GLOBAL DRUG SURVEY '18: The truth about MDMA/Ecstasy use in Ireland

Pills and powders are popular, plentiful and relatively safe. People want more information, though, on what they're taking...

The 2018 Global Drug Survey has revealed more about Ireland’s relationship with MDMA.

Taken last year by 42.7% of Irish respondents to the confidential online questionnaire, MDMA was used on an average 12.5 days, which compares at one end of the spectrum to Brazil (14.2 days) and at the other to Sweden (5.2 days).

The trend continues to be towards higher potency pills and powders, which aren’t always what they're supposed to be.

Drug checking services in numerous countries report novel substances making their way into ‘ecstasy’, which is almost as popular with men as it is women.

The average number of pills used per session is 1.8, which is second only to Australia where the figure is 2.1.

At €9.10 each, we have the fourth cheapest pills in the world – Holland being the least expensive at €5.20. In Norway and New Zealand, you’ll pay €18.20 and €20.40 respectively.

A gram of MDMA powder costs €46.80 whereas in Holland, where again it’s cheapest, the average price is €22.50.

The most expensive MDMA powder is in Israel and Finland where you’ll pay €77.70 and €80.20 respectively for a gram.

The most common sources for the purchase of MDMA internationally are street and festival dealers you don’t know (6.9%); darknet (9.7%); dealers that you know (23.6%); friends of friends (27.1%) and friends (29.2%).

Most people take MDMA for the first time when they’re 18, with the temptation to try dropping sharply once they reach 26.

Just 0.79% of respondents say they sought emergency medical treatment as the result of their MDMA use, which is towards the bottom of a table topped by Scotland where it’s 1.9%.

88.8% of people say they would like to know the strength of the pills and powders they’re taking, which again begs the question: “Why doesn’t the public have access to pill testing here?”


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