Estimating the Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use and High-Risk Sexual Behaviors Among Club Attendees

Tanja C. Link, University of Georgia
Erin A. Orrick, University of Maryland at College Park
George Yacoubian, Jr., Pacific Inst. for Research & Evaluation

The "rave" phenomenon has been a major element in the resurgence of psychedelic drug use in Western society. Purportedly central to raves is the use of "club drugs," such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"). To date, however, few studies have examined the prevalence of ecstasy use and dependence among rave attendees in the United States. In the current study, we collected self-report drug use information and oral fluid (OF) specimens from a sample of adult "club rave" attendees in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C. The prevalence of ecstasy use and dependence is estimated. Twelve-month ecstasy users are compared to non-users across a host of demographic, drug use, and attitudinal variables. Logistic regression is used to identify predictors of ecstasy dependence. Policy implications are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006