The highs and lows of rave culture

Strobe lights flashing, bass pounding, the crowd is pulsing and your best friend is lying on the floor. 

This alarming scenario has become a regular occurrence at raves and music festivals, especially with the elevated misuse of MDMA-based drugs like ecstasy and molly. 

While authorities realize they can’t search every inch of even the most sparsely covered individuals, new laws in some parts of Southern California now require these large events to be more closely regulated and prepared to handle any type of drug-related incidents.

This push for reform stemmed from the tragic death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez, who overdosed at a rave held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2010. “Sasha’s Law,”   AB 74, requires venues to conduct a threat assessment for shows with more than 10,000 people expected in attendance. 

The law also allows a panel of local officials to enforce a minimum age requirement, a maximum attendance rate and increased security. Onsite medical care is mandatory, specifically aimed to treat the overdoses happening far too frequently at these events. 

But why even let it get to that point?

 If an individual feelsthey are responsible enough to “safely” consume a nearly toxic amount of MDMA in the first place, shouldn’t they be able to recognize how much is too much? 

It’s tricky, when there are thousands of people who are unknowingly absorbing adulterated drugs into their system while simultaneously denying their body vital replenishments — water and food.

Many don’t realize when they are paying for molly or ecstasy, what they’re usually getting is a concoction infused with drugs like LSD, codeine or cocaine. More bang for your buck? Not exactly. 

With all the possible combinations of illicit drugs that might be mixed with MDMA, it just adds to the possibility of overdose and cause serious damage to the body.

While nobody realistically expects to rid partygoers of their go-to substances, there’s no doubt that something needs to change. 

Nationwide, there have been 25 drug-related deaths at raves since 2006, with 12 of those cases occurring in Southern California alone. 

Unfortunately, it seems that no amount of aftercare can truly resolve the issue, so prevention is key.

It starts with ravers understanding what substances are likely being injected into their systems, and knowing the risks involved in consuming molly, ecstasy or any illicit substance. Staying hydrated, nourished, and aware of one’s surroundings during events can help avoid dangerous situations. 

No matter how many laws are created to regulate the issue, the only real solution lies with the individual and the choices he or she makes .  

Remember that MDMA-based drugs are illegal for a reason. 

Are they worth risking your life?