Festivals have been a worldwide phenomenon. It’s a place for likeminded people to enjoy good music and meet new people. These places are also the perfect place for groups of people to experience with new things, such as drugs. The hippies in the 70’s were known for their use of LSD(acid) and we may not forget about the 90’s with the rise of XTC in the rave culture. Drugs have always been around and have been used for many different reasons, in many different cultures. The era we live in now is still one that’s heavily influenced by our festival culture and where drugs are widely taken whereas no one seems to really know what kind of impact these drugs have on the short and the long term. Therefore, we present you an overview of different kind of drugs that are taken on festivals, and we’ll tell you about the impact they have on the person that takes them.
Let us start with a drug that people often forget is actually also a drug. Alcohol is not only a drug, it holds the 4th place in the top 5 most deadly harddrugs in the world and is considered the most dangerous drug towards other people. Alcohol holds a cultural accepted place in our society since it has always been around. You should still know what it actually does to you, even though you might be familiar with it. The short term effects are the ones we all have encountered sometimes. Balance difficulty, vomiting, dizziness, amnesia and emotional changes. A less known short term effect that we most often see for younger less experienced people is decreased heart rate, a coma and eventually this could even result in death. The long term effects of alcohol might sound less familiar. They are things like heart deceases, dementia, stroke, liver damage and depression. So even though alcohol is widely accepted, it does not mean it comes without a risk.
Another populair drug is weed, especially since this is tolerated in the Netherlands. There are many different opinions about weed so it is quite hard to distinguish what the short and long term effects are. Though there are some effects that are hard facts, and we’ll discuss those. The effects of weed have very much to do with who a person is, and therefore the short term effects are different for everyone. The effects have to do with a person’s size, experience with the drug, amount of weed consumed and lastly an individual his physiology. Short term effects can be for example an increased feeling of hunger, extensive laughing and on the downside you can feel depressed or social anxiety which can lead to an increased heart rate and a lack of coordination. The long term effects are a bit more psychological and are mostly depression, difficulty with sleeping and paranoia.
Ecstasy is also known as the love drug, mainly because it gives you an incredibly feeling of euphoria. This, in combination with the increased stamina, energy and alertness is what makes it the perfect drug in the the 90’s rave culture. However, your body and heart will be under more strain what makes your body temperature rise. Therefore it is important to keep yourself hydrated with enough water. One thing that differs from now and then is the milligrams of MDMA you find in an Ecstasy pill. It used to be around 40-50 milligrams and now the average pill has 150MG MDMA in it. There are pills known with up to 300MG in them. The lack of knowledge makes it quite dangerous to take such pills, because you can easily overdose yourself. If you take too much, the positive effects of ecstasy will disappear and they’ll make place for hallucinations, a heavy feeling in your arms and legs, a feeling of not belonging and confusion. One last thing that needs to be taken into account with ecstasy is that it works with the serotonin levels in your brain. Ecstasy stimulates the serotonin and that is what gives you the ‘happy feeling’; you literally borrow tomorrows happiness. When people use ecstasy often, the serotonin level in their brains cannot come back to normal and this is how people get depressed from this drug.
This one is a little hard to describe since it is a relatively new drug. Also, it falls in the categorie of “designer drugs”. 4-FA has been around since 2007 but became available on the market in 2009 and therefore is called a designer drug. This basically means that it’s not yet on the opium list and therefore is not yet totally illegal. Because it has only been around for a couple of years, the long term effects are still unknown. The drug itself is described as a hard form of speed, or a soft form of MDMA. It basically combines the two drugs. It gives you a lot of energy like speed but does not make you confused like XTC. The chemical structure of the drug is a lot like amphetamine (speed, which is next on the list) it often comes with insomnia.
Speed will keep you awake and give you energy to dance all night long. It is a form of amphetamine, although the amphetamine level in speed is never higher than 70%. Mostly it is around 30 or 40%, the rest is caffeine powder. The effects of speed are noticeable for up to 6 – 8 hours after you have taken it. Speed makes you feel more secure about yourself and suppresses the feeling of hunger. The downside however is that it also gives you trouble sleeping, it could make you aggressive and you might feel paranoia. On the long term it will damage your teeth and nose, it can cause brain and liver damage and even get you in psychosis. The last danger with speed is that it is relatively easy to get addicted to it. People can easily get the feeling they cannot go to parties or do normal work without speed because they will feel sleepy all the time without taking the drug.
2C-B is more of a psychedelic drug, it fits in line with magic mushrooms and LSD. The only big difference is that that you have way more control over the trip that you get from 2C-B. The amount of milligrams you take are also a big influence in your trip, as is with all psychedelic drugs. The common amount that people take differs from 5-10 mg for a light trip, 10-20 for a trip and 20+ for heavy trips. It is highly advised that unexperienced people take a low dose. With a low dose 2C-B you feel a bit like you are on XTC; it might give you euphemistic feelings. The higher the dose the more the hallucinations and tripping starts. The real danger with this drug is that on the long term it can cause psychological problems. On the short term you can get in to a bad trip. A bad trip basically means that you experience bad emotions and feelings and that they overwhelm you. This leads to anxiety. The feeling after taking 2C-B can last up to 6 hours.
The final one on the list is cocaine. Cocaine is a drug that, just like speed, is a white powder that’s most commonly sniffed. The big difference between the two is that the effect of cocaine only last 20-30 minutes. This is also the big danger of this drug. Because the effect only lasts so short your body easily craves for more. Cocaine works with the dopamine in your brain and makes you feel incredibly good about yourself. All these things combined make cocaine a highly addictive drug and therefore usage must be monitored well. Also, it is by far the most expensive drug on the list. On the long term cocaine can adjust a person’s personality and make them turned into theirselves which is why cocaine also is called the ‘ego-drug’. Also depression is something that can happen too people who want to stop using cocaine after a period of regular usage.
Some good advice
To close off this topic we want to emphasize the importance of safe drugs usage. People generally don’t know what exactly is in their drugs and that’s a danger in dosing. Therefore, in the Netherlands, there are a couple of drugs test centers where you can get your drugs tested for free. Another important thing to know is that, in case you’ve ever experience a person having a badtrip, don’t hesitate to call the alarm number (112). You should not be afraid to do so because in The Netherlands, a person cannot get punished by law enforcement for the usage of illegal drugs.