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Brits take more MDMA on a night out than anyone else

Confusion over dosages of MDMA powder could be a factor

Christopher Hooton
Monday 08 June 2015 17:07 BST

The Global Drug Survey 2015 has found that when it is in the mood, the United Kingdom takes more MDMA than any other nation.

0.42 'grams per session' is the average for UK users, with Scotland and Ireland close behind on 0.38 and 0.37.

The UK's consumption of ecstasy pills is also high, beaten only by Australia which is known for its tough border controls.

(Chart: GDS2015)

The GDS notes that while MDMA powder is ever growing in popularity in comparison to its more unpredictable cousin ecstasy tablets, a lack of education over dosage makes it unpredictable:

'Now although we saw a huge increase in participation rates and countries over those years you can escape the fact pills and MDMA crystal are about in abundance. Sometimes these pills contain in excess of 200mg and occasionally 300mg of MDMA, twice and three times what most people think is a reasonable dose.

'While the mean amount of MDMA consumed over a session seems to be about 1/4gm some countries are going way above that. No surprise that it is the UK topping the list at a whacking mean dose of 0.42mg/session (see slide below). I asked Vice’s Dutch editor Thijs Roes who had interviewed several pill producers what he thought was behind the production of these super dose pills. He told me: “What they’re doing is basically a pissing contest. One told me it was a competition between manufacturers and a race against themselves. The other described his 330mg pill as a flagship product, as a way to get known in the scene. They felt that users would know to dose them, and that the amount of MDMA would eventually stabilize around 200mg”.

'Our request would be make standard pills of 80-100mg and put the dosage on them – way more useful than logos for all concerned, and if you are knocking out 200mg pills put a big groove down the middle so people figure out they should just take half (or even better a quarter). Every time you get a new pill always take a quarter to start with and wait at least 60-90 minutes before dosing ‘start low go slow’.'

The annual survey yields a number of interesting stats, particularly that vapourising weed is now more popular than smoking it.

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