Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering (MBE)

Raves, clubs and ecstasy: the impact of peer pressure

Pages: 249 - 266, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2006      doi:10.3934/mbe.2006.3.249

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Baojun Song - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043, United States (email)
Melissa Castillo-Garsow - American Studies & African American Studies, Graduate Affiliate, Ethnicity, Race & Migration Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, United States (email)
Karen R. RĂ­os-Soto - Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, United States (email)
Marcin Mejran - Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94309, United States (email)
Leilani Henso - Department of Mathematics, Howard University, Washignton DC, 20059, United States (email)
Carlos Castillo-Chavez - Mathematics, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, Arizona State University, PO Box 871904, Tempe, AZ 85287, United States (email)

Abstract: Ecstasy has gained popularity among young adults who frequent raves and nightclubs. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported a 500 percent increase in the use of ecstasy between 1993 and 1998. The number of ecstasy users kept growing until 2002, years after a national public education initiative against ecstasy use was launched. In this study, a system of differential equations is used to model the peer-driven dynamics of ecstasy use. It is found that backward bifurcations describe situations when sufficient peer pressure can cause an epidemic of ecstasy use. Furthermore, factors that have the greatest influence on ecstasy use as predicted by the model are highlighted. The effect of education is also explored, and the results of simulations are shown to illustrate some possible outcomes.

Keywords:  drug abuse, peer pressure, dynamical models, global dynamics, bifurcation.
Mathematics Subject Classification:  37N25, 91C20, 37G10.

Received: February 2005;      Accepted: May 2005;      Available Online: November 2005.