Ultra Music Festival has arrived to Miami, Florida, and thousands are getting ready to descend upon the city’s downtown area to enjoy a weekend with friends and some of the world’s most recognized DJ’s. If you are planning on attending the festival, there are a few tips you can use to maintain your sobriety.
Over the last two years, efforts have been made to raise security measures and enforce the ban on illicit substances at the event. Unfortunately, as is the nature of many large-scale outdoor music festivals, there are several dangers that attendees should be aware of, particularly, the accessibility to mind-altering drugs.
Beneath the guise of the electronic music scene lies a culture of widespread drug use that attracts millions all around the world. Dealers often use false advertising to lure the young crowd into buying substances that often are unknown combinations of several drugs.
Despite the effort by Miami law enforcement to ban illegal substances from Ultra, drugs like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and synthetic club drugs such as MDMA, LSD, mushrooms, Bath Salts, and others, are still highly accessible and highly unsafe.
Not knowing what some of these drugs are laced with can lead to serious, and even deadly consequences. In 2016, 67 festival-goers were arrested over the three day festival, mostly for possession of MDMA. One attendee, Adam Levine, a 21-year-old senior and political science major at the University of Miami, was rushed to the hospital where he later died. There are countless other stories of people suffering from the side effects of these drugs, and being treated by paramedics.
If you plan on attending Ultra Music Festival this weekend, there are things you can do to prevent a relapse.
While you may love EDM, and can’t wait to see your favorite DJ perform on stage, there are certain things you can look out for in order to stay safe during your time at Ultra.
1. Have a Support System
If you have chosen to attend the event this weekend, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. You no doubt will encounter large crowds of intoxicated people who pose a threat to your sobriety. It’s important to have a strong support system, especially family or friends who know how to keep you away from temptation and can keep you safe in a high-risk environment.
2. Make a Plan
It’s important to lay out a plan should anyone outside of your circle of friends try to offer you drugs or alcohol. If for some reason you cannot attend the festival with friends, you can search online forums or message boards for recovery-based fan clubs or support groups that are attending the event.
3. Stay Positive and Focus on Sober Activities
Keep in mind that you are there to enjoy the music and the company of the people you go with. Practice breathing techniques should you feel overwhelmed or ask your friends to take you to a less crowded area if you start to have negative thoughts.
4. Attend a Support Group Meeting
Either before or after your experience at Ultra, it might be helpful to attend a meeting where you can talk with others about any doubts, worries or fears you may have. Meeting with a counselor or your sponsor may also be beneficial.
5. Have an Escape Plan
If at any point during Ultra you feel too overwhelmed – whether it be by the crowd, the noise or the endless triggers surrounding you, it’s important to have a way out. Keeping your supportive friends close is key to helping you stay calm and in control. If finding a safe place away from the crowd just isn’t enough, then have a plan where you and your companions can leave together if the pressure becomes too much to handle and the temptation to drink or get high is too intense.
Don't wait any longer!