With festival season due to kick off in 2 days, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on harm reduction with the goal of making yours and your mates weekend as enjoyable and as safe as possible.
We don’t condone the use of drugs and the safest advice we can offer is to avoid them altogether.
Since we started Four Four Magazine almost three years ago, we’ve always been as vocal as possible about our interest in drug safety and various methods of harm reduction, which a lot of you may know from our #LiveToDanceAnotherDay campaign.
Drug use at festivals is more common today than it ever has been. We all want to have a good time, but drug use carries with it some inherent dangers to both your physical and your mental health. The best thing we can recommend is to avoid drug use entirely, but if you are going to use drugs, here is some essential information to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable festival experience.
Medics Are Your Mates
At any festival, the medics are your mates. Medical tents are spaces that are free of judgement so please don’t be afraid to drop in. If you’re feeling bad, go to the medical tent as soon as possible. Medics only want to help you, not get you in trouble, so when you arrive at the festival make sure you know where the medical tents are, just in case you need one at some stage. The days after the festival can be just as taxing as the festival itself. If you were taking drugs at a festival, you’re likely to feel a bit low for a few days after.
Start Low, Go Slow
Ireland is known across the globe as a nation of partiers. As a result, every artist in the world wants to play here. However we also sometimes have a tendency to push ourselves a little too far. It’s important to remember if you’re taking drugs to start low and go slow. Many of the negative side effects associated with taking illegal drugs stem from taking too much too quickly. It’s perfectly natural to want to try out new experiences but If you take too much too quickly, you might not even remember the night! Remember : Play it safe, it’s not a race.
Leave The Mixing To The DJs
To make sure you enjoy the festival as much as possible, leave the mixing to the DJs. Mixing drugs is much more dangerous than many people realise, and some combinations are worse than others. For example, some drugs increase the heart rate, while others decrease it. Some alter reality and some intensify it. Think of it like a Christmas cracker, pulling in opposite directions; It’s bound to crack eventually.
Doing drugs not only puts a strain on you physically, but mentally also. It’s crucial before and during a music festival to eat and sleep properly. Eating at least one proper meal a day and getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep will improve your mood and your experience ten fold. Music festivals are vast and sometimes intimidating places. Remember, you don’t have to be taking drugs to be feeling low at a festival so please be kind to and look after each other. Festivals are places where we escape from the drudgery of everyday life and meet people who share common interests and passions. If you see somebody who looks like they’re having a bad time, check on them. If you yourself are feeling a bit low, feel free to go to the medical or Ana Liffey tent for a chat and a rest.
At the core of all this information is a hope that we can create a community at festivals that are responsible, sensible and compassionate. Look after each other and look after yourself. We want everyone to have the best experience possible and so long as everyone looks after themselves and each other we know this will be the case.
If you’d like to learn more about harm reduction or The Ana Liffey Drug Project, you can do so here