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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Estimating the prevalence of Ecstasy use among juvenile offenders.

To date, no studies have examined Ecstasy use among criminal justice populations. Focusing on individuals under criminal justice supervision is useful because "new" illegal drugs will typically take root in a criminal population before diffusing to the general population. In the current study, self-report drug use data and urine specimens were collected from 209 juvenile offenders surveyed through Maryland's Offender Population Urinalysis Screening (OPUS) Program. Prevalence estimates are generated and associations between Ecstasy use, demographic characteristics, and alcohol and other drug use are explored. Sixteen percent of the sample reported using Ecstasy within the past 12 months, an estimate almost three times as high as grade school and high school students surveyed through the Monitoring the Future survey. Compared to nonusers. Ecstasy users were significantly more likely to be female (45% versus 20%, p < 0.01), White (82% versus 22%, p < 0.001), and out of school (39% versus 20%, p < 0.05). Associations were also found between Ecstasy use and the use of other drugs. These findings suggest that the recent use of Ecstasy among juvenile offenders is higher than estimated use in the general student population, and that youthful offenders may represent an important population for potential intervention.[1]


  1. Estimating the prevalence of Ecstasy use among juvenile offenders. Yacoubian, G.S., Arria, A.M., Fost, E., Wish, E.D. Journal of psychoactive drugs. (2002) [Pubmed]
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