After the unfortunate deaths and hospitalizations that forced Electric Zoo to be cut short this year, TomorrowWorld officials partnered with DanceSafe, a charity that distributes information about reducing harm when chosing to use drugs like MDMA.
The New York Times reports that about 20 DanceSafe volunteers will attend the festival. Some will roam the crowd, distributing literature on how to avoid ODs, while others will operate an air-conditioned “cool-down” lounge, where festival goers will also be offered counseling and advice on party safety.
The NYT says that harm reduction tactics, which have been prevalent in Europe for some time now, will be carried out by DanceSafe giving advice and assistance not only in dealing with the dangers of drug abuse, but also on how those who choose to take party drugs can use them more safely.
Just like the abstinence/safe sex question in the US, offering advice on safe use and avoiding overdoses is controversial in a society with zero tolerance for illegal drug use. ID&T US project manager Shawn Kent told the NYT that events companies in the $4.5 billion industry are still seeing an uphill battle for a positive image, despite tight security, undercover officers, EMTs, and of course, a zero-tolerance policy at festivals.
“This is a societal issue,” he said. “The way to help people who have these issues is to give them information. At some point, it’s individual responsibility.”
Here’s hoping this is a giant step in the right direction for an industry with some pretty serious growing pains. Read the entire story here.