The Conversation: We all want to reduce drug-related harm and ensure young people don’t take unnecessary risks. But decades of research shows fear isn’t an effective way to do this. This week, Newscorp Australia released The Ripple Effect, a series of articles and accompanying videos about party drugs, aimed at parents of young people.Rather than drawing on the science about reducing harm, the series overstates the nation’s drug problem and the likelihood of problems from taking MDMA (ecstasy). And it’s likely to scare the wits out of parents of teens.Illicit drug use among teens is low and has been in decline for nearly a decade. Although Australians overall have a relatively high rate of MDMA use compared to similar countries.
only a small proportion of teenagers (around 3%) and young adults (7%) have used MDMA in the last year. Among high school students, the overwhelming majority (94%) have never tried MDMA.