Social Problems of Ecstasy and Raves
Throughout American history drugs have posed a problem to society and lawmakers. Many attempts have transpired to try to prevent future problems associated with drugs. Many of the drugs threatening America were originally designed toward the improvement of human health. The most recent epidemic of recreational drug use is ecstasy. Ecstasy?s popularity is particularly in the possession of the nations youth. The institute of use is at all-night clubs and bars within many large cities. Recent research has been completed about the problems and long term effects of the drug. Does the new era of rave clubs and club drugs such as ecstasy pose a great threat to society?
Before analyzing the societal problems associated with ecstasy it is important to understand what it is and its background. Ecstasy or MDMA (methylenedioxmethamphetamine) first originated in 1914 and was used as an appetite suppressant; it was not heavily used again until the 1970?s and was used to treat psychological disorders. Finally in the 1980?s the drug administration banned any open use of ecstasy because of recent test results proving it causes health problems.
Recently the drug has become very popular and the rising popularity is from the influence of the rave movement. Boom, Boom, Boom. The sound of the new innovative music, responsible for cultivating and transforming society erupts from the speakers of a rave. Codes of conduct at raves are nonexistent. With out rules the crowds are encouraged to participate in whatever they find pleasing. People attend the raves to dance, but in actuality the ravers seek thrill through clandestine actions. Raves usually are praised for creating peaceful and positive vibes, but in spite of the fun and happiness created, raves also have many downfalls.
Raving is an all-night activity. Large quantities of “rave kids” use mind and body altering drugs enabling them to indulge in a night of dancing and immoral behavior. Ecstasy is a quintessential part of entertainment at the rave scene. The drug enhances the scene and the raver does not fully appreciate the moment unless in an altered state of mind. Kids who use ecstasy roam around the scene lost, and not in touch with reality. The ravers are experiencing the moment, but to others it sounds as if they are experiencing mass confusion.
Some “ravers” consider alcohol to be a ?square? drug, and therefore seek an alternate source of synthetic energy, such as ecstasy. Most raves are held in empty warehouses or abandoned buildings not capable of facilitating a bar, therefore there is a scarcity of alcohol. If the raves were located in other places most ravers would not be interested in drinking because alcohol is thought to reduce the effects of ecstasy. Rave parties spawn groups of kids that indulge themselves in illegal activities and nightlife.
What gives young adults the right to prance around all night and praise the usage illegal drugs such as ecstasy? Many “ravers” attend the raves knowing the drug of choice will be present. If the drug is illegal it definitely is found ?underground? at these youth parties.
The music created by the rave scene brings negative problems for the community and increases the use of illegal drugs by teens. Many of the ravers who are on ecstasy love the heavy beat of the music, because it provides extra sensation of the drug. The music is created on state-of-the-art equipment with an array of synthesizers and rhythm machines. The repetitive, irritating loud music is played at a loud constant beat. It does not contain lyrical or redeemable values nor does it consist of a definite melody. Raves are beginning to move to locations outside of the cities because of the many noise complaints received, ?Due to the Denver noise ordinance, this event will be held at a secure location 30 miles north of Denver. Please plan accordingly.? as described in a flyer for a rave.
When attending a rave it is important to dress in a comfortable style. One may ask why? For the next six hours one will subdue their body to mind-bending drugs and earsplitting music with scores of other people who are just as intoxicated. Ecstasy plagues the youth and the sparatic movement is enforced by the rapid popularity of the underground clubs.
There are many ways ecstasy can be consumed, but the most common form is a pill. It is more appealing to take it orally than snorting it or using a needle. Once the person has metabolized the ecstasy the effects generated is called ?rolling.? The skin becomes very sensual to touch and the mind feels a sense of pleasure, acceptance and euphoria. The ravers have created many popular slang names for ecstasy such as, Adam, XTC, Clarity, Essence, Doves, Rave Energy, Cloud 9 and Lover?s Speed. The effects the user feels after taking the drug is the reason of gripping such positive names.
Although the user may experience feelings of euphoria, the person often is not aware of where the dosage was manufactured or about any of the long-term physical effects it may cause. The ecstasy pills are very cheap to make and often are manufactured in filthy garbage cans in foreign countries. Ecstasy is not difficult to manufacture and therefore a person with little chemistry background is capable of manufacturing and distributing ecstasy.
Since the eighties many studies have been completed about the physical effects of ecstasy. The first onset of the effects occurs during the roll. While feeling euphoria and well being the person may also experience side effects such as muscle tension, teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness and sweating. Also it is important to drink water because continual dancing combined with ecstasy may cause severe dehydration. The main concern is about the findings of research about more severe long-term problems. Research reveals evidence of the MDMA damaging the serotonin neurons of the brain. Damages to serotonin transmitters can cause faults in important human responses such as aggression, memory, emotion, sleep and pain.
Law officials favor higher regulation and overall awareness of ecstasy and have made attempts to seize the drug before it is distributed. Drug busts have become more prevalent in customs at the United States border. In December of 1999 the U.S. Customs Service discovered 100 lbs. of ecstasy shipped from France to the FedEx headquarters in Memphis. The agents found 1.2 million tablets, which were worth 30 million dollars.() Many other drug busts have occurred, but the busts have had little effect on the ecstasy problem, because each year the statistics on the number of ecstasy users rises.
The next question society must face is, how do we prevent our youth from attending all-night parties and using club drugs? The parents need to talk to their children about potential drug use and find out how their children feel about ecstasy. Once the parents become informed about ecstasy society can better teach resistance from drug and social pressures.
Also many organizations have been designed to inform the public of club drugs, such as ecstasy, and to take a stance to try and prevent future use. For example, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) passed out 330,000 free informative postcards to major cities nation wide. The postcards featured the human brain and the severity of the difference before and after the use of ecstasy().
Drugs and alcohol continually cause national problems, but as long as individuals and national organizations attempt to prevent future abuse the problems will diminish. It also is important to look at the locations where the density of the drug problem exists. If activities at all-night rave clubs are better restricted the use of ecstasy also may not be used as heavily. The use of ecstasy and the attendance at rave clubs threats the youth who are the essence of the future society. The problem has been discovered early though with enough battling toward drug prevention the situation will be under control.
Drug Free America. Club Drugs. http://www.drugfreeamerica.org/clubdrugs/mdma.html
Drug Free America. It?s All the Rave.
Leshner, Alan I. ?Club Drugs.? NIDA Community Drug Alert Bulletin.
Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Ecstasy: Just the Facts.