Whether we like to admit it or not, drug use is quite rampant within our scene and community. Throughout the past years, we have been reminded of its dangerous side effects with a never ending list of overdoses, tragedies and deaths. It’s with that in mind that the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education pushed a federally funded study to find “some of the newly emerging and potentially dangerous new drugs popular in the [electronic dance music] community.”

To do so, a group of researchers set up camp right outside of Bayfront Park in Miami during the famous Ultra Music Festival in 2014. Throughout the weekend they found some interesting data about drug intake and attendees’ knowledge of what they were actually taking. Out of 145 voluntary participants, 72% admitted to having consumed marijuana, cocaine, molly or ecstasy during the past week, and out of ~100 who were willing to either give blood or a urine sample, 58% and 80% respectively had recently taken designer drugs.

“Of the 104 urine samples, more than 80 percent tested positive for a synthetic drug, most commonly molly, followed by Alpha-PVP, a synthetic bath salt known as gravel, which ultimately killed 21-year-old Adonis Peña Escoto last year.”

The researchers had this to say about the attendees who were willing to participate in the study:

“We found the participants at the event were very open with us about their knowledge of the drug scene and drug use,” said Barry Logan, the Pennsylvania-based center’s executive director. “We found a lot of the time what they thought they were taking was not what they were taking.”

Miami mayor Tomás Regalado has been vehemently against Ultra Music Festival and its presence in Miami and following receiving the study’s findings stated:

“It proved my point that the festival should not be in downtown Miami or in the city of Miami,” said Regalado. “The numbers are very concerning.”

The executive director of the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education, Barry Logan, did claim that he believed the sample size for the study was too small, and that ultimately it was not enough to make broad statements on overall drug use at Ultra Music Festival. Ultimately, studies like the one above are important as they help us gain a better understanding of the kinds of drugs circulating. They also help to push us to better educate ourselves and the ones around as to what one might ingest and how it could dangerously impact them.


Source: Miami Herald