Florida Music Festivals: Cocaine, Marijuana and Ecstasy

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By: Shanae Hardy

Summer is on the horizon in South Florida, which means music festivals will be popping up all season long throughout the densely populated area.

This year, big-named performances and jam-packed festivals are all a part of the excitement for students and families looking to enjoy their summer vacations.

The line-up for this summer’s up-coming music festivals and concerts include: SunFest 2016 in Downtown West Palm Beach, Best of the Best Reggae Music Festival at Bayfront Park, and the Form, Fashion, and Music Festival at Soho Studios in Miami. Even Beyoncé A.K.A the Queen B, will be debuting her Formation Tour performance at the Marlins Park later this month.

But just like the anticipation of those crowd-thumping, raving concerts, drug use is a common expectation during this season. The rampage caused by drugs, such as cocaine, MDMAs (ecstasy and Molly), and marijuana, intertwined with a rambunctious crowd at festivals, can lead to dehydration, hyperthermia and death.

In 2014, authorities reported the death of a 21-year-old festival-goer, Adonis Escoto, as the result of a drug overdose. His body was found outside of the Electronic Dance Music Festival, one of the biggest annual festivals in Miami.

Last year, DrugAbuse.com conducted a study called “Instagram, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” on popular drug use by calculating the number of drug mentions on more than 3 million Instagram (IG) posts from 15 different music festivals. The study found electronic festivals were more likely to have ecstasy, MDMA, and molly mentions, whereas reggae festivals, such as the Marley Fest, had over 80% IG mentions about marijuana use. The popular music festival, Coachella, had a 12.4% mention of cocaine use, more than double the percent for LSD and opioids.


There are preventive measures that one can take in order to avoid being coerced into illegal drug use while attending music festivals.

1.Don’t accept anything from strangers. This may seem obvious to festival-goers, but in a scene where people have sacrificed their judgement for a temporary high, caution should still be practiced. Although, marijuana is legal in some states, a shared marijuana blunt may contain traces of cocaine or methamphetamine. This combination can lead to paranoia and psychosis.


2. Don’t travel alone. In a densely packed crowd, the chances of getting lost from our family and friends are much greater. If drug addiction is–or was–a concern, being alone can place a person in a vulnerable situation, where irresponsible influences can lead to relapse.


3.Test any substance before ingesting it. Preventative drug measures, such as the EZTest Kit, will inform a festival-goer of the substances they are placing in their bodies. Michael Seglov from Vice Media recently wrote an article about the drug scene at a European music festival. Test packs revealed party goers were obliviously consuming anything from cocaine, bath salts, and ecstasy to pain medication.


4.Avoid consuming too much caffeine. You’re probably thinking, “what does caffeine have to do with cocaine, molly or marijuana?” But a copious amount of caffeine mixed with a psychoactive amphetamine like ecstasy can lead to heart palpitations and death.


5.Not having a plan can solicit unwarranted behavior. Often, over-zealous fans camp out the night or even days before a concert. Camping out can be a great way to meet other fans and new friends, but if you are unprepared, it can be dangerous. Bring a cooler full of food and water to avoid sharing with strangers. Also, recovering addicts should not camp out alone.



If you’re attending a music festival this summer but still unsure of how to steer away from harmful substances, there are informative resources to help festival-goers.

DanceSafe, a non-profit organization that “promotes health and safety within the electronic music community,” teaches young partiers what to avoid when mixing substances and about the improper use of MDMAs, Molly and ecstasy. Their website and events focus on harm reduction and education for partiers who struggle with ecstasy and other health risks.

The Bunk Police Spot Test Kits can be used so that festival-goers can determine “what’s in their baggie.” The kits are designed to test the purity of illegal drugs when people are more likely to take something without knowing what’s in it. Although they’re still a controversial resource, testing kits are meant to reduce harm and to guide a person’s decision while at music festivals.

A plethora of police officers are on stand-by at these music events. Not knowing how to deal with illegal substances can be scary for young partiers, but if you’re passed a bag with cocaine, MDMAs or marijuana, you should report it immediately.

Traveling with a group of close friends or family members will be the best form of accountability at a music festival. If you’re surrounded by people who care about your sobriety just as much as you do, they will also protect your judgement against making harmful decisions.

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Important statistics about popular drugs like marijuana and cocaine should be researched and considered before attending a music festival.

According to DrugFreeWorld.org, 62% of adults who used marijuana from ages 15 to 26 went on to use cocaine. They also reported that marijuana is the second leading factor, behind alcohol, of fatal automobile accidents.

Taking these substances at music festivals may seem like a one-time occurrence for recreational purposes, but it can lead to relapse, death and addiction.

Addicts can seek help at a treatment facility. Rehabilitation evolves into a lifestyle change of sobriety, despite the addict’s circumstances.

Recovering addicts can still enjoy a summer regimen full of music festivals. Through counseling, treatment provides addicts in recovery with the help they need to take precaution in risky scenarios.

Before you purchase those tickets for another heart-thumping, pulse-racing night funneling towards oblivion and a hangover, ask yourself if you will be able to enjoy your time without substances?

If not, treatment is the best option for you. If you need help overcoming a cocaine, ecstasy, or marijuana addiction, residential treatment centers will allow you to detox and recover from the addictive behaviors of those substances.

At Drug Treatment Center Finder, we can connect you with addiction specialists who are available 24/7.

Call 1-855-619-8070 today.

And remember, your well-being always come first, not the allure of parties. There’s always next summer.

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