Ecstasy and Raves





“Ecstasy and Raves: The Exploited Underworld”
I waited in line for nearly an hour and a half. I finally reached the entrance and I was asked to raise my arms, while I was patted down and my pockets, socks and cigarettes were checked. I felt like I was about to meet the President, with the intense security. As I finally entered the club, the suspense began to rise. This was my first time at a rave party. I looked around and saw people dressed in colorful, bright clothing, holding glow sticks and bottles of water. The music was incredible: loud, energetic and throbbing with bass. The party was called “Adrenaline,” and lasted until 8:00 a.m. People were dancing all around and the place was packed. It was extremely difficult to make a trip to the bathroom or attempt to buy a drink. My friends and I decided to check out the place before began our journey into the rave scene. Every room had a different D.J., which made this party particularly diverse. As we are walking through, at least ten different people, all males, asked me if I was looking for any pills. My answer was no, for all of the above, but to my amazement these people never gave up. I couldn’t believe the risk the “ravers” were taking to make some cash. My curiosity began to get the best of me…. I am looking around and everyone is completely happy, smiling, hugging, kissing- it was unbelievable the amount of content in a club filled with about 5,000 plus people. I wanted to be apart of this trend and know the happiness that they knew. At one point a girl approached me, wearing a pink wig, bunny ears, tons of creative makeup and an outfit that was colorful and bright. I asked her if she was on “E” and she nodded without hesitation. I asked her, “ How do you feel?” All she could say was, “I’m in ecstasy, and my sense of touch is times one thousand!” She grabbed my hand and began to massage it and the whole time she consistently kept a smile on her face. I stood there in amazement attempted to understand how this girl was feeling, but it obviously never happened. At that point, I wanted to know more. What is this drug, and how has this counter-culture filled with “ecstasy” entered our mainstream?
Many questions arise when talking about a new drug such as ecstasy. What is it? Where did it come from? What are the effects, and most of all is it Harmful? Ecstasy is a drug that contains some hallucinogenic properties and is closely related to amphetamines. The chemical name is MDMA (3, 4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine). It is also called E, XTC, Adam, Euphoria, X, MDM and Love Doves. Ecstasy is usually sold in a tablet or gelatin capsule form and taken orally in doses of 50 to 200 mg. The drug comes in many different shapes and sizes, and colors depending on the manufacturer. Ecstasy can produce a mild intoxication, a strong sense of pleasure, and feelings of euphoria that last for four to six hours. (Swan, 1)
MDMA was first produced in 1914 by pharmaceutical researchers as an appetite suppressant. In the 1970’s a small number of psychotherapists in the United States began to use MDMA as a supplement to treatment. MDMA was also used by Baghwan followers and spread to Europe. The setting for its use was different there. In the 1980’s MDMA, or soon acknowledged as Ecstasy, gained popularity as a recreational drug and began to be associated with “raves.” (Long, 3) Raves are often held in abandoned warehouses or outdoor locations that can hold large amounts of people. With its distinctive “techno” or “trance” music and all night dancing, raves have become to mainstream form of entertainment for teenagers and young adults in Europe, Canada, and the United States. (Long, 3-4)
The ready availability of ecstasy is a newer a phenomenon. “E” enjoyed a brief spurt of mainstream use in the 1980’s, before the government outlawed it in 1985. Until recently, it remained abundant only on the margins of society- in clubland, in gay America, in lower Manhattan. (Cloud, par. 1) In the past year or so, ecstasy has returned to