Updated on May 18, 2024
4 min read

Notable MDMA Statistics in Recent Years

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic drug that has gained significant popularity in recent years. It’s particularly popular at parties, music events, and festivals. 

In this article, we’ll explore the latest statistics on MDMA consumption, its effects, and trends in the synthetic drug market. These trends can help provide insights for improving treatment and harm reduction strategies. 

Noteworthy MDMA Statistics

  • Usage: MDMA is the most commonly used drug at live music events in Australia, with 73.9% of drug users reporting its use in the last 12 months.
  • Hospitalizations: In the United States, MDMA-related emergency department visits increased among young people under 21 from 4,460 visits in 2005 to 10,176 visits in 2011, with an average of 33% of these visits also involving alcohol.
  • Synthetic drug market: The global synthetic drugs market, including MDMA, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% from 2022 to 2029.

MDMA Usage Statistics

These statistics highlight MDMA usage in the U.S. among different age groups: 

  • In 2021, 0.8% of people aged 12 or older reported using MDMA in the past 12 months.
  • Among different age groups in 2022, 0.6% of 8th graders, 0.7% of 10th graders, and 1.4% of 12th graders reported using MDMA in the past 12 months.
  • In 2022, it was estimated that around 2.1 million people in the United States had used ecstasy in the past year.
  • The highest percentage of ecstasy use is among young adults aged 18 to 25, with 7.1% reported using ecstasy.
  • According to the CDC, nearly 23% of all drug overdose deaths in 2019 involved psychostimulants like ecstasy.
  • Between 2007 and 2014, the proportion of ecstasy users in the U.S. with a college degree increased, while the proportion of younger users (12 to 17) and users reporting income <$20,000/year decreased.
mdma chart 2

MDMA Related Deaths

The public health statistics related to MDMA highlight its use, associated risks, and mortality rates across different regions and demographics.

  • MDMA-related deaths were identified across several countries, with a total of 1,400 in Turkey, 507 in Australia, 100 in Finland, and 45 in Portugal. 
  • The median age of deaths ranged from 24 to 27.5 years, with males representing between 81 and 94% of the deaths.
  • Overdose deaths involving stimulants (primarily methamphetamines) have risen to 32,537 in 2021. 
  • MDMA was detected in 142 fatalities in Norway from 2000 to 2019.
mdma chart 1
mdma chart 3

MDMA Consumption at Music Events

MDMA consumption at music events is a significant concern, with various studies highlighting its prevalence among attendees.

  • At a major Australian live music event in 2017, ecstasy was the most commonly used drug in the last 12 months, with 73.9% of drug users reporting its use.
  • Among MDMA/ecstasy users at festivals, the majority reported using monthly (32.1%) or every 6 months (30.9%), and 4.6% reported having to seek medical attention due to consumption.
  • A survey among Belgian Electronic Dance Music (EDM) event attendees found that ecstasy/MDMA/Molly was used by 52.28% of participants.

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What You Should Know About MDMA

MDMA is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means it has a high potential for abuse with no accepted medical use.

The drug is known for increasing energy, euphoria, and distorting perceptions. Depending on the drug's potency, these effects can last for 4 to 6 hours. 

Drugs sold as MDMA may not contain any MDMA. They might be mixed with other substances, making it hard to predict the drug’s side effects.

Side Effects of MDMA Abuse

MDMA can dangerously increase your body temperature, which can be fatal. Especially in hot environments.

Additionally, long-term MDMA use can lead to various problems including addiction, withdrawal, and overdose. If you or someone you know is addicted to MDMA, consider reaching out to a doctor or an addiction specialist.

Policy Changes on MDMA

The impact of policy changes on MDMA can be observed through various statistics. These show shifts in usage and availability. 

  • Between 2007 and 2014, the proportion of ecstasy users in the U.S. with a college degree increased, while the proportion of younger users (12-17) and users reporting income <$20,000/year decreased, suggesting that policy changes may have influenced the accessibility or appeal of MDMA to certain socioeconomic groups.
  • From 1999 to 2008, there was an observed increase in adolescent ecstasy use in the U.S., peaking in 2002 before declining significantly until 2005. After 2005, increases in use were again seen, coinciding with changes in federal drug policies.
  • Recent policy changes, such as the reclassification of MDMA in Australia to enable prescribing by authorized psychiatrists for specific mental health conditions, reflect a significant shift in the perception of MDMA's potential benefits versus its risks.

The statistics presented in the article highlight the complex landscape of MDMA use. It provides a decent overview of MDMA’s impact on public health.

The statistics on usage, deaths, and trends among music festivals provide insights into the ever-changing landscape of drug use. This can help people improve targeted harm reduction and education strategies.

MDMA is a dangerous illicit drug with dangerous short and long-term side effects. If you or someone you know is addicted to MDMA, seek treatment.

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Updated on May 18, 2024
12 sources cited
Updated on May 18, 2024
  1. Southey et al. “Patterns of ecstasy use amongst live music event attendees and their opinions on pill testing: a cross sectional study.” Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy, 2020.
  2. NIDA. “Drug Overdose Death Rates.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2023.
  3. Roxburgh et al. “Trends in MDMA-related mortality across four countries.” Addiction, 2021.
  4. SAMHSA. “The Dawn Project.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 2013.
  5. Global Synthetic Drugs Market - Industry Trends and Forecast to 2029.” Data Bridge Market Research, 2023.
  6. Van Dyck et al. “Substance Use and Attendance Motives of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Event Attendees: A Survey Study.” Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2023.
  7. The Synthetic Drug Phenomenon.” World Drug Report, 2023.
  8. Wu et al. “Ecstasy use among US adolescents from 1999 to 2008.” Drug Alcohol Depend, 2010. 
  9. Palamar et al. “Shifting characteristics of ecstasy users ages 12-34 in the United States, 2007-2014.” Drug Alcohol Depend, 2017.
  10. Theraputic Goods Administration.“Change to classification of psilocybin and MDMA to enable prescribing by authorised psychiatrists.” Australian Government, Department of Health and Age Care, 2023. 
  11. Drug Fact Sheet Ecstasy/MDMA.” Drug Enforcement Administration, 2020.
  12. NIDA. "Introduction." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2022.

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