E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 45 A survey of MDMA use in London, by Adam Winstock, a senior
house officer in respiratory medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital Royal
Postgraduate Medical School (unpublished)
- From October 1989 to February 1990, Winstock conducted a survey of Ecstasy
use in London. Out of 250 forms distributed, 89 were returned and analysed.
64% of respondents were male and the average age was 23. The youngest respondent
was 17 and the oldest 31. Nearly all were single.
- Frequency of use:=09
less than 3 per week 2.2% 2 per week 14.1% 1 per week 18% more
than 1/week 28% less than 1 per month 36%
- 52% of respondents had used Ecstasy more than 20 times; 5.6% had taken
it more than 100 times and 27% had used it less than 10 times. 62% of respondents
- including many of the heavy users - had stopped using the drug for some
periods of time.
- 75% took it on Fridays and/or Saturdays only; a mere 2% reported midweek
usage. Only 19% said they would take more of it if it were cheaper while
59% said they would definitely not take more if it cost less. 65% said the
effect of the drug was variable.
- 59% noticed the build up of tolerance, but none experienced withdrawal
symptoms. For 4.5 per cent of respondents, MDMA was the first illicit drug
they had tried. Over 75% had experience of cannabis, amyl nitrate, amphetamine
sulphate, cocaine and LSD. In combination with MDMA, 79% of respondents
had taken cannabis, 57% alcohol and 51% cocaine.
- The most pronounced effect noted by users was sexual arousal (89%),
and increased sexual activity (67%). [These findings are in marked contrast
with the results of other studies which show MDMA suppresses sexual arousal
and activity41, 42, 33, 44]. Other reported effects were unremarkable. 17%
reported having had a 'bad E', usually meaning the pill had no psychoactive
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by Nicholas Saunders