ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a new study, people who take ecstasy are more likely to be social.

“People who use it recreationally claim that it makes them feel more social, more interested in interacting with other people, more connected with other people,” Harriet de Wit, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Neuroscience, and the study’s author, told LiveScience.

Over 100 people between the ages 18 and 35 participated in the study.  Researchers told the participants that they were receiving a tranquilizer, a stimulant, a sedative, a hallucinogen, a cannabinoid, or a placebo; however, all participants were given either ecstasy or a placebo.

Researchers then showed the participants pictures of social scenes, and then pictures without people in them.

In a second experiment, researchers showed the participants pictures of different facial expressions to see if people under the influence of ecstasy could detent different emotions.

“It turns out they are not as good at detecting negative emotions,” de Wit said.

She said this suggest that ecstasy are more likely to interact with people even if they have negative facial expressions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that high school students who get better grades are less likely to try ecstasy. In 2009, 3 percent of A students surveyed said they have tried ecstasy one or more times during their life compared to 21 percent of D students.

The study was published in the online journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.


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