Rave Parties: Safety Precautions

Rave parties are well known for loud, thumping music, vibrant light shows and the eccentric costumes they inspire. However, there’s another side to rave parties that can have catastrophic effects on concert-goers: illicit drugs. If you’re planning on attending a rave party, know the lingo, behaviors and hazards to watch out for.

Know the Phrases That Could Get You Into Trouble

To avoid detection from authorities, people who are looking for or selling drugs at rave parties use special phrases to refer to different substances. For example, someone may come up to you at a rave party and ask, “Have you seen Molly?” He’s not looking for his lost friend named Molly, however. He’s actually asking you if you have any MDMA or know anyone who is selling MDMA, which goes by the nickname “Molly.” MDMA is a popular club and rave drug also known as “ecstasy.” Ecstasy and other hallucinogens are popular at rave parties because they amplify the powerful music and vivid lights often found at raves. Often, people at raves will share drugs or slip drugs to other people without the other person’s knowledge or permission. If anyone asks you if you would like some “Molly water,” if you would like to “roll,” or if you want some “candy,” they are actually asking you if you want drugs. Popular rave drugs and their slang terms include:

  • MDMA — also known as Ecstasy, E, Molly and Energy
  • LSD — also known as Acid, Rainbow, Red Lips, Smiley, Sugar and Zen
  • Cocaine — also known as Yay, Blow, White Powder, Rock, Sniff and Snow
  • Marijuana — also known as grass, weed, reefer, Mary Jane, Kush or hemp

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It’s easy to get distracted or separated from your friends at rave parties. With the loud music, disorienting lights and large crowds of people, a lot can go wrong. That’s why it’s crucial that you are always aware of your surroundings and never leave any of your belongings or drinks unattended. It’s not uncommon for people at rave parties to have their drinks spiked. Drink spiking occurs when someone has slipped a drug into another person’s drink without the person’s knowledge or permission. While some people will spike others’ drinks “just for fun,” other people have more malicious intentions. In fact, some people will spike another person’s drink in order to incapacitate them and take advantage of them, rob them or commit a sexual assault. To prevent your drink from being spiked, always keep your drink in your hand. If you have a bottle of water or soda, keep the lid on it whenever you’re not taking a sip. If you have an open cup, keep your cup close to your body or rest your hand on top of it. If you ever leave your drink unattended, it’s best not to sip from it again, and to get a new beverage. While rave parties are usually friendly events where everyone just wants to have a good time, you may occasionally see fighting or someone being arrested. If this happens, don’t try to get involved. Keep your distance, make your exit, or find a security guard or other authority figure if you can.

Signs of Drug Use at Rave Parties

It is widely known that drug use is common at raves. Drugs like MDMA, LSD and marijuana are the most common rave drugs and typically cause users to feel mellow and friendly. However, everyone reacts differently to drugs and other drugs like cocaine can cause aggressive behavior. Common signs of drug use at rave parties include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Jaw clenching or teeth grinding
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Blurry vision
  • Faintness
  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

If you believe someone may be suffering from adverse effects from drug use or if it appears that someone you know may have been given drugs without their permission, call for medical help immediately. Rave parties can be a fun way to experience a unique culture of electronic and trance music. However, they are known for being rife with drugs and dangerous behavior. If you plan to attend a rave party, be safe and make smart decisions.   Sources: Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia. (2016). Partying safely – tips for teenagers. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly).  National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2006). MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse. 

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