northern Spain: A five-year study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this