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New British Dinner Party Trend: Getting High on MDMA

Some UK parents are using MDMA to develop more intimate emotions connections with each other.

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According to a bizarre new report from the British tabloid Metro, there is a strange new dinner party trend among hip middle-aged people. Party hosts — the types who offer to “top up” glasses of red wine — have begun adding MDMA to the brie on their cheese plates. The trend is called “brieing” and it’s as simple as sound: Take some MDMA tablets and crush it into the cheese. News of this trend, which sounds more like something a few people did one time, prompts two questions. First… what? Second… really?

MDMA has a fairly sterling reputation as a social drug. Unlike a lot of other substances, including alcohol, which sedates the user, MDMA perks people up in a way that may facilitates social interaction. The drug also dissolves inhibitions and increase emotional openness by decreasing anxiety. Emotionally, being high on MDMA (“rolling”) is a lot like being the right amount of drunk, but people on MDMA rarely become incoherent or behave erratically. Which is all to say that as bizarre as this trend sounds, the drug, and the casual setting might at least complement each other.

“‘We did not seem to have as much of a laugh than as when we were younger, there always seemed to be barriers up between us,” said one mom who elected to start hosting brieng parties. “So, one of our group suggested we all take MDMA together so we could open up to each other and improve our friendships.”

The woman told Metro that one of her friends had been given a gram of MDMA by her daughter (which should prompt further concern and inquiry). Once they had acquired the drugs, another woman’s son said that they should swallow them rather than crush the pills up and snort them. Someone pointed at the cheese, and brieing was born. While taking MDMA with brie cheese may be something you’ve never heard of, the idea of taking MDMA with food isn’t a particularly new concept. Another UK woman told Metro that she and her friends actually take the drug with duck pancakes.

“Last time all the mums came over a civilized dinner party it ended with one of them wrapped up in the velvet curtains, one hallucinating at the bathroom wall and the others dancing to 90s rave music while playing bongos in the sitting room,” she said.

Still, as the ladies in the Metro piece point out, the comedown from an MDMA high is harsh and MDMA is still dangerous. The CDC doesn’t record the number of deaths from MDMA, but a 2009 study suggested that about 50 Americans die from causes related to the drug annually. This has not stopped the drug from becoming popular domestically and very popular abroad. The UK has one of the highest rates of MDMA use in Europe and, between 2010 and 2015, the number of MDMA related deaths went from just eight to 57.