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Table 2 Reasons and reported frequencies in each included study for starting ecstasy use, using ecstasy, using more ecstasy, and not ceasing ecstasy use.

From: A structured review of reasons for ecstasy use and related behaviours: pointers for future research

Reason categories (reasons as reported in original papers in parentheses) Starting ecstasy use Using ecstasy Using more ecstasy Not ceasing ecstasy use
Availability/price/quality of ecstasy
(being offered an ecstasy pill, lower cost of ecstasyE; ecstasy quality... decreased, increasedF; I have more money to spendI; availability of ecstasyM; availability ('was there so I tried it')O; friend offered and felt I could not declineU)
NNO NNE; 27%U NNE; 21%, 35%F; 7%I; NNM  
Changing life circumstances (moving in or out of a certain lifestyle)
(it is part of my lifestyleI)
(out of curiosity, for experimental reasonsA; curious about good experiences of others, general interest in effects of psychoactive substancesK; the hype surrounding ecstasyL; curiosityO)
Decreased drug effects (e.g. tolerance) or decreased appreciation of drug effects
(needing to take more tablets than used toF; I need to take more to get the same effectsI; increased toleranceK)
   35%F; 9%I; NNK  
Denying or forgetting negative effects
(thinking "that won't happen to me" or "well, everybody else is doing ecstasy, and they're not having any problems", upon hearing about negative consequencesK; unpleasant experiences are forgotten and the excitement of going out and socialising takes overL)
    NNK; NNL
Desire to be on the same level as friends (i.e. to be intoxicated in the same way)
(to get into the spirit of the partyH; it makes you sad if you're at a club and you see everybody else is having all this fun and you're notK; having a shared experience, desire to be on the same level as friendsL; social pressure ("you see friends having a great time and you want to join")O
NNK; NNO 70%H; NN, NNL   
Ease of administration
(controlled freedom/sense of control, provides fun, confidence and companionship that users seek without negative consequences associated with other drugs, effects preferred to those of alcoholE; using ecstasy is more convenient than using alcoholL; ease of use in comparison to other drugsO)
Enhance energy and dancing
(help you to... keep going on a night out with friends, stay awakeD; to stay up longer, to dance/be more activeH; enable partying all night an makes the fun and excitement of the night last longerL; staying awake, enhancing dancing, dance energyM; stimulationP; dancingT)
  91%, 72%D; 39%, 57%H; NNL; NN, NN, 60%M; NNP; 59%T   
Enhance mood (to feel good)
(for funA; make yourself feel better when down or depressed, help you feel elated or euphoricD; enhance moodL; hedonistic pleasure, for a laugh, loved up feelingM; positive effects on mood, desire to have funO; a desire to feel goodP; funT)
NNA; NN, NNO 48%, 78%D; NNL; NN, 56%, NNM; 47%P; 42%T   
Enhance other substances' effects
(improve the effects of other substances, help ease the after effect of other substancesB)
  27%, 8%B   
Enhance sex
(enhance feelings when having sexD; to enjoy sex moreH; increased sexual please, feeling more emotionally connected to partners during sexO; enhance sexT; prolong erection, enhance sexual sensations and arousal, unusual/exciting sexual activityV)
  62%D; 22%H; NN, NNO; 29%T; 10%, 23%, 21%V   
Enhance social interaction
(help you to... enjoy the company of friends, feel more confident or more able to talk to peopleD; affirmation of friendships, ecstasy facilitates particular social activitiesE; I am more open with people, I am more confidentI; enhancing socialising, for socialising/confidence, to pull/have sex, opennessM; affiliation, being together with other peopleP; sociableT; facilitate sexual encounterV)
  63%, 42%D; NN, NNE; NN, 65%, 20%, NNM; NN, 71%P; 53%T; 12%V 3%, 2%I  
Enhance/change sensory perception
(help make something you do less boring, enhance an activity such as listening to musicD; sensory sensationsE; to alter perspectiveM; to produce altered states of consciousness, creative, to enjoy musicT)
  36%, 80%D; NNE; 47%M; 70%, 29%, 56%T   
Experienced no or unpleasant ecstasy effects
(ecstasy experience does not live up to expectationsE; not feeling any effect of the ingested ecstasy pillsL; did not feel it the first timeU)
  11%U NNE; NNL  
Experienced very pleasant effects
(ecstasy experience is particularly goodL; liked what it did for me, thought subsequent experiences would be same/better than firstU)
  93%, 89%U NNL  
Fear of health risks
(worrying about... dying from ecstasy, risk of brain damageF)
   1%, 1%F  
Feeling safe about ecstasy contents and ecstasy use setting
(being certain about what is ingested and that an organisation of knowledgeable volunteers is presentG)
19%G   51%G  
Help lose weight
(help you to lose weightD)
Help you to concentrate, work, or study
(help you to concentrate or to work or studyD)
Intoxication, losing inhibitions
(just get really stoned or intoxicated, help you to lose inhibitionsD; loss of inhibitionsE; just to get high/enjoy oneselfH; to lose it (being uninhibited)M; desire for an altered state of mind ("desire to get screwed up")O)
NNO 68%, 50%D; NNE; 91%H; 31%M   
Noticed mood/affective/cognitive changes in oneself
(feeling depressed a few days after useF)
Other's bad experience/death/mood/affective/cognitive changes
(knowing someone who has had a bad experience on ecstasyF)
Own bad experience
(having a bad experience on ecstasyF)
Positive effects outweigh negative effects
(positive effects seem to outweigh risks; positive effects from use outweigh the negative effectsE; ecstasy use feels too good despite worries about depressionK)
Presence of opportunity
Recreation/relaxation/stop worrying
(recreational purposesA; help you to... relax, stop worrying about a problemD; a time out from the normal routine and stress of daily lifeK; being at a major dance event, relax or unwindL; boredom, to switch off/relax, to escape problems/worries/out of boredomM; boredom, desire to escapeO; relaxation, to party, to have a good time, coping with problems, as a distractionP)
NNA; NN, NNO 30%, 33%D; NNK; NN, NNL; NN, 69%, 32%, 21%M; NN, 57%, 62%, 11%, 14%P   
(enables socially anxious individuals and/or those with low self-esteem and confidence to fit in with others and have a good time, provides temporary relief from depressive symptomsO; insecurityP; personal 'psychotherapy', group 'psychotherapy'T)
NN, NNO 6%P; 42%, 24%T   
Social influence (friends use ecstasy)
(most of my friends take itI; being with friends who take the drug, desire to continue interacting with an ecstasy-using group of peersL; because mates take it, peer-group behavioursM; wanted to be accepted by friendsU)
  20%M; 8%U 6%I; NNL; NNM NNL
(spiritual, close to natureT)
  21%, 23%T   
  1. Note: superscripted letters denote studies as listed in Table 1, NN = no numbers (frequency or percentage) reported