Monday, September 30, 2013

Substance Abuse Done Right?

(Concerting with MGMT)
Last month, Christine hooked me up with tickets to a music festival.  I loved the acts that we saw, even those we saw standing outside the venue gate with rain above, mud below, and sticky skin pressed all around us.  But the experience made me realize that I have now entered the stage in my life* where I look at concertgoers and think: a) we need to get you more clothes and b) this place is in dire need of public health interventions. 

Apparently, I was not the only one.  Though I was mostly thinking of dousing the pavilion with Purell, the New York Times reported last week that the TomorrowWorld festival had teamed up with DanceSafe, a charity that educates concertgoers on the safer use of drugs.  The article highlights interesting parallels between drug and sex education (e.g. the differing perspectives between the US and Europe, the tension between abstinence and proper use, etc), though of course, the analogy is limited.  The legality and associated mortality of the two issues differ drastically.  The article writes:
But Missi Wooldridge, the president of the DanceSafe board, said providing festival participants with information about Ecstasy and other party drugs can save lives, just as promoting condom use can prevent the transmission of AIDS. Nightlife should be viewed as a public health issue, as it is in some European countries.

What do you think?  Is nightlife a public health issue?  Are concerts the best venue for such interventions?  I am not wholly decided, but I am intrigued.  

*Who am I kidding, I have always been at this stage.

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