"Rollin' on E": a qualitative analysis of ecstasy use among inner city adolescents and young adults

J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2005;4(2):9-38. doi: 10.1300/J233v04n02_02.


Ecstasy use has spread beyond the rave and club scenes into other arenas of party culture, and from middle-class America to working-class and low-income neighborhoods of large cities. In order to explore ecstasy use among inner city adolescents and young adults, we conducted in-depth interviews with 23 poly-drug users who had used ecstasy, in Hartford, CT. Most users reported positive experiences while on the drug. Negative experiences were most often related to poly-drug mixing. However, heavy users (40+ times ever used) experienced negative aftereffects, which led them to decide to decrease or halt their use. Some participants discussed using ecstasy during sex, and irregular use of condoms. These findings point to the need for more in-depth research on MDMA use within inner city settings, with a particular focus on ethnic and cultural context, self-controlled drug use, poly-drug mixing, and sex risk behaviors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / ethnology*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Black People / psychology
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Connecticut
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Designer Drugs* / adverse effects
  • Designer Drugs* / supply & distribution
  • Drug Interactions
  • Euphoria / drug effects
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs* / adverse effects
  • Illicit Drugs* / supply & distribution
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine* / adverse effects
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine* / supply & distribution
  • Risk
  • Social Facilitation
  • Social Support
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*


  • Designer Drugs
  • Illicit Drugs
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine