Record-Breaking Numbers of Ecstasy-Related Deaths in the UK

Ecstasy at music festivals is leading to increased deaths in the UK.

There’s no arguing that ecstasy and music festivals have invariably become intertwined. Many drugs, especially drugs like MDMA and ecstasy that target the serotonin and dopamine receptors, can make people feel especially vulnerable, empathetic, and euphoric. That’s why, when at a large-scale festival surrounded by other music lovers that have been impacted by the moving power of music, many people will take molly or ecstasy in order to feel more connected with the music and other people around them.

Ecstasy and Music Festival Culture

 Ian Hamilton, a professor and senior lecturer on addiction and mental health from the University of York, believes that this occurs because “drugs and music go well together – and ecstasy in particular.” According to an article published by BBC News, deaths of individuals under the age of 29 related to ecstasy use have reached record highs in England and Wales, the highest they’ve been since records began in 1993. Because of how hard it is to be sure of the mixture of chemicals combined in ecstasy tablets, it’s impossible to predict the side effects. Some of the pills that have found their way into music venues and festivals have over 200mg of MDMA in them, an extraordinarily high dosage that catches many festival-goers off guard. This, combined with dehydration and exhaustion that comes from attending festivals, can cause lasting negative effects that, in the worst cases, can lead to death.

Educating the Public About the Dangers of Ecstasy

Another BBC article details that there were 4,359 overall drug-related deaths last year alone, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. Deaths rose from 56 to 92 in one year from only MDMA and ecstasy, an alarming number that many attribute to the lack of useful testing centers at festival sites and the funding cuts that have been dealt to treatment services around the UK over the last three years. The mother of Georgia Jones, a teen who was one of the 92 people who died as a result of ecstasy usage, urges the public to educate themselves.

“People need truthful education about drug taking,” she said, “Like what to do when things go wrong.” Recovery Unplugged urges all festival attendees to party sober, enjoy the music and take care of themselves.