Club Drugs and Rave Parties: A Pilot Study on Synthetic Drug Consumption Styles in a Sample of Young Italian Ravers

Roberta Biolcati, Giacomo Mancini*
Department of Educational Sciences “G.M. Bertin”, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

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© 2018 Biolcati and Mancini.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Education Science, University of Bologna, Italy, Via Filippo Re 6, Bologna 40126, Italy, Tel +39 051 2091666; E-mail:



So-called club drugs, psychoactive substances by definition related to rave and private parties culture, have a strong social impact in terms of health risks, especially for their spread among adolescents and young adults. In addition, polydrug use is a common pattern of consumption in some subcultures, such as the ravers culture. This study explores characteristics, consumption profiles, contexts of use, motives, and levels of satisfaction with life in a sample of synthetic/hallucinogenic substance users.


We administered an ad hoc questionnaire to 37 Italian participants (62.2% males) recruited through several rave events in the city of Bologna.

Results/ Conclusions:

The results showed that consumers choose substances belonging to the same “family,” such as methamphetamines (MDMA and speed) and psychedelic substances (ketamine and LSD), for specific and contextual motives. The findings are discussed in light of the target sample’s socioeconomic conditions, consumer profiles, features of the rave context, and dissatisfaction with some areas of life.

Keywords: Club drugs, Synthetic drugs, Ravers, Consumption profile, Motives, Polydrug use.