CHICAGO (CBS) — After seven festival-related deaths just this year, many concert promoters are taking a closer look at the issue of drug use at their events.
Many concerts are teaming up with DanceSafe, a charity that aims to provide information about safer drug use, rather than simply preaching zero tolerance for drugs.
“There’s a huge need for people to be educated, to educate your self, to educate your friends before, prior to taking a substance,” said Carissa Cornwell, national outreach director for DanceSafe.
DanceSafe volunteers travel the country; roam the crowd; and provide patrons with water, condoms, earplugs, sunscreen, and critical information about potentially dangerous drugs.
Cornwell said they also provide drug-testing kits on-site. She said more and more promoters are seeing the need for their services, especially with the resurgence of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly.
Cornwell said educating concertgoers about drugs can help save lives, in the same way that promoting safe sex can prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS.
DanceSafe’s approach has been fairly controversial, in that it offers on-site drug tests, and rather than explain the dangers of drugs, they explain the proper use of drugs. DanceSafe has nine chapters in the U.S., and two in Canada.