TL neuro

September 21, 2015

MDMA purity in Ecstasy 2013 to 2015

Filed under: MDMA — mtaffe @ 12:21 pm

I was just looking at the data on the content of pills submitted for analysis to see what new cathinones were turning up. While there, I did a little search on pills that were found to contain MDMA. There is a common thought that Ecstasy pills are notoriously contaminated with non-MDMA psychoactive drugs, supported by the data places such as have generated. My dabbling in the database in the past has my memory thinking that it was never any worse than about 50% of submitted pills that were positive for MDMA containing other drugs.

[Note, as always that this is not in any way a representative sample. It depends on voluntary submission of pill samples and it can, obviously, only ever cover a tiny fraction of what is being sold on the clandestine market at any time. There are arguments to be made that severe selection biases might creep in- from the type of people who bother to submit pills, or know about the service, to a possibility that those pills reputed to be suspicious in subjective outcome might be more likely to be submitted. So take this with caution.]

what was interesting is that when I limited the search parameters to 2013-2015, there were 285 entities with MDMA-only and 387 with MDMA+something else. Thus, 74% of the submitted items that contained MDMA were pure. It’s 85% in 2015, to date.

2000-2002: 80%
2003-2005: 53%
2006-2008: 31%
2009-2011: 46%
2012: 60%

So the purity of MDMA-containing street drugs appears to have rebounded across this 15 year interval.

I wonder how this is related to the MDMA-drought that heralded the onset of popularity of mephedrone and methylone and the “Molly” marketing situation by which consumers think they are getting the pure molecule, i.e., MDMA.


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