S. culture, primarily because studies show the largest increase in use of the drug is among 12th-graders in the West (Romano 2002, 30). The drug is highly popular among those aged 12-25 that attend what are known as ˘raves÷, all night-long dance parties with high octane music and the consumption of drugs, especially MDMA. Raves have been identified by police as ˘Drug Taking Festivals÷ and typically occur in abandoned warehouses or outdoor areas (Romano 2002, 30). Hospital emergency visits related to MDMA have risen dramatically since the origination of raves. According to Romano (2002), ˘the number of Šclub drugĂ episodes increasing dramatically between 1999 and 2000, from 6,964 to 10,212. Most of these episodes were due to Ecstasy÷ (34).
Ecstasy has a number of deleterious affects on both the brain and the body. NIDA reports that use of the drug interferes with the bodyĂs ability to regulate temperature (resulting in liver, kidney and cardiovascular system failure), increases heart rate and blood pressure, and causes muscle tension, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating (MDMA 2004, 1). The drug affects the brain by causing confusion, depression, sleep interference, craving, and intense anxiety (MDMA 2004). Over long periods of time, studies show that chronic use of MDMA has led to reduced ability on cognitive or memory tasks. Nevertheless, the drug is viewed positively by many casual drug users who feel it i