Drugs and EDM: An Intimate Relationship

Electronic dance music (EDM) is one of the popular music genres of our generation. EDM festivals and raves draw massive crowds from around the country to experience the wonderland that music, lights, and stage visuals create. “Ravers” make up party-hungry and accepting crowds while the artists simultaneously strive to create a loving culture. These are the reasons why EDM festivals are cherished – and one other thing. Drugs!

Ecstasy, psychedelic shrooms, cocaine, and marijuana are a staple in the EDM scene. At first glance, it may be hard to understand why hard drugs are used so often by ravers. Take one look at an EDM stage and you can likely imagine the visual and emotional appeal of tripping. Below is a YouTube link of legendary EDM artist Excision who perfectly embodies the nature of an intense rave. Colorful lasers, fire, confetti, and screens displaying trippy imagery create an environment conducive to drug use.
However, hard drug use creates problems (other than the obvious fact that it is illegal). Experiencing a rave while tripping makes it difficult to ever attend similar events sober again. This encourages the user to take increasing amounts of the substance each time, whether their tolerance is building or out of curiosity of how hard they can trip. Overdosing among ravers is becoming more common. Many attendees also experience depression, mood swings, changes in appetite, and sleep disruptions for days or weeks following their festival. In fact, “post-rave depression” (PRD) is a common phrase used by festival-goers to express their overwhelming nostalgia – the desire to rewind and live through those magical EDM sets all over again. PRD is significantly worse when drugs are involved. If returning to normal life after a rave is so difficult, is it worth going in the first place? It might be.

The acceptance, love, and happiness radiating throughout an EDM crowd is unmatched. Some people feel more at home there than anywhere else. EDM has built a strong community of “PLUR” – peace, love, unity, and respect. Attendees often cherish raves because it is a great escape from the stress of everyday life. Therefore, maybe we should accept those who engage in this lifestyle. Let’s face it – we all need an outlet like that, right?

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