The Association Between Raves and Drugs
Generally people associate raves(Underground Techno parties) with designer drugs like Ecstasy(MDMA), Speed(amphetamine) and other acids like LSD. These drugs are called the Techno Drugs for that reason and most of the time have uplifting and sensatory effects. To understand more clearly the relationship between the raves and these drugs, we first have to understand the philosophy behind the Techno era, and a little about the music. "Techno, can lift the spirit and become a new world of freedom and peace"(D'Vox Magazine The first electronic music Magazine). Most raves are covered with propaganda about freedom, peace, spirituality and the like. It is no surprise why teens use these specific drugs at raves. "The effects of E, are like a journey to another world, a world of happiness, love and euphoria" (Ecstasy and Mental Health: Nerves or neurosis by Dr. Karl Jansen) These ravers, have many reasons to take E, for example " The music lends itself to the intake of drugs, drugs are common in youth culture, teens need energy to dance all night, the rave scene is bombarded with all kinds of E" (Drug Information Database, www.pharmlink.org/designer/index.html/).
"The media has given E and the rave scene a bad reputation, since 30 years ago music has been greatly united with drugs. For example Weed and Rock in the 60's and acid in the 70's." (E for Ecstasy by Nicolas Saunders, ch.1) Ecstasy is just a hard and dangerous as weed, "a drug that 1 out of every 3 highschool students in the American population have had experiences with." (Drug Information Database, www.pharmlink.org/stats/index/main.html/) "Why is E judged so harshly when the ecstasy related deaths can not compare with those related with legal drugs just like tabacco and alcohol." (E for Ecstasy by Nicolas Saunders, ch.2)
Of course the media has a lot to do with it, the media takes all the negative effects and doesn't include the positive ones. " 29 volunteers where asked to assist Dr. Green, prominent doctor in charge of studies for the BMJ (British Medical Journal), in a study of the effects of E." (Readers Digest article by Russell Twisk editor-in-chief)
"Out of those 29 volunteers they all experienced, unpleasant experiences such as nausea, sweating and stiffing" (Readers Digest by Russell Twisk). " Although the volunteers felt undesirable symptoms, 18 of the volunteers experienced mood changes, to the best, and 23 of them went reported positive attitudes. 7 of my patients who experienced depression made more improvement with E, than with years of therapy and other anti-depressive drugs." (British Medical Journal by Dr. Green Hancock).
"Although the media portrays ecstasy as an aphrodisiac, sexual arousal is not an effect from MDMA (E), the drugs does not give a man an erection, opposite to that sometimes it causes penis shrinkage. Because of this, women at raves can snuggle in a very comftable way. Even if the hugging come from love it does not come from sexual desire" (Ecstasy Reconsidered by Nicolas Saunders, ch.4) " There is more possibility that a person engages in casual sex after a night at a bar for a few drinks than at a night of dancing on E" (Ecstasy Reconsidered by Nicholas Saunders, ch.4) This also stops sexual crimes and assaults like rape and sexual harassment in people on E, because they have no sexual interest. "A person who is already in a sexy mood will get maximized arousal, it will be an experience of sexual pleasure like no other". (Ecstasy Reconsidered)
There have been many different studies about the toxicity of ecstasy. Dr. Ricaurte of the British Medical Center in Liverpool believes that E is highly neurotoxic and will cause problems with long-term users, while Dr.O'Callaghan a senior researcher for the US environmental Protection Agency believes that it is not neurotoxin even in large amounts. "MDMA changes serotonin amounts in the brain and therefore creates toxicity and functional change, like pain perception, sleep and concentration" (Ecstasy: a human neurotoxin? A discussion meeting Times Magazine interview with Dr. Ricaurte) "Although the brain is so complex as to completely determine if E has affected the toxicity in long term users, I believe that it does decrease the level of serotonin in the brain, without destroying serotorgenic axons." (Ecstasy: a human neurotoxin? Interview with Dr. O'callaghan). There have been many studies, some of them trying to prove that E is in fact a neurotoxin and those trying to prove it's not, up to now both sides cannot come up with solid answers to the subject.
It is hard to say that all ravers are on E, but certain the majority of them are. " If a raver is not E at a rave, Techno has the same properties (although much less stronger) as some of those drugs. Techno is played incredibly loud and raves have incredible lights that cause euphoria in the most sober of minds". (Techno ; Ecstasy: Music and Drugs in the year 2000, Times Magazine by Nicolas Saunders)
Although Ecstasy is illegal in every country in the world, I think it will be impossible to stop ravers and the production of E in underground labs. Since Techno is becoming more popular around teenagers, therefore E is also becoming more and more popular around the clubbing and raving scenes.
Saunders, Nicolas E for Ecstasy (London,UK) 1995
Saunders, Nicolas Ecstasy Reconsidered (London,UK) 1997
Saunders, Nicolas Times Magazine "Pros and Cons of MDMA use. Interview with two Experts" 1994
Twisk, Russell Reader's Digest "Ecstasy and other designer drugs" 1995
Green, Dr. Albert British Medical Journal (Liverpool)1995