This article discusses the role of drug consumption in the lives of young 'clubbers'. Arguing that debates over the consumption of drugs and youth transitions both serve to 'problematise' young people the suggestion is made that the role of drug consumption in dance-related settings remains largely misunderstood. As such, the article discusses qualitative data that taps into the nature of drug consumption in the pre, in and post-clubbing experience. This data reflects the way in which drug consumption provides a stabilising force in young people's lives. Drugs provide a resource through which young people create 'parallel lives' that counter-balance the uncertainties of everyday life. Research into young people and drugs continues to be dominated by epidemiology, medicine and psychology. In contrast, this article advocates a meaning-centred approach which prioritises an analysis of the specific and apparently mundane cultural contexts in which young people consume drugs.