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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)
   14%I  
Curiosity
(out of curiosity, for experimental reasonsA; curious about good experiences of others, general interest in effects of psychoactive substancesK; the hype surrounding ecstasyL; curiosityO)
NN, NNA; NN, NNK; NNL; NNO    
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)
NNO NN, NN, NNE; NNL   
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)
  7%D   
Help you to concentrate, work, or study
(help you to concentrate or to work or studyD)
  3%D   
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)
   1%F  
Other's bad experience/death/mood/affective/cognitive changes
(knowing someone who has had a bad experience on ecstasyF)
   1%F  
Own bad experience
(having a bad experience on ecstasyF)
   1%F;  
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)
NNE    NNE; NNK
Presence of opportunity
(ravesT)
  58%T   
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   
Self-medication
(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
Spirituality
(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