Academic Study Finds That Hip-Hop Music Encourages Black Youth to Try Ecstasy

In a study led by Khary K. Rigg, an assistant professor in the department of mental health law and policy at the University of South Florida in Tampa, finds that there is an increased use of methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) among African Americans. The drug, more commonly known as ecstasy or Molly, is a stimulant and hallucinogenic synthetic that induces a state of euphoria.

The study notes that lyrics in popular Hip-Hop music glorify the use of the drug. The authors interviewed a group of MDMA users and found that 82 percent said that Hip-Hop music had influenced their decision to use the drug. One participant in the study stated  “I’m just trying to party like a rock star, not get strung out. Whenever they (rappers) mentioned it (Molly), they are either partying, drinking (alcohol), smoking (weed), or having sex. All of the things I love to do most.”

Dr. Rigg points out that “Molly, although not as dangerous as opioids, has been linked to psychiatric problems, sexual risk taking and adverse health outcomes like seizures, irregular heartbeat, hyperthermia and even death.”

A graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Dr. Rigg holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of Miami.

The full study, “MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Use Among African Americans: The Perceived Influence of Hip-Hop/Rap Music,” was published in the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. It may be accessed here. Co-author of the study is Anthony Estreet, an assistant professor of social work at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

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