Ectasy (4-methyleneodioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a popular stimulant for young adults who frequent dance clubs. Although many people may try it, only a small percent are long-times users.


Parameters affecting length of time that ectasy is used:

(1) personality type

(2) personal experience of toxic effect

(3) attitude towards toxic effects in someone else

(4) belief in personal ability to avoid toxic effects (ego bias)

(5) belief of personal invincibility

(6) life circumstances (job, responsibilities, friends, etc) or environment of use (club scene, etc)

(7) attitude towards the drug

(8) ease/difficulty of stopping

(9) concern about drug quality


More Likely to Quit

More Likely to Continue Use

personality type

curious, experimenting


personal experience of an adverse effect


none or minimal

attitude to someone else who had a toxic effect

could happen to me

his or her own fault

attitude towards risk of adverse effects

afraid, health concerns

denial; smart and careful enough to avoid

belief in personal invincibility



life circumstances or environment of use



attitude towards the drug

bored, no longer interested (been there, done that), negative

drug of choice, positive; essential for enjoying party

stopping the drug



concern about drug quality




A person is more likely to quit if one or more of these factors are present.


Many users employed one or more strategies to protect against adverse effects. Unfortunately these may be used inconsistently and may not be effective.


Many people in the study of Pers et al stopped because of changes in environmental variables rather than for health concerns. Most users are able to quit relatively easy, indicating that most are not dependent.


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