Introduction: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship between depression and ecstasy use among adolescents in Taiwan by controlling for the effects of demographic characteristics and cannabis use.
Methods: A total of 10,262 adolescents aged 12-18 years completed research questionnaires that assessed their severity of depression, status of ecstasy use, and history of cannabis use. The participants were grouped into non-users, ex-users, and current users. Severity of depression among these three adolescent groups was compared using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), considering the history of cannabis use and demographic characteristics as covariates.
Results: After controlling for history of cannabis use and age, the study found that current ecstasy users experienced more severe depressive symptoms than ex-users and non-users. The difference between ex-users and non-users was not significant.
Conclusion: This study found that current ecstasy users had more severe depressive symptoms than non-users and ex-users. Psychological health professionals must monitor depressive symptoms among adolescent ecstasy users and provide emotional regulation strategies and psychological intervention for those with significant depression.