Erowid References Database
“MDMA Use in the North West of England”.
International Journal of Drug Policy. 1994;4(4):210-221.
This paper examines the use of the drug MDMA, a psychoactive drug that is also called Ecstasy, and its role in the emergence of the rave subculture in northwest England.
Data came from unstructured observations, as a covert participant observer, of a group of Ecstasy users in Liverpool each weekend between fall 1989 and summer 1991. The group consisted of shifting subgroups and a total of 80 people. The information came from a core group of 47 people. The four main subgroups included couples from a public housing area, professionals, young single adults who were often unemployed, and nurses. The fieldwork took place in nightclubs, private parties, warehouse parties, and other locations. The rave was an organizing principle around which these subgroups' drug consumption took place. Problems resulting from Ecstasy use included drug problems, crime, psychiatric problems, employment problems, and family and relationship problems. The findings suggested that the role of illicit drug use in youth subcultures has probably been underestimated; that in large parts of Great Britain, drug use is the norm; and that the particular drug is less an issue than is the sense of community. In addition, for many people in this case study, Ecstasy functioned as a gateway drug. Further research is recommended. 13 references
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