What’s in a label? Ecstasy sellers’ perceptions of pill brands

  • Duterte M
  • Jacinto C
  • Sales P
 et al. 
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This article presents selected findings from a qualitative study of Ecstasy sellers and their sales practices, knowledge of distribution networks, buyer-seller relationships, and self-reported drug use. In-depth interviews were conducted with 80 men and women who had sold five or more hits of Ecstasy five or more times in the six months prior to the interview. Study participants described their perceptions of the various types of Ecstasy they had distributed or used themselves. The participants had experience with a variety of Ecstasy labels, from the popular "Blue Dolphin" tablets to the powdered form called "Molly." We tracked pill brand mentions on Ecstasy-related websites to compare with interviewees' descriptions of Ecstasy brands. This study examines Ecstasy sellers' ideas about the role of brand names in Ecstasy markets and their relationship to their beliefs about different types of Ecstasy's purity and quality. We demonstrate that considering Ecstasy branding increases our understanding of buyer and seller relationships.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brands
  • Buyer-seller relationships
  • Drug distribution
  • Ecstasy

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  • Micheline Duterte

  • Camille Jacinto

  • Paloma Sales

  • Sheigla Murphy

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