Drugs At Festivals
Where's your head at?
Photographer: Michelle Corbett01 January 2008
- Festivals are not a good place to take drugs for the first time, know your limits beforehand.
- All drugs can affect you in different ways depending on your mental or physical condition.
- Before you go to the festival learn about the effects and risks of the drugs you’re about to take.
- Don’t mix your drugs (including alcohol and prescription drugs) as you never know how they might react together. They may have a bad reaction or a dangerously strong effect.
- If you’re going to take more than one drug, wait for one to wear off before you take another.
- It may take a few hours to kick in so be patient and avoid taking more if you can’t feel them working.
- Wait for any effects to kick in before getting immersed in large crowds of people.
- Don’t buy drugs off strangers. You're likely to get ripped off and you never know what you’re buying.
- Don’t take drugs near the end of the festival, especially if you’re driving, as the effects can last hours, even days after you’ve taken them.
Looking after yourself:
- Eat something substantial a few hours before you take anything. If taking stimulants you won't be hungry for a while but your body will still need fuel for all that raving.
- Make sure your friends are aware of which drug you are taking and vice versa.
- Stick with your close friends. It’s tempting to wander off on your own at festivals, but this is best done when you’re sober.
- Sip on a pint of water every hour if you are in a large crowd or dancing. Keep a bottle with you that you can keep refilling.
- Take regular breaks when dancing to avoid overheating.
Dealing with bad effects:
- If you feel ill or paranoid move away from the crowds and find a quiet place to chill out, ideally with a friend.
- Vitamin C helps you come down so drinking orange juice can help.
- If you have any of the following symptoms: dizziness, sudden headaches, cramps, sickness or difficulty peeing, sit down, drink a soft drink and splash some water on your face.
- If the symptoms persist seek medical help. Be open with friends about how you are feeling.
- If you or a friend collapses, stops sweating, suffers convulsions, has difficulty breathing or severe tiredness, seek medical assistance immediately.
- There will be medical facilities around the festival so approach a steward, police officer or security staff to help you locate them.
- If anything does go wrong don’t be afraid to find help for fear of being arrested. Remember it is illegal to possess drugs, not to have them in your system.
- If your friend falls ill make sure you tell the paramedics what they’ve taken.