Music festivals and drug use often go hand-in-hand. With the celebratory atmosphere and laid-back vibe of music festivals, many people engage in recreational drug use to enhance the experience. Unfortunately, many overdoses also occur at music festivals as drug experimentation gets out of hand.
Protect yourself and your friends by get educated on the most common music festival drugs and their side effects. While certain drugs are more prevalent depending on the type of festival and the demographics of the festival-goers, here are some of the most common drugs at music festivals.
This broad drug group includes psilocybin mushrooms, LSD (acid), DMT and mescaline. There have been very few reported overdoses on psychedelics; however it’s important to note that these types of drugs and their accompanying ‘high’ are dependent on the type of setting the user is surrounded by and his or her mental state.
Side effects: Varies greatly according to the individual and the setting. Many religious groups use psychedelics to alter states of consciousness and connect with repressed memories and feelings. You may encounter unusual or sometimes frightening images or feelings.
Signs of danger: If you are in a chaotic setting where you feel uncomfortable, this can create a frightening experience. If a friend is overwhelmed, take him or her to a calm, supportive environment.
Often referred to as ecstasy or Molly, this illicit drug is often mixed and produced with other drugs such as cocaine, alprazolam, caffeine, and LSD. This creates a dangerous festival drug cocktail and produces unpredictable side effects which may result in fatal overdose.
Side effects: Feelings of euphoria, openness, and connectedness with others. Typically used in social settings, MDMA heightens your senses and intensifies your feelings. During the first 30 minutes, many users feel nauseated. Side effects include dilated pupils, chills or sweating, sensitivity to bright lights and teeth-gnashing.
Signs of danger: Users on MDMA may overexert themselves and experience fatigue. Dehydration is also a common problem; hyponatremia can also occur which is when your body intakes too much water. It’s best to stay hydrated with juice or a drink with electrolytes.
Cocaine or Crack Cocaine
Cocaine, a white powdery substance which is typically snorted or injected, and crack cocaine, the ‘rock’ version of cocaine which is smoked, is a common music festival drug. This highly addictive drug can result in fatal overdoses.
Side effects: Cocaine’s euphoric high takes effect almost instantly and lasts anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. A user may not feel the need to eat or sleep when using cocaine.
Signs of danger: Cocaine affects the respiratory system. Users may experience shortness of breath, have a stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or heart attack. Mixing cocaine with alcohol can have severe consequences on the heart.
Marijuana or weed is the most widely-used illegal drug in America and is also used commonly during music festivals. Different strains of cannabis are more potent than others and may cause stronger side effects.
Side effects: A relaxed and peaceful state, slower reaction times and feelings of depression once the drug wears off.
Signs of danger: While death as a result of marijuana is not likely, sometimes an individual may ingest too much marijuana at one time and “green out.” This may cause temporary feelings of anxiety, shortness of breath, and hallucinations or confusion.
While many people engage in drug use at music festivals, many are caught off-guard by how quickly dependence and addiction can develop. If you or a loved one has a drug abuse problem, call the Beachway team at 877-284-0353 or contact a trained therapist for immediate help.