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[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 120][Reference 122]

E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders

Appendix 1: Reference Section

121 Telephone interview with Marcia Ash of Dance Ambulance, a first aid service in Manchester for ravers, 6/2/93

Ash is a dietary therapist who used to go to raves and clubs and find that she was helping people who were feeling sick or paranoid, so she thought "Why not get paid for it?" Dance Ambulance is the result. The Parliament Club, which opened in Manchester in autumn 1992, introduced new safety guidelines from the outset - in line with a harm-reduction policy adopted by Manchester City Council - which required some security staff to have first aid training. Ash offered her services and now works at the club every Saturday night. She has recently applied to public and private backers for funding, and has received some encouraging responses. She also hopes to get funding from the Seized Assets Fund - money from seized assets of drug dealers. Ash uses a range of alternative therapies including homeopathic remedies, "polarity therapy" and "flower essence therapy". Various people have expressed interested in joining Dance Ambulance, including therapists, community drug workers and counsellors.

The work consists mainly of helping women in the toilets (far more women than men appear to suffer side-effects at raves). Many are paranoid or sick. Ash makes sure that sufferers have their friends with them and gives them homeopathic or flower remedies until they feel better or decide to go home. Ash joins in the dancing herself, but keeps an eye out for people needing help. Sometimes she sees girls "stuck in the corners" and asks what's wrong. A typical answer is: "Just fucked" - they feel rotten, perhaps paranoid, and can't move.

Ash believes that most problems come from being sold substitutes, including drug cocktails, instead of MDMA.

Ash is trying to recruit a number of helpers, who would be identified by their T shirts and to set up a permanent office for Dance Ambulance. All helpers would have to take first aid courses and learn about drugs and Lifeline, the Manchester drugs agency, has offered to help with training.

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 120][Reference 122]
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (