What are your memories of summer parties? Are your thoughts nostalgic beachside visions where entire days were spent either on the sand or in the ocean from morning until the bonfire-lit night?
Or are your memories a bit more intense because the one summer party you do remember at this particular moment was very intense. Where the party was held was of course dark, be it in a warehouse or someone’s substantially sized apartment. The music was loud electronica and the party itself went on nearly toward noon the following day.
Literally, summer parties are in a class by themselves. They can take shape as tame little gatherings where cheeseburgers are eaten with a backdrop of municipal park trees. Or they can be loud, booming affairs fueled by adrenaline and dance music, such as what is found at raves.
We know so because we were once kids, and more than likely have been to both types of summer parties: the serene and the salacious.
While it’s true that drugs can be found at any party, raves are more likely to be where stimulants are a part of the all-night-to-day experience.
Part one of this two-part series will examine what you should do if you have a youngster who during this summer plans to attend one or several raves, and how you can counsel them about the potential dangers that can be found at raves.
For those of you not in the know, according to WiseGeek,1 A rave is a type of all-night dance party, popular in many parts of the world. The term is taken from the Jamaican word for party, but true raves really didn’t begin until the 1980s. They may be legal or not, depending upon where the event is held, and while partying all night is usually not illegal, the activities associated with the parties may be.
Most raves take place in abandoned warehouses or sizable loft spaces, which usually are not zoned for large numbers of people or party activities. Raves can also be sponsored, and announced by word of mouth.
And while some raves are legally held depending upon the sponsors and/or clientele, many other raves are sketchily put together and can occur in complexes such as abandoned buildings, which in some cases can be overcrowded, hot, and overall dangerous to inhabit.
As the Federal Bureau of Investigation2 (FBI) states on its website, many raves are alcohol free. Of course that does not preclude other drugs from funneling into rave parties.
While many drugs can crop up during a rave, the most popular of them seems to be ecstasy. Ecstasy is an illegal synthetic drug whose lab name is methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The methamphetamine portion of the drug’s name is what classifies ecstasy as a nervous system stimulant.
The drug is usually swallowed and in about 20 minutes, begins to take effect. The drug’s effects can last up to six hours, while the comedown can last between one day upwards to a week.
Because of ecstasy’s ability to stimulate the nervous system, the user who takes the drug will have a fight or flight reaction, which can be stimulated by ecstasy’s visual and audio hallucinogenic traits.
Dopamine and serotonin are the brain chemicals which get released by the drug. The sensation is of peacefulness and love, some have said, and yet the recovery from ecstasy is quite miserable, with the user experiencing fatigue, aching muscles and depression. It’s known that in high doses, ecstasy can cause seizures and vomiting as well as contribute to a user’s death.
Ecstasy can lead to death, no two ways about it. And should someone at a rave have a physical reaction from taking too much of the drug, such as dehydration, dizziness, increased heart rate, among many other symptoms, proper medical help may not be available.
This can mean that the person who has overdosed on ecstasy has only others who might also be on the same drug. Then, with the fact that the party might be illegal from the outset, the rave scene can quickly become chaotic, rendering medical attention for an ecstasy overdose a dicey proposal for anyone.
WiseGeek suggests that this summer, parents arrange their own raves for their kids, and their kids’ friends. And while this may seem lame in the eyes of more than a few young people out there, the purpose of arranging your own rave is simply to keep everyone safe and drug free.
In part two of this series, we will examine the steps you can take toward creating your own safe rave for your kids, their friends, and even you and your adult friends to enjoy.
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