Research into “Drug use characteristics and social representations of ecstasy” carried out in different European countries (France, Italy, Holland, Portugal and Spain) by an IREFREA research team, in order to
evaluate comparatively the phenomenon of ecstasy diffusion. The research has been carried out in five different European cities, from a sample of 1.627 young individuals, and its results provide a general view of the matter that makes possible to reach important conclusions. Moreover, it clearly shows the ecstasy users difficulty in accepting they are dealing with a real drug, since they don’t realise they are drug users and believe they only take this synthetic substance in order to enhance physical and psychological abilities and a
As the research points out this false idea makes young individuals think they are socially integrated, which shows a contrast with the fact that even that they are not marginal people, they present important differences with the control group used in the study.
The importance of this study as an empirical research is to show the different motivations and new attitudes of the synthetic drug users in relation to stronger drug users.
The present investigation also provides new data concerning the following objectives:
1) To define, from a personal, familiar and social level, the typology of ecstasy
2) To distinguish between the recreative nature of ecstasy use and the socialisation
attempts facilitated in a illusory way by the substance empathogenous effects.
3) Allow to identify not real ways of socialisation but illusions of it, that it is mainly
possible to find out by a research of the preferred places for ecstasy use.
4) Investigate the relationship between ecstasy use, the search of risk behaviours
and deviant behaviours frequency.
5) Study in depth the different social representations of ecstasy, in relation to
consumers as well as non consumers.