Prospective memory functioning among ecstasy/polydrug users: evidence from the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT)
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Prospective memory (PM) deficits in recreational drug users have been documented in recent years. However, the assessment of PM has largely been restricted to self-reported measures that fail to capture the distinction between event-based and time-based PM. The aim of the present study is to address this limitation.
Extending our previous research, we augmented the range laboratory measures of PM by employing the CAMPROMPT test battery to investigate the impact of illicit drug use on prospective remembering in a sample of cannabis only, ecstasy/polydrug and non-users of illicit drugs, separating event and time-based PM performance. We also administered measures of executive function and retrospective memory in order to establish whether ecstasy/polydrug deficits in PM were mediated by group differences in these processes.
Ecstasy/polydrug users performed significantly worse on both event and time-based prospective memory tasks in comparison to both cannabis only and non-user groups. Furthermore, it was found that across the whole sample, better retrospective memory and executive functioning was associated with superior PM performance. Nevertheless, this association did not mediate the drug-related effects that were observed. Consistent with our previous study, recreational use of cocaine was linked to PM deficits.
PM deficits have again been found among ecstasy/polydrug users, which appear to be unrelated to group differences in executive function and retrospective memory. However, the possibility that these are attributable to cocaine use cannot be excluded.
KeywordsEcstacy Cocaine Cannabis Prospective memory CAMPROMPT
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that except for income received from their primary employers, this research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors are not aware of any conflict of interest and do not have any financial interest in this piece of research.
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