We’ve all been there. We’ve seen or heard about someone who’s fallen out at a festival. We’ve seen the negative focus of the media on the subject.
The question needs to be asked, “Who is looking out for you?”
Well, I know someone who is. Her name is Amy Raves. She’s an amazing human being I was able to meet at EDC LAs Vegas 2014. Over a few days we got to talking and I quickly understood that she’s the “Rave Mom” everyone else who knows her is talking about.
She advocates safety. I asked Amy to speak towards this subject and promote her cause. Before getting to what she said, lets address the issue.
Lets Be Honest
Not everyone who goes to a rave or festival takes or does drugs. However, the reality is that some of us do. Some people want to enhance their experience with chemistry.
The problem is that it’s illegal. We know this. The people who chose to partake in said chemistry are usually looking for one thing, MDMA. It’s been called “ecstasy” for many years. Recently it’s been called “Molly”. The recent history around “Molly” is that back in the day, a normal pill(dose) of MDMA was 120mg. Then, in many places you’d be lucky to get 100mg, or even 80mg of MDMA in your pill. Then, someone got smart and started making “Molly”, capsules with 120mg of pure MDMA in them. Raising the quality of what was available on the market, and raising the price of a pill from typically $20 to $30. The high was epic. It took hold. Over time, rappers, hip-hop artists and even thugs began to realize how strong the desire for this drug was. It started to be the topic in many songs that hit the radio. Around this same time, the quality of the drug began to decline, or people weren’t getting any MDMA at all! Yup, some assholes out there who were not in the scene decided that they wanted to make a lot of money. Other people found that they could create a molecule similar to MDMA and pass it off as such and not have any legal consequences.
Now, today we’re lucky to see any MDMA at all. In a recent study, only 13% of the pills had any MDMA in them at all. That means 87% of the pills and powder out there is BUNK! Over 3/4 of anything you might get is NOT MDMA. 15 years ago this was unheard of! Now this is the “norm”? To me, this is simply someone trying to poison me and get paid for it. If that doesn’t strike you as wrong and intolerable, then maybe you’re in the wrong scene. Maybe you don’t care about your life. Maybe you don’t mind getting ripped off.
But I do, and so do some others.
A few years ago I went to a local dealer and got some Green Butterfly shaped pills. I was looking to get MDMA. What I got was Piperizine. (BZP) or commonly known as “Pipes”. The dude gave me a really good deal on 3 pills for $15. I was in a hurry and thought, well, I’ll try one.
I can not stress to you how bad of an idea this was. I spent the rest of that night and half the next day recovering from a fucked up, gnarly, gross feeling that ruined my weekend. At one point I nearly went into a panic and asked my girlfriend to take me to the hospital. I was dumb enough to take a pill I had NO idea of what it consisted of. I took ONE. I kept the other 2 for testing in the future. I was pissed. What was I going to do? I could have died.
That experience hit me pretty hard. I was nearly a statistic on the news. That hit me right in the guts. It has had such an affect on me that I no longer search out pills in this area. I don’t trust anyone. I realized once again, the dealers today aren’t out there for the scene, they’re out there for themselves. They want your money. They don’t care about your life, or if you want to enhance your experience. They just want that paper. THAT is the problem with our scene today. Too many thugs and dishonest people in it. (I use the term people loosely here. It’s hard to call someone a person when they’re trying to poison you.)
Fortunately, from my experience, I learned. I lived and have moved forward.
How does this affect you?
There you are, in your happy place, having a good time, you get a pill handed to you and you don’t even know what’s in it. Do you trust the person who gave it to you? Do you trust the person they got it from? What do you do?
You “TEST your shit!” Amy says this all the time, and She’s right!
Back to the question at hand.
So, who’s looking out for you? There ARE people who do look out for others.
I’m going to address EDC Vegas specifically here, because I know they have “Ground Control”. That’s EDC’s version of Medical assistance staff, who are on a radio system that can be dispatched to any location in the festival at any time. They ride around on bikes so they can get to locations quickly to assist people in need of medical attention. But they’re working Epso-facto.
So who’s looking out for you BEFORE you take your pills? Who’s looking out for you before you take any drugs?
Amy Raves, that’s who. I was fortunate enough to meet her last year and have seen her doing great work in our “raver” community. She’s working to keep everyone safe. She lives in an age of evolved honesty and acknowledges the fact that people, regardless of legality, are going to take drugs. Knowing that the scene is full of bunk, she’s out there trying to make sure you people don’t get sick or die. I love her for that. I have asked her to write me something I can post here to let you all know, “Hey, this person is out there trying to keep you safe! Please, please, please, test your shit.”
Here’s what she sent to me. Please read it, and make sure to keep yourself safe from the harms that are out there. After all, we’re trying to have a GOOD TIME.
“I’m Amy Raves, but they call me “Mama” because I’m the one who looks out for rave kids and helps them make smarter decisions when they party. The typical 18-24 year old raver is not well informed on how to reduce risk, nor how to recognize a serious medical emergency in time to make life saving decisions, and that’s where I come in. In 2013, I founded my organization, Safer Raving by Amy Raves. I provide direct Harm Reduction, Drug Awareness Outreach services at rave events where I have free literature, condoms, earplugs, water, Gatorade, as well as a group of volunteer ravers looking out for ravers; the PLURR Patrol by Amy Raves.
When kids know the warning signs of a drug or alcohol related emergency and other rave risks like hyperthermia & dehydration and they know how to respond, and when they know about good samaritan amnesty laws, their friends are much more likely to go home alive and well after each event.
I also do pill testing and sell testing kits because many of today’s unregulated, illicit drugs are not what the users thought they were buying. So many variations of psychedelics exist and some can kill you, like 25i NBOMe if misrepresented or improperly dosed. Same with the empathogens and entactogens of the MDxx family like MDMA, MDA, MDEA, MDOH, MBDB and then there is 6-APB, methylone, mephedrone, αMT, and αET and hundreds of others! All have their own set of reactions in the brain & body, yet none come with a pharmacy label or proper warning. When you can identify your substance accurately and do research before you use, you can plan for the way it makes you feel, the duration of the experience and most importantly, how much to take, if any at all. ”
Amy’s been featured in articles by Reuters, Showbams and has been republished in hundreds of syndicates around the globe. For more information or to book her services for your Southern California events, please call 201-677-8723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org