I have chosen to focus my FI project on Dancesafe, a harm reduction organization that plays a vital role in the EDM, dance music, festival, rave community.
I heard of their involvement since I began going to shows a couple years ago. I recently joined the organization about a year ago and I can personally say it has been one of my greatest decisions.
I chose web group in the questionnaire we were asked to fill out due to the usage of Facebook’s group functionality that us volunteers use to stay in contact about tentative events, upcoming events we have to be present at, and mainly to reflect how the event went.
DC’s chapter is the closest in the region and with the help of technology all the other chapters aren’t far from contact. We also use Facebook to stay in contact with event goers so if they have feedback we aren’t far from contact. Dancesafe also has an app called “Dancesafe Mobile” which lists information about a certain substance, first aid, and general information.
One our main focuses at events is harm reduction, mainly from the use of substances. We understand that people like drugs, so to reduce the harm that can come to a recreational user we offer free on site testing so that users know whats in their baggie. We also have testing kits for sale with reagents so that people can do their own testing if they would prefer. We are at an event at the expense of the event goers, we are not paid volunteers. Our main focus is to take care of the individual in a number of ways, other then the substance testing we also offer free water, condoms, ear plugs, and drug info cards. Our biggest concern at events are drug related deaths, these deaths can be easily avoided with general knowledge of the substance and correct testing procedures.
Shown in the picture are the reagents we use to test supposedly MDMA. These solutions are dropped onto a portion of the substance that has been scraped off. According to what color the solution changes we can have a general idea what else might be mixed in with the MDMA. This little difference of seeing that else might be mixed in the baggie could be the difference of life or death. We have no involvement in the decision if the user will decide to take the substance or not, we are only a tool to use to reduce the harm that could come from taking whats in said baggie. In this entire procedure we do not touch the substance, we are told as volunteers that we are not allowed to have our hands on said substance.
The reagent can change a number of different colors; I have included a chart we use to see the color change from the reagent telling us what undesired substances might be mixed in with the desired substance. We chart down the substance information we gather from drug checking to have a small picture of whats going around the event and to coordinate with local EMTs if necessary.
Remember you can always take more, you can never take less. Test it.
Screenshots of DC Dancesafe FB group and Dancesafe mobile app