Make your nights and days memorable!
Step 1: TEST IT
One of the main risks associated with the use of illicit substances is the difficulty in knowing if what you bought is essentially what you wanted. Various laboratories across Europe provide important drug checking services and a break down of the chemical composition of a particular substance delivered to their headquarters. Some key organisations include Energy Control in Spain, The Loop and Wedinos Project in the UK, DanceSafe in the USA, and Echele Cabeza in Colombia. Check out the Trans-European Drug Information Network to learn more where drug checking services are available. If drug checking services are not available in your country, buy a reagent home checking drug kit like this one and test your drugs at home. Although the results will not be as accurate as professional high performance liquid chromatography, you will still be seriously reducing the potential ingestion of unwanted chemicals, and mitigate risks.
Figure 1 Accuracy and reliability of different drug-checking tools (Source: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction)
Living in the spur of the moment is what summer is all about. But being too spontaneous might not be the best choice. If you plan on heading for a dance marathon and the usual chemical mix, plan ahead to make sure you have all you need.
Try to ask yourself these questions:
- Will I be out for more than 12 hours?
- Is it going to be hot and sweaty? Do I need a change of clothes?
- Should I carry some snacks, wet wipes, tissues, condoms, and a power bank?
- Will I be snorting powders?
- Will I need a safer snorting kit or sterile snorting equipment, like a straw?
- Will I be smoking from a pipe? Should I carry mine?
- I have been feeling quite low on energy lately, do I need to carry vitamin and/or supplements?
- Will I be with friends who I can trust?
- How am going to get back home?
A safer way
If snorting cocaine or any other powder, do not share snorting equipment as this might expose you to viruses or bacteria, including Hepatitis C. Carry a clean straw with you or use a piece of paper. Do not expose your precious nose to millions of bacteria found on bank notes!
If smoking cannabis or other drugs, carry your own smoking equipment and try to monitor your smoking levels. Your mouth and lungs will thank you the next day.
You don’t want to miss out on any fun activity, including those kinky moments. Don’t forget to carry condoms with you!
Step 3: DANCE IT OFF
Dance till the early morning with not a care in the world. Dancefloors are not only recreational spaces, they are also important to establish human connection and enhance the overall experience of using mind-altering substances. This is your time to shine but is also your time to reduce risks linked with long hours of dancing and drug use. Keeping hydrated and limiting your alcohol intake are two foundational tools to enhance your clubbing and / or festival experience and mitigate your hangover the next day. Make sure to find ventilated and shaded areas. If feeling overheated, move away from the crowd and ask a friend to be with you. Wet your face, neck, wrists, arms, and legs to keep cool. If you plan on spending more than 12 hours out and about, carry some fruits and a juice with you, they will come in handy. If you can, bring along some mineral salts like these (they are sold in sachets) to rehydrate and avoid a hangover.
As per Newton’s Law of motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When it comes to drug use and prolonged hours of dancing, the same principle applies.
Therefore, if you:
- Take too much (dosage)
- Use multiple substances during the same session in a space of few hours (polydrug use)
- Consume drugs over a long period of time with no food or sleep (12 hours+)
You risk facing debilitating effects the next day.
Headaches, an upset stomach, and bad mood are not what people wish to experience after a fun night out. These negative effects could be mitigated and reduced to a minimum if you include the following considerations too:
- What drugs and how much should I consume?
- How much alcohol is too much?
- Have I been stressed or anxious lately?
- What time does the party end? Should I re-dose if the party ends in one hour?
- Do I have some food waiting for me in the fridge?
- Do I need to take time off work?
Take it easy! Make sure you do not have important social or work events the next day.
Engage in activities which give you pleasure and spend time with trusted friends. Maybe do a little gardening or go for a light nature walk. Mix it up with food, combining healthy and nutritious stuff with some of your favourite junk food.
Remember, keep hydrated!