Harm reduction and decision making among recreational ecstasy users

Panagopoulos, Irene and Ricciardelli, Lina 2005, Harm reduction and decision making among recreational ecstasy users, International journal of drug policy, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 54-64.

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Title Harm reduction and decision making among recreational ecstasy users
Author(s) Panagopoulos, Irene
Ricciardelli, Lina
Journal name International journal of drug policy
Volume number 16
Issue number 1
Start page 54
End page 64
Publisher Elsevier BV
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2005-01
ISSN 0955-3959
Keyword(s) ecstasy
harm reduction strategies
decision making
peer group
Summary Recent research indicates that 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ‘ecstasy’, is becoming increasingly popular as an illicit drug among young people. This study investigated risk and harm reduction practices among recreational ecstasy users. A semi-structured interview with 40 participants was designed to investigate how ecstasy users identify and manage the harms associated with their drug use, and the underlying decision-making process. Overall, the participants identified both positive and negative effects. The reported positive effects predominantly centred around enhanced psychological, physiological and social experiences. However, there were a number of factors that contributed to regulating ecstasy use. These included specific in-group and out-group practices executed within the peer group, preventative harm-reducing practices, shared decision making, and shared responsibility for harm prevention. Recommendations for promoting harm reduction strategies and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Notes Available online 1 January 2005
Language eng
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004 Elsevier B.V.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008849

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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