This past weekend played host to the second annual Paradiso Festival organized by USC Events and it was easily one for the books. With 25,000+ in attendance, Paradiso took place at the beautiful Gorge convert venue in the state of Washington and went off with great success. Unfortunately, there was one drug related death where one concert goer consumed a lethal amount of substances which lead to his death a few days later. Although a death at a festival is always disheartening, the local seattle media took the case to a whole new level when they spun it to blame the drug, Molly.
Concert goers who were friends with the young man who died said that he had mistakenly taken Bath Salts instead of the drug Molly which further shows the importance of understanding the drugs you take at a concert. In addition, Komo 4 news said 72 hospitalized were concert goers but in reality, only 50 of them had drug related issues which were primarily brought on by the 100 degree whether. But instead of talking about the importance of educating the public on the use of these drugs and their effects, the media used this story to run scare tactics and further tarnish the opinion of raves in the public’s eye. Not being the first time mainstream media has done this, it deeply saddens me that the country’s main source of news is furthering the gap between understanding the drugs at concerts, and simply scaring people out of doing them.
Although molly and other party drugs are illegal, it is no secret that you can get ahold of these drugs if you so desire. Instead of scaring people out of doing this drug, the media should be educating the public as to what these drugs do and how to properly manage them. Instead, first time concert goers who try drugs for the first time have no knowledge of their limitations or the drug’s effects besides what their friends tell them which leads to hazardous situations.
So this is my plea to mainstream media; Stop trying to scare people out of doing drugs because if they want to try them, they will and there is nothing you can say to stop them. Stop holding concert venues and promotion companies responsible for these deaths because in reality, it falls upon the individual to manage their personal health. USC events worked hard to provide tight security, free water, an abundance of medical personel, and cooling tents to keep its concert goers safe. Do not blame drugs as the reason for deaths at festivals, blame the lack of education on the matter which is the key reason behind people overdosing. And surprisingly, that education partially falls upon the media. Do your job and educate the public instead of scaring them away from drugs and giving them zero knowledge on the effects. Get out of your media bubble and do your duty to the public.
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