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Table 3 Reasons and reported frequencies in each included study for not starting ecstasy use, using less ecstasy, or 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) Not starting ecstasy Using less ecstasy Ceasing ecstasy use*
Addiction, fear of becoming dependent
(fear of addictionB, feeling dependent on ecstasyC, addiction/toleranceO, addictionP)
0%B 16%C NNO; 36.3%P
Availability, price, quality of ecstasy
(financial reasons, high price of ecstasyA; financial costB; financial difficultiesC; knowing that a pill does not contain MDMA, monetary factors, quality factorsE; ecstasy quality... decreased, increasedF; perceived drop in ecstasy quality, money is a problemI; money problems, MDMA qualityJ; availability of ecstasyM; moneyO)
NNA; 2%B; 57%C; NN, NN, NNE; 34%, 10%F; 34%I; NNM NN, NNA *; 34%I; 1.4, 6.3J *; NNO
Changing life circumstances (moving in or out of a certain lifestyle)
(having decided not to do drugs anymoreA; changes in life circumstancesE; I'm getting older, if I was spending less time at clubs, if I was spending less time at pubs, if I was spending less time at partiesI; stopped clubbingJ; growing out of the sceneL; loss of interestO; moving onS)
  NNE; 12%I; NNL; NNA *; 30%, 12%, 7%I; 5.1J *; NNO; 16%S
Lack of curiosity
(uninterested in the effects, unfamiliarity with the drug and/or its effectsB)
18%, 2%B   
Decreased drug effects (e.g. tolerance) or decreased appreciation of drug effects (e.g. getting bored by effects)
(needing to take more tablets than used toF; I'm not getting the same rush as I used to getI; bored of the drug's effectsM)
  9%F; 18%I; NNM  
Ecstasy is overrated
(ecstasy is boring or overratedA; not every ecstasy experience is necessarily as good as the lastL)
  NNL 25%A *
Experienced no effects or unpleasant effects
(experience was unpleasant, found the experience boringA; not enjoying drugJ; intensity of first experience was overwhelming and not worth the trouble of continuing to useK; ecstasy did nothing to meP)
25%, 41%A   5.6J *; NNK; 44%P
Fear of ecstasy's effects
(fear of the effectsB)
Lack of opportunity
(having had no opportunity to take ecstasyA; lack of opportunityB)
NNA; 10%B   
Legal consequences
(external circumstances (legal)E; getting a criminal recordI; criminal recordJ; fear of legal consequencesO)
   7%E; 10%I; 1.2J *; NNO
Minimising ecstasy comedown
(avoiding the ecstasy comedownQ)
Minimising health risks or fear of health risks
(wariness regarding the effects of ecstasy, health reasonsA; fear of physical harm, fear of psychological harmB; physical health effects, psychological problemsC; potential health risks, minimise the potential for negative or adverse outcomesE; worrying about... dying from ecstasy use, risk of brain damageF; fears about... long-term effects on mental health, long-term effects on physical health, short-term effects on mental health, short-term effects on physical healthI; long-term mental health, short-term mental healthJ; avoid potential risksK; health concernsO; fear of damage to healthP; avoiding ecstasy-related negative side-effects, avoiding brain damage or neurotoxicityQ; negative effectsS)
NNA; 33%, 0%B 45%, 39%C; NN, NNE; 15%, 25%F; NN, NNK; 71%, 58%Q NNA *; 67%, 46%, 17%, 13%I; 5.8, 4.5J *; NNO; 62%P; 14%S
Noticed mood/affective/cognitive changes in oneself
(external circumstances (medical)E; feeling depressed a few days after useF; finding it was doing my head in, it takes it out of you physically, I get depressed, I have some memory loss, it takes longer to come down, I have not been feeling healthy, it makes me less tolerant to othersI; depressed, paranoia, anxiety, memory, concentration, physical health worries, impulsive behaviour, sleeping worries, angry, eating worriesJ; depressionM)
  27F; 30%, 17%, 13%, 13%, 12%, 6%I; NNM 7%E; 50%I; 5.6, 5.4, 5.3, 5.1, 4.9, 4.3, 3.3, 3.1, 3.0, 2.9J *
Observation of others using ecstasy
(seen the effect on othersB; observation of others using ecstasyO)
16%B   NNO
Other's bad experience/mood/affective/cognitive changes/death
(knowing someone who had a bad experience on ecstasyF; seeing someone have a bad experience on MDMA, knowing someone who... died as a result of taking MDMA, became mentally ill, became physically illI; other's bad experience, other mentally illJ; other's bad experiencesM)
  11%F; NNM 31%, 19%, 17%, 14%I; 2.9, 2.2J *
Own bad experience
(having a bad experience on ecstasyF; personally having a bad experience on MDMAI; bad experienceJ; own bad experienceM; problems caused by ecstasyN; negative personal experiencesO)
  22%F; NNM 25%I; 3.4J *; 60%N; NNO
Responsibilities (interference with or increase/decrease in) or relationship problems
(occupational problems, to improve quality of life, relationship problemsC; social factorsE; it places strains on my job/studies, I have more responsibilities, if I thought it... was negatively influencing my work/study, might affect my jobI; work affectedJ; fear of reduced efficiencyP)
  28%, 17%C; NNE; 19.6%, 11.3%I NNA *; 37%C; 18%, 16%I; 4.7J *; 75%P
Social influence (friends quit using ecstasy)
(peer influenceB; if friends were giving up, most of my friends have given it upI; friends quitJ; peer-group behaviours, being with people who don't use (many) drugsM)
7%B 9%I; NN, NNM 22%I; 1.8J *
Social influence from relatives
(pressure from relatives, relatives finding out I was taking MDMAI; relatives finding out, relatives' pressureJ)
   2%, 2%I; 2.0, 1.7J *
  1. Note: superscripted letters denote studies as listed in Table 1, * Study A reports reasons to not use ecstasy for 1–3 time users, and study J reports scores to indicate relevance of each reason on a 10-point scale, reported by ex-users, NN = no numbers (frequency or percentage) reported