The ecstasy market is constantly changing and over the years new drugs have been added to the market.
Due to these changes, health providers have had to adjust the services they provide and the information they need to disseminate.
One of the greatest changes in recent times has been the introduction of crystal into the market.
As the use of crystal has increased, treatment needs have changed and education campaigns have had to be developed to respond to community concern.
As a result of this, it is vital that we have a good idea of what is actually going on and collect good quality information on this dynamic market.
One of the major ways we keep track of this is by a national survey called the PDI.
It used to be known as the Party Drugs Initiative, but since the government has decided that the term is problematic, we have reverted to using its acronym.
This study began in 2000-2001 when a trial was conducted to see whether it was going to be feasible to monitor ecstasy and related drug (ERD) markets.
The research was conducted in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. The trial was successful and in 2003 funding was granted to expand the study to monitor ERD markets in every state and territory across Australia.
Regular ecstasy users are interviewed and provide the required information on patterns, current availability, price and purity and perceived drug-related health issues associated with ERD use.
The study also talks to a range of experts in the area (e.g. party promoters, treatment providers, law enforcement personnel) and indicator data such as purity of drug seizures and overdose rates are also analysed.
These data are then examined to give us a snapshot of what is happening in the market.
Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) are currently recruiting for this study and would like to talk to people who have used ecstasy.
ERDs cover a range of drugs including ecstasy, crystal/ice, cocaine, GHB and ketamine.
Those interested in participating can be assured that NDARC is experienced in researching illicit drug use, and that confidentiality will be protected.
You will not be able to be identified as participating in the study.
If you feel you would be able to contribute (confidentially), please contact NDARC.
The face-to-face interview lasts for about one hour.
Questions are asked about people’s experiences of the benefits and effects of ERDs, and some general questions about price and availability.
All participants are reimbursed $30 for out-of-pocket expenses.
If you wish to be a part of this valuable study and have your say about ecstasy, you can call Maria on 9385 0167.
She will also be able to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have regarding the study and its aims.
Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?