In Atlanta, Tomorrow World concertgoers will get some advice on how to take party drugs more safely. This kind of harm reduction measure is common at European electronic dance music festivals but is less popular in the United States, which tends to emphasize zero tolerance policies instead.
This drug education is taking place in the wake of Ecstasy deaths and overdoses at recent music festivals. DanceSafe, the charity that gives information on how to minimize the dangers of drug use, will use volunteers, signs and written materials to inform people of the dangers of drug use and encourage them to take drugs more safely. According to Shawn Kent, a project manager for the company producing Tomorrow World, measures like zero tolerance, tight security, and ambulances won’t stop people from abusing drugs: “The way to help people who have these issues is to give them information.”
Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership at DrugFree.org, says the measures don’t go far enough: “It’s like saying smoke all you want, but just make sure they are menthols with filters. We would like to see a whole lot more education about why it’s not safe to use at all, rather than a wink and a nod.”