Rave goer rejoices over the weekend in San Bernardino, as they indulge in more than just the sick beats.

The infestation of smuggling narcotics is on a rise without a sign of stopping at The National Orange Show in San Bernardino, home to several “raves” a year. Fans of electronic dance music or more commonly known as EDM celebrate “Peace, Love, Unity and Respect”. That is what I gathered this past weekend at “Into The Sequence”. This festival was marketed to take place from 6pm till 6am. At the entryway of the festival the vibrant, pulsating music rattled the floor. The rave scene on parade featured little to no clothing and bright neon colors.  However,  hidden literally is a problem that threatens the safety and well-being of countless partygoers. This investigation delves deep into the issue of narcotics like molly, fentanyl or cocaine being smuggled into local raves, exposing the intricate methods used by individuals to bypass security measures and the lack of consequences that follow.

San Bernardino County has become a hotspot for rave culture, drawing thousands of attendees to events such as Escape Halloween and Beyond Wonderland. The relationship to music and drugs go hand in hand.  According to an officer from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, drug-related incidents at raves are heavily regulated by the promoters. There are avenues to protect rave goers from overdosing however not prevention of sneakinging in controlled substances. The presence of the department is there but perhaps not felt. A rave goer explained that many of the security guards at these events are young boys in their early 20’s. Hired through a temp agency. I asked a rave goer the number of raves she attended. She explained; “I honestly lost count, it’s forsure over 50’. I then asked how many of those raves did you bring in drugs. Her response was “every single time”. The young girl who was celebrating her birthday this past weekend shared tips. She expressed that it’s really easy if you have a girl in the group. Security can’t touch the girls as much as the men. The smuggling of narcotics into raves in San Bernardino County reveals a complex and dangerous issue that requires immediate attention. Enhanced security measures could prevent the carless reputation that they have according to many ravers.

The rave culture in San Bernardino County can be traced back to the early 2000s, when electronic dance music (EDM) started gaining popularity. Initially, these events were relatively small and underground, but as the EDM scene exploded globally, so did the scale of local raves. Unfortunately, this growth also saw an increase in drug use, with narcotics becoming a staple for many attendees seeking to enhance their experience. The lack of stringent regulations in the early years allowed this issue to fester, leading to the current situation. Recently a well known artist by the name “ILLENIUM” opened up about his own overdose. He had to administer NARCAN to himself. He has since starred in an ad on YOUTUBE to prevent fentanyl overdoses and to educate his fans on preventing overdoses. His solution was to have each attendee carry Narcan. 

Big events are on the horizons for rave goers in the following months. Hard Summer is just around the corner. My advice is to educate oneself on Narcan, a life-saving medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. Because bringing in drugs will continue to happen. The hope is to create a safer environment where music and joy can be the only highs that attendees seek.

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