By Itzayana Jimenez |Staff Writer|
The ’60s and ’70s were infamous for the use of psychedelic drug use, from the everyday drug use to the recreational use in the music scene.
History has repeated itself. In recent years the use of drugs in the music scene has risen drastically.
According to a study done in March 2015 based off social media by DRUGABUSE.com, the most mentions of psychedelics at music festivals are from Burning Man in Nevada—7.22 percent of attendees do DMT, 7.42 percent do mushrooms, and 5.64 percent do LSD.
The study also shows that 42.99 percent of Electric Daisy Carnival, 37.68 percent of Ultra Music Festival, and 21 percent of Camp Bisco attendees do MDMA/molly/ecstasy.
The percentages of users of MDMA/molly/ecstasy at music festivals, specifically Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals, are not surprising considering past events.
For instance, according to LA Weekly, in 2013 a teenage girl died of a suspected overdose of methamphetamine and ecstasy at Hard Summer Festival in Southern California.
The festival was previously located in Whittier, California, but has since then been moved to Pomona, California because of the incident.
Also, at Austin City Limits in 2014 a young girl was found dead due to the molly she took; her friends also got negative reactions from the drug, but were not as severe.
There have yet to be any major incident reports regarding the use of psychedelics at music festivals.
While the data collected is based on social media, there is still a large amount of people using these drugs that don’t post about it.
I asked some students from our campus if they’ve ever used any of these drugs on a regular basis or at an event, what influenced them to use them, and if they think they’re bad in any way.
One student stated, “For me, taking psychedelic drugs isn’t about getting messed up or out of it. It’s about exploring the capacity of the human mind and tapping into different perceptions. It’s spiritual. They allow you to see life through a different lens and should be taken with respect, responsibility, and with awareness about what you’re taking and your state of mind while taking them.”
Another student said, “I do psychedelics when I go to major music festivals, but not at concerts or smaller shows. But I do know a lot more people that are beginning to do psychedelics at these events and even on the daily. It is definitely something that is growing.”
An additional student stated, “I do use psychedelics at events. It opens a part of my mind that I don’t get to use on a regular basis and it pushes my body to stay awake and keep moving. It is something that’s getting bigger and I think it’ll eventually be accepted because people are becoming more liberal.”
Not all students participate in the use of drugs. A student said, “I don’t understand why people waste so much money attending these festivals if they’re going to be under the influence the entire time. It’s counter-productive, you don’t get to enjoy the full extent of the event, festival, or concert you’re at.”
Since so many people are doing drugs and the creators of these festivals and events know they’re not going to be able to stop them from doing so they began using a program called DanceSafe.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance website, DanceSafe is a public health organization that promotes non-judgmental health and safety information, such as drug effects and safe drug use practices. They also set up a “safe space” separate from the main festival areas, and often work with onsite medical teams.
Their ultimate goal is to cut down the number of deaths and incidents.
We might possibly be going into an era of major drug use. It is not something that you need to participate in, but if you do make sure you educate yourself about what you are doing not only to yourself but possibly others.