There are a lot of differences between the US and Europe when it comes to electronic music. For two of the largest existing markets of the brand, and two of the regions most responsible for its spread everywhere else, things actually couldn’t be more different. And we’re not talking about taste in music. Experts have warned that the quality and contents of substances being sold as ecstasy or MDMA in the US are far more dangerous and less pure than anything found in Europe.

There are many reasons for such a radical difference to be reflected in drugs. For one, EDM has become thoroughly commercialized in the US, leading to multimillion dollar festivals and a lower average age of attendees. When the club scene was in its infancy in the ’80s and ’90s, there was a known community of people who you could trust to provide ecstasy as advertised. Now, the community has become fractured and most people going to a festival for their first time are forced to rely on shady strangers selling bunk in the parking lot.

The Guardian found that, according to data collected from a range of sources, “anywhere between 30% and 60% of what is being sold as molly or ecstasy in the USA is not in fact MDMA.”

The rest is made up of mostly synthetic cathinones such as methylone, butylone and ethylone (nicknamed bath salts), that are designed to mimic the effects of MDMA. Other drugs found in pills and powders include: ketamine, a powerful tranquilizer; methamphetamine, a powerful synthetic stimulant; PMA or PMMA, or “Dr Death”; and alpha-PVP, known as flakka (or the Florida zombie drug).

Another reason for the rise of adulterated samples in the US is stricter drug policies which more closely control what substances are imported into the US. Without pure ingredients to create MDMA, research chemicals and more risky substances are being used to cut pills and powders.

“Instead of hundreds of thousands of users who have used that combination for many years, maybe they are the first person. We have no idea what will happen,” Mitchell Gomez, national outreach director of DanceSafe, told Guardian. “Adulterated markets radically change the risk profile of drug taking.”

Your EDM covered a similar story last year that suggested certain groups in Europe are also keeping the quality higher. Word of mouth and a constantly shifting production process kept fakers in the dust and relied on word of mouth of dealers to push legitimate product.

It’s always important to remind users that no drug is inherently safe or without risk, no matter the purity or dosage. Be aware of what you are taking with test kits and have a sober friend with you if you can.


via The Guardian