Motivations for Selling Ecstasy among Young Adults in the Electronic Dance Music Club Culture in Brazil

Lysa S. Remy, Mance E. Buttram, Steven P. Kurtz, Hilary L. Surratt, Flavio Pechansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article describes data on the motivations for selling ecstasy among young adults in the electronic dance music (EDM) club culture in Brazil. Individual interviews were conducted with 20 individuals recruited for their involvement in the EDM club scene. Eligible participants were aged 18–39 and reported ecstasy and/or LSD use one or more times in the past 90 days. Exclusion criteria included current treatment for drug/alcohol problems and cognitive impairment or clinically evident psychiatric disorder. Mean age was 22.92 (SD 2.77), 60% were male, 45% reported 12 or more years of education, 50% did not have a primary partner, 50% were living alone, and all had friends who also used ecstasy. Three main themes emerged: (1) “easy” transition from ecstasy user to seller; (2) desire to achieve popularity and fame; and (3) need to sell ecstasy to maintain the high cost of EDM club scene participation. This is one of the first studies of ecstasy sellers in Brazil. The results demonstrate the ease with which the participants transition from ecstasy user to seller. Given the potential health and social dangers associated with ecstasy use, public health campaigns to prevent ecstasy use and policy initiatives to limit the ecstasy supply are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Fogarty International Center (#1R03TW007612) and the Fundo de Incentivo e Auxílio à Pesquisa/Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (FIPE-HCPA) (#07-391).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Club culture
  • ecstasy users
  • motivations
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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