That’s right. I said it. It’s 2017 and it’s time to talk about drugs. I contemplated writing this article after reading multiple heartbreaking stories on my news feed from some of the biggest music festivals taking place this summer. That decision was solidified when over the weekend, a law school student died from ingesting a lethal dose of MDMA (some articles claim this was his first time)
. Not one publication offered resources on harm reduction. Enough is enough. Why aren’t
we talking about harm reduction? Festival goers consuming drugs is inevitable. It’s time to talk about drugs.
The truth is that in young age, we do become curious about what’s out there, and if our society knows this is taking place, we need to make sure that any drug ingestion is done as safely as possible. I am in no way condoning the use of drugs. The safest route is to say no. But if you’re going to partake, here’s some things you need to know.
1. Knowledge is Power. Do Your Research.
One of the best resources out there for doing extensive research on drug use and experiences is Erowid
. The site has an entire knowledge base on any kind of drug out there. Natural, synthetic, designer, you name it. If you have considered a psychedelic or hallucinogen, read about it. Know the effects, know the dosage, know what does not mix well with it. Read through the experience vaults where the user explains the sensations associated with the drug
and decide if the collective of descriptions is both something you can handle, and an experience you’re truly desiring. Everyone is different, and educating yourself is the #1 best thing you can do.
2. Test Your Sh*t
No matter how well you know Brian down the street, and no matter how many times his supplier had the best hook up: you just never know
. Batches change. Chemicals change. Things get laced. Errors and mistakes happen, human error is common. The worst thing you could do is take a combination of something undesired or toxic and wind up in the hospital. How are you going to explain that to your coworkers, your little brother, your entire family? The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to know what Exactly is going inside of your system. You can get test kits through Bunk Police
, or even Amazon
. If you’re lucky enough to go to a festival like Shambhala where they test kits for free through Ankors,
you can get results on the spot and you can see what was tested at the festival, what distinguishing features it had and what it really tested as.
3. Alcohol and (insert drug here) is Never a Good Idea
If you do your research, you’ll find that often times medical complications stem from combining various substances with alcohol. Alcohol should never be mixed with anything as it alters the chemical composition of your substance, it dehydrates you, clouds judgement, and can literally be the nail in the coffin. VICE produced a great video about mixing drugs which can be viewed below.
4. Take Care Of Yourself With Food, Water, and Rest
Your body is a machine, and no matter how much a substance can make you feel invincible: you’re not. If you have decided to take a drug such as molly or ecstasy (mdma), water is critical and lack of it is life threatening. Plan ahead. Buy and fill up a water pack, keep a water bottle (or three) full and on standby. Scientific research has told us that these drugs increase you heart rate. Listen to your body and sit down and rest from time to time. Refuel yourself with nutritional foods before and after, and make sure your body and mind get the sleep it will desperately need after the experience.
5. Ask for Help When You Need It
It’s ok to let someone know when you’re not feeling good. Whether you’re feeling anxious or if you’re feeling queasy, let someone know so that they can help. A lot of times festivals will have folks available to talk to if you’re needing emotional help. Keep your eyes open for Plur Angels and Ground Control. They’re not there to get you in trouble, they’re there to keep you safe. And of course, there will always be medics available for anything physical.
6. Don’t be Afraid of Paramedics and Medical Professionals
They are not there to get you in trouble. Even if you find yourself in a physical emergency, TELL SOMEONE
. Nationwide HIPPA
laws protect your right to privacy. Police officers are not going to arrest you in the medical tent and your employers will not be called. Your health and safety is the only
concern of these individuals. They’re there to help you.
7. You Can Always Take More, but You Can’t Go Back and Take Less
As a firm reminder, the only way to avoid issues that are drug related is to just say no. But if you are going to partake, it’s important to slow down, educate yourself, know how to respect your body, and use emergency resources when necessary.
Stay safe out there, Squads!
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