To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Investigating the terminology used to describe Ecstasy

Alexandra Turner (Researcher, based at Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)
Lata Gautam (Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science, based at Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)
Colleen Moore (Principal Lecturer in Criminology, based at Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)
Michael Cole (Faculty Director of Research, based at Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Article publication date: 25 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the changing use of language concerning the drug Ecstasy and their potential consequences over the last ten years.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used metadata analysis of different resource types to assess the changing frequency with which the terms Ecstasy and MDMA occur.

Findings

Since 2011 there has been an increase in the use of the term “MDMA” relative to “Ecstasy”. The prevalence of the term MDMA is higher than that of Ecstasy in both academic literature and web based information resources. This is also found in the public's own use of the terms. The shift from one term to the other highlights the lack of uniformity in the way Ecstasy and MDMA are reported. This underlines the need for clarity and consistency in reporting this substance so that correct information is disseminated for use by the general public, law enforcement agencies and healthcare professionals.

Originality/value

This paper establishes a time line for when the term MDMA began to be used which has not yet been reported on. It compares the relative frequency of the use of the terms Ecstasy and MDMA over time illustrating a change in use and language and whether Ecstasy is still an appropriate term to use.

Keywords

Citation

Turner, A., Gautam, L., Moore, C. and Cole, M. (2014), "Investigating the terminology used to describe Ecstasy", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 235-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/DAT-07-2014-0029

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited