Be smart about being stupid. This is one of my personal favorite phrases when it comes to life. Simply put: if you’re doing dumb shit, don’t be dumb about it! At the end of the day, it is important to know how to prepare yourself to have the most fun possible, safely. Nothing worse then ruining your own fun!
For me, a big part of *being smart about being stupid* revolves around partying… Disclaimer: Drugs Are Bad ‘Mmmmkay! If you plan on doing them anyway, BE SMART ABOUT IT! I am not promoting drugs. I am advocating for harm reduction and encouraging folks to make informed decisions. The point of partying is to have fun, NOT DIE! Dying is a huge buzz kill.
What is HARM REDUCTION? “Harm reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to minimise negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws. Harm reduction is grounded in justice and human rights. It focuses on positive change and on working with people without judgement. ” — Harm Reduction International
This post is designed to provide resources for you to educate yourself about questions you may have around ingesting substances. I am going to broadly cover the subject and include external links so you can read more on specific topics.
The most basic parts of the Be Smart About Being Stupid principle are: can you get into trouble with the law? And could you do damage to yourself or others? If you answer YES to any part of those questions you should take steps towards harm reduction in order to minimize risks.
A little planning goes a long way. Enhance your fun by removing worries and easing your mind. The whole idea of attending events is to enjoy yourself and leave with a positive experience. Know before you go!
Important Things To Remeber When Partying With Substances:
Know WHAT you are taking, the proper dosage and potential side effects. Companies like DanceSafe and Bunk Police are usually available at mainstream festivals and events to test your products onsite. There are also many kits available for purchase online from both retailers if you prefer to test at home. I can not stress this enough, DO NOT BLINDLY TAKE SUBSTANCES FROM STRANGERS OR GROUND SCORES! A lot of substances look alike and can be easily confused for another. If you want to ensure you are taking what you intend, consider buying in bulk ahead of time, and testing the batch. This guarantees that you will know what you are taking, and that you can control the dosage.
- You can always take more. You can not take back what you have already consumed.
- Always TEST TWICE. Testing products are dirt cheap compared to your life.
- Phones become something unfamiliar and weird sometimes, be mindful that it might be more difficult for you to operate a cellular device.
- Use the buddy system. If you are partying, make sure you let a friend know. In the event something happens they are a valuable resource and they make it a point to check in on you throughout your experience.
- Know how to ground yourself. The mind can go to weird places. Learn ways to self sooth, like taking off your shoes and feeling the earth with your bare feet. Try closing your eyes and focusing on taking slow, controlled, deep breaths. If you are pale or feeling a little light headed, lay down and elevate your feet above your head.
- Drink water and eat something. Getting some food in your belly is a good way to prevent sour stomach, and water is critical in preventing dehydration and overheating.
- Time, it is what it is. Things wear off when they are out of your system. Certain substances last longer than others. For a helpful timetable on how long effects of a certain drug will last, use the website Drug Effects Calculator — How Long Is It In My System? It takes into account your weight and the dosage when making the time estimate.
- If you have concerns for yourself, a friend, or someone in the crowd, look for a Medical Tent or an EMT. They are not Police Officers, they are not there to judge, but to help. It is important to know that medical wants to help you if you are in need. They do not want to arrest you or get you in trouble, but make sure you are ok. They can check your vitals and determine if you need further assistance. EMTs and Medical staff are very knowledgeable, and they need you to be honest with them about how much you took, when and what it was…or what you thought it was. Remember, their job is to save lives and offer help and they are a valuable part of the festival harm reduction community.
Harm Reduction Products & Resources
***PSA: You can never be too careful when it comes to substances these days…everything has FENTANYL in it! In fact, there are now individual test strips dedicated for detecting Fentanyl in substances because of how rampant the presence of it is in other drugs. You can buy them directly from the Dance Safe website or from Bunk Police online. Both sites offer 10 tests in a box, and are $19.99 with free shipping.
Another product that is helpful in harm reduction is NARCAN SPRAY. Also known by its generic name Naloxone, this nasal spray is designed to help with suspected opioid overdoses. Since most accidental overdoses occur in a home setting, it was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends, and caregivers—with no medical training required.
Familiarize yourself with proper CPR technique. This is a valuable life saving skill that could come in handy at any time. CPR works by keeping a person’s blood flowing until healthcare professionals can help them. The current standard is 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths. Click Here for a detailed step-by-step guide to CPR.
Ultimately, the choice is always up to the individual. Your future is in your own hands, so be smart about being stupid! Here are a few web based resources to help further answer some questions you might have:
- High Times: Marijuana FAQ
- Healthline: Cocaine FAQ
- MJ Pure Play: Magic Mushroom FAQ
- Alcohol and Drug Foundation: Ketamine FAQ
- Drugs.com: Ecstasy (MDMA) FAQ
- Talk to Frank: Honest Information about all Drugs A-Z.
- Here to Help: Safer Tripping Guide
- Very Well Mind: Information on Hallucinogens
- Trips It: Harm Reduction Education, effects of different drug combinations with mobile app and chat feature.
Are you obsessed with TikTok like I am?! One of my favorite people to follow on there is @partysaferwithjess. A Harm Reductionist, and fellow Rave Mom, she has hundreds of informational videos that are directed specifically to Raving and Festivals. I have learned so much from her it is ridiculous! From different ways to test, general facts and even funny videos to explain some awkward situations. I suggest checking her out for an entertaining, educational experience. She does a lot of “ABC vs. XYZ” and I highly appreciate the comparisons as they relate to the scene. Her tag line is “Just say KNOW” if that tells you anything!
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please use the following resources for help:
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: Addiction Resources
- Addiction Center: Everything you need to know about Rehab
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: Confidential free help, from public health agencies, to find substance use treatment and information. Toll Free in USA: 1.800.662.4357