Culture of MDMA on College Campuses 


This research paper will go over the past and present history and culture of MDMA, or Ecstasy, as it is better known. Additionally, it will look into its use and prevalence among college students and in rave parties or festivals.

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When one thinks of ecstasy, our mind may wonder off to the idea or notion of drugs, loud music, eye-blinding flashing lights, all-night dancing, and individuals anticipating the bass drop. So the usual typical setting of raves, EDM festivals, and socials gatherings of that nature. But what precisely is ecstasy, or MDMA? What is its history? What does it consist of and what are its effects? Therefore, as a result, it would be proper to be able to comprehend the beginning of this popular drug.

So what exactly is MDMA? To begin, the pharmacological term for MDMA, or ecstasy, is 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. MDMA is actually a designer drug hallucinogen, which is a methamphetamine derivative. Its popularity is very high among teenagers and young adults, though as to why exactly is still unclear (Strote et al., 2002). But what we do know is the history and the culture MDMA grew in.

Past History: Now the history of MDMA is very interesting and fascinating. Its journey from being a drug that was seen with potential for psychotherapy to becoming a club drug, which is what most of us associate it with.

In 1914, MDMA was patented by the German company, Merck Pharmaceuticals. But the drug was not marketed till decades later. MDA and DOM rise to prominence in the 1960s, despite MDA had a better reception among the masses than DOM. However, MDA use, along with LSD, in the 1970s waned when MDMA began to be introduced and became popular. One reason that it became prevalent and, some might even say, attractive, was the public interest it had garnered about its therapeutic benefits. The drug became notorious as the “love drug” because users were commenting about the sense of positivity they were feeling towards others and an increase in empathy. When it associated with subcultures, such as club or rave, MDMA grew in popularity.

Present Use: The environment and culture that MDMA found itself in goes way back into the mid-1980s. It was here that a new variation of sound for dance music was being created in gays clubs around the country. That new sound was house music, which is a mixture of American disco music and European electronic pop music. In the United States, it started as underground sensation, but achieved mass acceptance as a libertine style in the United Kingdom. The reason it was able to achieve this level of acceptance in the U.K was because of two factors: music and drugs. Thus, it was here that drug that Ecstasy thrived beautifully (Reynolds, 1998). At the international level, MDMA use is common and rampant at dance parties and EDM festivals.

Raves and electronic dance music festivals, and college students. Factors that were found in college students who used MDMA were that they engaged in binge drinking, spent most of their time socializing and not studying, had more sexual partners, smoked cigarettes more frequently, rated parties and art as more significant than academics, and saw religion as insignificant (Walters et al., 2002). They are even more probable to use marijuana as well. On an interesting note is that it has been found that MDMA is used by college students inside a social context. Students who use it tend to be sociable, attend a suburban college, and belong to a fraternity or sorority (Strote et al., 2002).

MDMA’s Effects: The drug’s ability to enhance empathy and closeness to other individuals is what makes it appealing to young people.

Those who are partygoers familiarize themselves with three main kinds of MDMA sensations. The first sensation users will notice is that it is an instant positive enhancer and feel euphoric. Second sensation is its energy. Its users see it as an energizer and as an “upper” to effortlessly dance and talk all night at the clubs (Measham et al., 2001) Third sensation is the drug’s entactogenous qualities. In raves and electronic dance music festivals, the music, lights, and the environment in general.

Motives for taking MDMA:

Researchers suggest that for users who are taking it for the first time take MDMA out of a sense of curiosity. But as one would expect, users’ motives change after several times using it. Motives for taking it are because they enjoy the pleasant feeling it gives them, the ability to dance all night long, get into the music and rhythm, self-insight, and able to forget their troubles.

Research has demonstrated that the behavior behind drinking, especially among young adults, is affected by the motivations they endorse for drinking. A context for such motives was suggested and included four of them: drinking to get in a good mood, drinking to get some sort of social reward, drinking to manage one’s negative emotions, and drinking to elude social rejection (Cox and Klinger, 1988).

Conclusion: Considering all this information, we can see that MDMA is a very popular.

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Culture of MDMA on College Campuses . (2022, Sep 29). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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