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MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse

Who is using MDMA?

MDMA first gained popularity among adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene and at dance parties known as raves.3 However, the profile of the typical person who uses MDMA has been changing. Beginning in 1999, community-level data from NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group began to report that use of MDMA had spread among populations outside the nightclub scene.49

Past Month Ecstasy Use among People Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group: Percentages, 2002-2014. This graph shows that Ecstasy use among 18- to 25-year-olds remains higher than in other age groups, with 0.8 percent of that age group reporting past month use. 0.2 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds report past month use and 0.1 percent of people aged 26 and older report past month Ecstasy use. Overall, 0.2 percent of people aged 12 and older reported past month Ecstasy use.

MDMA is predominantly used by males between the ages of 18 and 25.43,50 Most use typically begins at 21 years of age.51

NIDA-funded research shows that sexual orientation also influences MDMA usage rates. For example, gay or bisexual men and women are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have used MDMA within the last 30 days and to report harm associated with MDMA use.52


This page was last updated September 2017

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NIDA. (2017, September 26). MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/mdma-ecstasy-abuse

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