A quantitative exploration of dance drug use : the new pattern of drug use of the 1990s
Since the late 1980s there has been a great deal of public concern about a new form of drug use. This concern has arisen from the practice of people using drugs as an adjunct to dancing at events commonly known as 'raves'. This dance drug phenomenon is most closely associated with a drug called 'ecstasy' (usually 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine or MDMA). It is usually assumed that many of the hundreds of thousands of young people who attend raves use ecstasy. Beyond this assumption however, little is known about the patterns of drug use among 'ravers'. This thesis will examine in detail the relationships between the 'rave scene' and changing patterns of drug use. This was done using data from 135 dance drug scene event attendees (ravers) collected during detailed interviews conducted by the author. It was found that drug use related to dance events was not restricted to MDMA, but included a variety of other substances used in different settings. The implications of this complex form of drug use are discussed and potential future trends in illicit substance use are identified.