Summer is a time for beaches, BBQ, and the festival season. As the sun brings the heat, the season is also bringing about higher use of drugs, a study shows. Cocaine, ecstasy, and molly to be exact. These three party drugs plus marijuana have become the crowd favorite.
Here’s What We Know
Here’s a breakdown of the ongoing summer drug use. Over a third for LSD, 30% for ecstasy and marijuana, and around 28% for cocaine. The Journal of General Internal Medicine published these findings. They suggest that people’s willingness to try drugs comes from warm weather and taking a break from school.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Joseph Palamar, from NYU School of Medicine states the cause is from idle time. When people don’t work, they go out. To enjoy the nice weather, you do it with friends. This increases the odds of being offered illicit substances at summertime events. With the festival scene so huge around the world, concerts plus high temperatures could make first-time drug use risky.
We know the dangers of trying ecstasy, while drunk, dancing in 90-degree weather. An unplanned trip is deadly. As a public health threat, drug-related hospitalizations and deaths are just the beginning.
In 2017, 3 million people started using marijuana and around 1 million started using cocaine. More than 700,000 people started using LSD and ecstasy. It used to be ecstasy that first-time users would take; now it includes the remaining party trifecta.
So Now What?
Prevention and harm reduction in real time will need to coincide with when people are at highest risk for using. Teens and young adults nearing the end of school need to understand how drugs affect them. Warmer months do not make for a great excuse to put yourself in danger.
“Using a drug for the first time…can place an individual at unique risk, especially if the use is unplanned, or if they initiate a drug that they’re unfamiliar with” – Dr. Palamar
His main concern is that kids are dying from these kinds of drugs when they shouldn’t be. Previous deaths at music festivals sadden and forewarn us. All we can do is educate ourselves and be safe where necessary.