DefinitionPercentage of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more on the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/chronic/pages/yrbs/yrbs.aspx Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)] to the question: "During your life, how many times have you used ecstasy (also called MDMA)?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for using ecstasy.
NumeratorWeighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) who responded 1 or more on the YRBS to the question: "During your life, how many times have you used ecstasy (also called MDMA)?" Responses of 0 are not considered as having a positive response for using ecstasy.
DenominatorWeighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) with complete and valid responses on the YRBS to the question on ever using ecstasy in their lifetime, excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," or "Refused" responses.
Data Interpretation IssuesAlaska has conducted a statewide YRBS biennially since 1995 with the exception of 1997. Weighted data were not obtained in 2001 and 2005 and, therefore, no statewide estimates are available for those years. A YRBS conducted in 1999 did not include the Anchorage School District and, therefore, was not considered a valid statewide estimate. No YRBS was conducted in Alaska in 1997.
Traditional high schools are sometimes called comprehensive high schools. They are public high schools that are distinct from alternative high schools, which serve students at risk of not graduating, charter schools, correspondence schools, and students enrolled in high school in correctional facilities.
Responses are weighted to reflect youth attending public traditional high schools in Alaska.
The question on adolescent (grades 9-12) ever using ecstasy in their lifetime has been asked on the Alaska YRBS since 2003.
Why Is This Important?Ecstasy or MDMA is a popular illicit party drug that is a major public health concern for adolescents who engage in its use. MDMA affects the body's regulation of temperature, which can cause fatal overdoses.^1^ Many of the pills sold as MDMA also contain other drugs such as cocaine or ketamine, which can cause major harm or overdose.^2^[[br]]
1. MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). [https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly]. Accessed October 6, 2016.
2. DrugFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). [https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/mdma-ecstasymolly]. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of adolescents reporting use of alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 daysU.S. Target: 12.8 percent
How Are We Doing?On the 2017 YRBS, 3.9% of Alaska adolescents (high school students in grades 9-12) reported ever using MDMA in their lifetime. Adolescents report of ever using MDMA was higher for students reporting academic performance of not mostly As and Bs (7.4%) than those reporting performance of mostly As and Bs (2.4%). Current cigarette smokers were almost 15 times more likely to report ever using ecstasy (19.1%) than non-smokers (1.3%). Higher prevalence of ever having used ecstasy also occurred among current smokeless tobacco users, marijuana users and current binge drinkers. Ecstasy use was lower in the Y-K Delta region compared with all the other regions, except Fairbanks and Northwest. Use in the Kenai Peninsula Borough was higher than in many regions.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2017 adolescent ecstasy use did not differ between Alaska and the US.
What Is Being Done?The State of Alaska Epidemiologic Profile on Substance Use, Abuse and Dependency is available at [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/Documents/01-Internal/injury/sa/SubstanceAbuseEpiProfile_2013.pdf]. This profile provides a more detailed report on the state of substance use and abuse in Alaska.
Evidence-based PracticesThere are multiple sources for research on interventions to prevent and reduce the use of illicit drugs in the adolescent population. Alaska is partnering with other states, the [https://www.cdc.gov/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)], and the [https://www.samhsa.gov/ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)] to develop a series of public health strategies gleaned from the evidence base.
SAMHSA maintains a website that collects the latest in substance abuse prevention evidence based practices. The link to the information can be found here: [https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention].