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
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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