Ecstasy and Raves

The following article contains a sampling of opinions previously posted to the Internet. These views do not necessarily represent the views of the maintainers of this archive nor are they intended to promote or encourage any illegal activities whatsoever.

From: (Tony M)
Date: 30 Mar 1995 19:48:30 GMT
Organization: Ireland On-Line

I've heard a lot of different shit about ecstasy and I'm a little confused. Whats the deal with it. Dangerous? Good? Like acid? comment.

For proper info on it, check out Nicholas Saunders' site, available at hyperreal. Basically tho, if a person has ever had any liver or heart trouble in the past, i'd stay away..just in case..

Seems to me tho, e does 4 main things..

1 increases aural sense in some wonderful way - the right kinds of music just sound unbelievable.. and if that music is rave music, youll just dance like a fiend :)

2 increases the sensations from (being) touched in a wonderful way - all kinds of massages etc. Hugs and head massages make me melt away...

3 Seems to remove all the stress and knots and tension from your muscles and limbs that have built up over time..

4 helps remove all the artificial barriers you put up in front of you as you age - you know, all those walls you put up subconsciously to help prevent you being emotionally hurt, to deal with day-to-day pressures.. all those kind of barriers are removed..and, in a way, make you like a child again.. you're totally open to people.. you can look people dead in the eye..walk up to people youve never met before in your life..and ask their name and become instant friends, if only temporarily.. kinda why i like raves where everyones on it.. there are no priks.. everyones on the same kinda buzz..friendly, helpful..etc etc.

Lemme give an event that really hit me.. myself and 2 friends were tripping outta our heads one night in town..we really needed somewhere that had music and a we headed to a club. We got in, and *everyone* there was on E..but most of them were..well.. of a very different social background..and with us tripping, it got very freaky and paranoid for a while..

Anyway, while we're on the dance-floor, one friend for some reason was looking towards the bar a lot, and a small group of lads thought he was looking at them..for a fight, or in a menacing way or something.. so they all started talking amongst themselves, and staring back at us..and I was thinking..oh god...the last thing we need now.. So one of them comes over to us, and I'm we go.. here it comes.. The guy extends his hand towards my friend, Tommy, they shake, and the bloke says 'Arright bud..this is what its all about..'

Fucken brilliant.. and we all ended up having a great time together.. The next week we tried an E each, went raving, and havent looked back since.

Sorry bout all the waffle..but I had to get all that out. :)

Hope that helps some... take it easy, and have fun....Tony.

Date: 23 Jan 1995 18:38:19 GMT

A friend and I plan to go to our first rave and we would like some enlightened advice about Ecstasy. Is it possible to obtain it at a rave and, if so, is it usually trustworthy? How important is Ecstasy to the rave experience?

Okay, you can take this a couple of different ways - first though, PLEEEEEEZE get your xtc from someone you trust - I've gotten shit before that made me puke, hug the wall because the floor was tilting, hallucinate, you name it. If you can't find it from someone you know, good luck... I wouldn't recommend getting it at a rave unless you see a big group of severely happy, hugging people (who are most likely either kissing or sucking ferociously on a lollipop or pacifier - they'll probably be able to find you some good E.

How important is ecstasy to the rave experience? Well, this is another thing you could take a couple of ways. DO IT!!!!!!!!!! That's my advice - I mean, that way you can feel the overwhelming emotions & sensations you might not be tuned into otherwise (some people are good at this, but normal people like me needed the E to open my eyes) - not to mention, that bass feels DAMN good when you're on it! Put it this way - my friend did his first one October 1, 1994 - did his first E at his first rave (I think, and I know this friend is reading this so correct me if I'm wrong) and it changed his whole life. I personally think that E is part of the INITIAL rave experience - i.e. you need to do it at least your first time just to get that FEEEEEEEELING - from then on out, use at your own discretion.

Hey, HAVE A GREAT TIME! Welcome to our world. Hugs and kisses!

From: (Cyberslut)
Date: 10 Jan 1995 17:39:37 GMT

Yep folks, it must be true. Its all about drugs. "I can have fun anywhere with the right pill...."

NO, but it certainly helps! If you didn't notice before, I DID mention the fact that I also had my two closest friends with me - hence, the ecstasy was only an instrument of communication (it's REAL purpose!), serving to bring us all to the same plane. Ecstatic feeling definitely DOES have a lot to do with how good your night is! That's what it's all about, buddy. You don't have to actually take a pill to be on that wavelength but it helps sometimes... No, it ain't all about drugs though - it's about communication, good fucking music, dancing your ass off, feeling the vibe - which can be intensified if everyone is on the same drug. Maybe you need to take some.

Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 21:24:38 -0700 (PDT)

Are drugs (extacy) or smart-drinks important, and why?

Drugs. That is such a hard 2 explain topic U wouldn't believe. Even people who have been in the scene for years disagree with each other. Basically drugs are not necessary. People get high because of the *VIBE* and the muzik. but, many if not most people do insist on doing drugs. Luckily this is mostly X, acid, and pot (hardly anyone in the scene does hard drugs). Most people I know go thru phases. They'll do X A LOT like almost every week for a month or month and a half, then theyll stay sober for a long time. Why, I really don't know. Just there are periods of time when you really have an urge 2 get high! X feels great, makes U more open, makes dancing easier, and is just plain fun. After a while tho that urge subsides and people go sober for a long time. There are people who argue that without drugs there would be no scene. Is that true?? I really don't know but I think they're wrong. Yes there is nothing quite like being at a rave where everyone is on X but there are plenty of sober times that R incredible in themselves. There is a problem tho. Lately a new problem has surfaced in the scene. Speed. It has been gaining popularity out there and people who don't do it HATE IT! People on speed are rude, paranoid, and just overall dicks. They get addicted after the first try and then do it as often as they can. Most people I've talked 2 that do it say "dont do it!". they say that its a trip and that if they had the chance never 2 have tried it the would take that chance. But it's hard 2 quit. Most promoters out there try to even disallow speed at their raves and most zines have written articles about how it sucks Smart Drinks used 2 be popular but aren't anymore.

- sly

Subject: X Fatality
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 95 17:43:43 PDT.

People used to think that X rays, ultraviolet radiation, nuclear radiation, or pregnancy hormones like DES were harmless. Our understanding, pro-X or con-X is very very limited. Yes, we may know the minutiae of how X affects us at a neuronal level (serotonin this versus dopamine that). But, I maintain, such minutiae are irrevelvant when looking at the overall systemic, immune, or hormonal effects of X. We still understand very little about that.

I've read parts of various pro-X books like "E is for Ecstasy" and much of it reads like a bunch of spew from a religious tractate (selective quoting from scientific articles). Much of the "literature" that people point to in claiming that X is 100% safe seems to lack objectivity. It's easy to preach to the converted, but that shit don't pass for "science"... It's bad science to just look for the positives suporting your point, and skip, gloss-over, or minimize any negatives.

I know lots of people that do X and I sometimes tell them what I think and many still do X (and many are still friends). My opinion is that people get a bit too dreamy in the shorts when describing how wonderful X is, and they seem to lose objectivity.

I first did X back when it was legal, it was real, it was interesting. But for me, I have a been there, done that attitude about my past experiences that lead me to believe it isn't a very good enchancer. For the following reasons:

(0) X is too expensive. Fuck designer fashions.
(1) The effects wear out over time, your 100th trip won't be anything like the first, or even the tenth. (So you end up upping the dosage and eventually incur the risk of ODing...).
(2) The crap that passes for X nowadays is a joke. It's much like playing russian roulette.
(3) X makes me depressed and emotionally listless afterwards, and you're wading into dangerous addiction territory if you need to do more X to make yourself feel ok... (i've spoken to a handful of people that feel the same way).
(4) I have seen empirical evidence indicating that X fucks w/ your immune system, leaving you susceptible to colds, flu, bronchitis/pneumonia, and making recovery a lot slower than normal. (Why is it that so many X users are perpetually sick or recovering from "nasty colds")...
(5) I watched some heavy users in college lose much of their emotional affect for an extended period of time (like 1 year). They eventually became fun to be around (aka normal) again once they stopped using/abusing X.
(6) Emotional hallucinogens are a bad way to fall in love/like. Because when you're down, you may still think you're in love/like, but the reasons for feeling that way turn out to be nothing but a mirage. I'd rather be a bit more objective and sober when investigating love/sex/friendship.

These are opinions, and you are free to ignore them, or whatever. I really don't care. The only facts I ever write are programmatic source code. Everything else is by definition an opinion, because facts are slippery business.

Subject: Re: X Fatality

I'll only point out a couple of things. First, MDMA is not merely anecdotally an immune suppressant, this has been widely reported in the literature and again anecdotally from my friends and FOAFs who get "raver flu" sometimes after doing it. But it happens also with pot and alcohol and lots of other things.

I also disagree somewhat with the characterization of E Is for Ecstasy as merely a pro-X "spew" selectively quoting the literature. This may be true of certain other well-known books about this substance, but my reading of it is that it is very fair and reasonably complete in its coverage and conclusions. This book certainly does *not* claim that MDMA is 100% safe (as the excerpt I posted just now indicates).

The point is, we are not dealing with an unknown here. There is plenty of readily-available documentation on the benefits, drawbacks and even dangers of this substance, as there are with many others we may encounter directly or indirectly through the experiences of our friends and acquaintances.

MDMA has been and continues to be a part of this scene, but it is not the defining characteristic that the media seem to want it to be, nor was it ever, even back in the day of 1991 (or 1987 if you were in the UK). And this is not surprising -- not all Deadheads have taken acid, despite what you'd think from what is said in the media. I'm Exhibit No. 1 in that regard. But there's no question that acid put its stamp on the Dead as a musical outfit and on the Deadhead scene in general, just as X has done with the house/techno/rave/underground. So, regardless of whether we do this particular substance ourselves, it is something we have to deal with for our own understanding of what it is we're involved with, and to respond appropriately when the media comes calling.

And every so often we are faced with a true tragedy within our scene. At times like these, for surely one or more of the people on this list knew the person who died this weekend, knowing about these things makes it much easier to comprehend their meaning and to take the necessary steps to minimize the loss of health or even life that can happen, so ironically and arbitrarily, in a scene devoted to the proposition that we support *life*.

Go on taking E, and think about me when you're ill... 'cause, if you don't feel the negative effects yet, it's just because you're lucky. This won't last forever.... Music is the only XTC. Peace.

WRONG matey i WROTE..i do it sometimes...i dont do it sometimes.. when i do drop an E its always HALF of a dove or a diamond. Due to job/kids responsibilities (which ALWAYS come first in my life) I probably get out about once every two weeks on average....and in between i live mucho healthy lifestyle. I know a fair old bit about biochemistry/psychology and health promotion due to my job and i WILL NOT ever feel negative effects because I'm tuned into the flow of this short but sweet life. Just because SOME peeps overdo the scene and become casualties dont assume all xtc partakers will go under...some of us actually benefit greatly...its the old Gaussian curve statistical blag....a dynamic scale containing an array of eventualities. I know your mind set probably has me down as classic druggy casualty person but i assure you matey i aint and theres loadsa peeps inside and outside this fucking brilliant scene who'll tell ya the same.
Keep on grooving chappy..however ya do it!!!!!

PLUR and a few grins'n hugs
"rhythm king"

From: (David Alves)
Date: Thu, 11 May 95 13:01:58 PDT

I didn't fully realize what the story behind [the death] was due to my somewhat sporadic reading of this list. Perhaps I missed an entire discussion on this already.

However, my quick reaction was how Pathetic it is to be defending the drug - "oh it's indirect", "you could/should do this", "ecstacy is still great, how sad about that guy".

When I was first exposed to this drug I went to the Library. What I found at the time were mostly journal articles with a psychiatric lean to them. Lots of detailed accounts of the drug experience. Among these accounts, were the occasional Extremely Bad Reaction.

One case of a two couples, same drug source, and a fabulous evening at home. A month later, same drugs, one woman walks outside and describes "the world going greyish black like a nuclear armeggedon", she passes out and is hospitalized for 36 hours during which time she hallucinates wildly and must be carefully watched and medicated. The other 3 were fine.

Now you can speculate til the cows come home about why this kinda thing happened or can happen. But that is missing the point.

It Does Happen.
It is a Serious Drug.
There are Serious Risks.

Risks that have nothing to do with the pop-chemistry crap that passes for scientific proof of the wonderfulness of ecstacy. This is the reality of Life. You can't justify or explain it all.

I've said this before - I think informed adults can do what they want. There is a young man who is dead, gone Forever. That is the Big Bad world that raving is a Part of. There is no escape from it. It is real. And some of you should grow up a little. Immortality is for kids.


Date: Thu, 11 May 95 20:09:28 pdt
Subject: Re: mdma and such

Hello, this is Bruce Eisner. I haven't followed this thread from the beginning, but I'm probably one of the world's top four or five top experts on the subject of ecstasy, having written Ecstasy: The MDMA Story in two editions and having lectured around the U.S. I first took ecstasy back in 1978. Thus, my first exposure was over 17 years ago. I've lived through a generation with ecstasy as my drug of choice. It seems to have had no descendible ill effects on me. I've studied the literature and find that it backs up the conclusion that MDMA use,when confined to infrequent exposures (less than once a week), and with small total amounts (under 250 mgm total ingested), has no neurotoxicity.

Well having said that, I'll tell you what the biggest danger to using ecstasy these days is. It's the fact that most ecstasy sold in the underground is not ecstasy or is ecstasy cut with other things. If people got pure ecstasy and used in moderation (that is stable people without a family history of mental disorder or any in their personal history), I don't think there would be a problem at all. In fact, alcohol and tobacco are the biggest killers by far among drugs, and even aspirin kills many times as many people a year as MDMA.

From: Kevin

On Thu, 11 May 1995, sig wrote:
i've raved sober and i've raved high, and i've come to enjoy raving sober the most. it just feels more sincere, and i remember the party better. plus, it saves me some bucks. which is not in anyway to put down getting high... ;)

yes i quite agree with you here... raving sober is a very true way to experience the communal/tribal/friendly/honest "vibe" in a party. if you really connect with a person and both of you are sober, i dunno... it seems this is really real and legitimate and sincere. not that i have any problem with drugs, i have certainly been to many parties very high. but i tend to prefer sobriety. after a while, being high all the time is too taxing and tends to induce fatigue - anathema to constant partying.

From: Amy

Very true.....But I have to say that you can be sincere while high, too. The true test is what happens the next day when you are sober. There is nothing worse (imo) than someone who says all kinds of wonderful things to you and connects with you the night before, only to have that person shun you the next day. That is a bunch of BS having that happen.

Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 11:14:31 -0700
From: reza

I'm often torn between embracing the vibe or rejecting it as a as a state of drug induced mass euphoria. It helps to know that short of a few dazed and drooling peaking moments I can dance just as hard, feel the same elation and experience the same childlike fascinations without the use of pharmaceutical refreshments. Until recently I'd never mixed drugs and dancing. I love the things I've experienced so far, I've learned so much about my self and life in general. It's wonderfull when positive individuals can congregate todance, talk and share in experiences which can seem only too unusual in every day life. A smile and a hug will go a long way no matter where you are.

My first ExpErience was at a Full Moon on a beach in Santa Cruz. Everything about that day was so perfect that I couldn't imagine how anything could ever compare. I waited a while before partaking again and in the interim I did alot of thinking. I came to the conclusion that so long as I continue to be happy with my life and my progess towards short and long term goals it's quite alright to experience whatever life has to offer to it's fullest degree. E is for ecstacy but like anything else can also be used for escape. In my limited experience I have found that drugs can be educational when used not to escape life but to enhance it. That's what I believe life is all about:: learning, growing, and experiencing the world around you.


From: (anonymous)
Date: Fri Jun 09 07:48:55 PDT 1995

Isn't the whole point of going to a Rave to trip on acid? I took for granted that at a rave, you're either going to be on acid, or on ecstacy.

Well then you're wrong and or obviously new to this whole rave thing. Alot of people do neither of those at raves. The whole point on going to a rave is to DANCE to MUSIC and have a GOOD TIME with friends, OLD and NEW. If that involves drugs then so be it but it doesn't necessarily have to.

The whole point of a rave isn't to take drugs. It's to do what ya like, whatever it is so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Drugs do fall under that but so does jumping up and down like a maniac, giving away bags full of lollipops, hugging people at random, and other random acts of vibe creation. One needs not be dosed or sorted to understand this.