Link 4 Mar 1 note 'It opens your heart': Canada approves use of ecstasy in study into post-traumatic stress disorder»
Link 1 Mar March 7 Festheads is doing a Reddit AMA w/ DanceSafe & Festival Lawyer to answer all your festlaw/safety questions! »

March 7 Festheads is doing a Reddit AMA w/ DanceSafe & Festival Lawyer to answer all your festlaw/safety questions!

Video 25 Feb 5 notes

DIRTY PICTURES is a documentary about Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the rogue chemist who discovered the effects of MDMA (aka Ecstasy) and over 200 other mind-altering drugs. Shulgin’s alchemy has earned him the title “The Godfather of Psychedelics,” and a reputation as one of the great chemists of the 20th century.

Working from a lab in his home, and using himself and his wife Ann as test subjects, Shulgin’s discoveries have brought him into conflict with the law but made him a worldwide underground hero. The two books they co-authored, “Pihkal” and “Tihkal”, have built a foundation for cutting-edge neuroscience and medical research. DIRTY PICTURES examines the impact of Dr. Shulgin’s lifelong quest to unlock the complexities of the human mind.

{Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds including MDMA, more commonly known as Esctasy. Considered to be one of the the greatest chemists of the twentieth century, Sasha’s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research. By employing unorthodox methods; testing his creations on himself, working from a makeshift lab in his home, Shulgin has gained the reputation of a modern day alchemist within the scientific community}

- Kellye: NY DanceSafe

Text 13 Feb

Anonymous said: As, in the most recent blog post, you are actively testing drugs at these dance parties, why are you not being arrested? It seems that if you are accepting drugs from strangers and testing them for purity, you would be under some sort of legal scrunity in aiding people, some of them underage, in illegal drug use.

1. Why havent we been arrested?: Laws and enforcement vary from state to state and city to city, and very well can deem even possession of the testing kit a misdemeanor. It will be different for every chapter in each city, state, and country. Consider us lucky, I guess? Some people speed on the highway and don’t get caught 100% of the time. Some people get pulled over, and still don’t get a ticket 100% of the time. There is obviously a legal risk that has existed since 1998 when the organization was founded, but some volunteers and individuals may go above and beyond to encourage responsible decisions at their own risk.

There are no nutritional facts or list of ingredients on the back of anyone’s street drugs. No one knows what is in their batch. It’s in the interest of partygoer safety that people wish to discretely provide these services if asked, which doesn’t happen very often.

2. Testing if the drugs are “pure”: Reagent screening kits do NOT test for purity, they test for the presence of specific chemicals. Testing does not guarantee that the substance is pure, it tests if has been substituted or adulterated. This again, is in the interest in the safety of the users.

Drug testing does not “aid” in illegal drug use no more than wearing a helmet “aids” in illegal street skating or wearing a respirator “aids” in vandalism. We are promoting knowledge and safety—and if anything, knowing the drugs may be tainted or would have adverse effects in conjunction with something else they’ve injested could discourage someone from taking a mystery cocktail.

We do not provide nor give information on the acquisition of drugs of any kind—drug testing is NOT the equivalent of this. At the end of the day, it is up to the partygoer whether or not they will ingest the substance(s). Some may find out their batch is impure and decide they want to take it anyway. Others may instead toss it. It’s not in our interest to judge or influence decision.

We have no control over other people’s decisions and it is not our motive to tell these partygoers what they “should” or “should not” do when it comes to nightlife safety. The most we can do is provide them with information on what they are in possession of and the risks associated with their actions, in hopes that if they choose to engage, they will do so in a safer manner and prevent casualties.

You don’t have to agree with the methods used, but it’s medically and socially negligent not to address the issue. Harm reduction has been proven effective throughout Europe and the UK and DanceSafe models its guidelines to these best practices. We can only hope that America will get on board, viewing drug usage as a health and safety issue instead of a criminal one—It saves lives, and we are one of many national organizations working towards this goal.

If you are interested in knowing more about the specifics of the law when it comes to drug testing and these possession of drugs and the kits, as well as the specifics of Samaritan laws or lack thereof that effect persons in an emergency situation, this is a topic we are working with Festival Lawyer to write a thorough article on.


- Kellye: NY Chapter

Text 13 Feb 16 notes We Are the Sun, We Are the Future: Answering the Safety Question

“So, as far as MDMA goes, would you say…I mean…if it’s not adulterated, and you don’t take too much…is it pretty safe?”

I was sitting in a board room the size of a small theater. A picture window on one wall framed the entirety of sun-doused downtown Richmond, and the heavy glass-topped table that stretched from end to end of the room was strewn with DanceSafe drug cards, the swirls and colors popping so vividly against the monotonous backdrop it was almost funny. The women sitting before me, employees of the city health department, were smiling, pens poised over their notepads.

Without fail, the way it always does when I am asked this question, I heard that Savoy song ringing weirdly in my head. “We are the sun, we are the future, we are the future. Come on and take my hand, my dear, it’s a long way up from here.”

I tried to answer carefully.

The question was a familiar one, of course, but one I was used to answering in a slightly different setting. Usually when I am asked this question I am looking into the half-excited, half-anxious eyes of one of my peers crouched with me in the dark behind the DanceSafe booth. Usually I am balancing a ceramic plate on my knees, looking down at inky rainbow spots of reagent illuminated by the light of my cell phone. I tell them what is probably in their sample. “So…is it safe to take?” they call in my ear, and over the thundering of the bass and the hum of the crowd and the flicker of the lights, they give words both to their intentions and their fears.


Getting the word out about adulterant screening - Electric Mayhem, Baltimore, MD, September 2013

I always feel strangely humbled in that moment. It’s a moment of realization of both the controversy and necessity of what DanceSafe is doing. It’s a fragile moment of knowing that what you are giving to your peers is nothing more than the gift of knowledge, and therefore the gift of power: something we, as young people, are not used to having over our bodies. It is strange to test drugs for a stranger, and I imagine it is equally strange to come up to a DanceSafe booth and have your drugs tested by a stranger: to be able to say that you intend to take this drug and you want to know if you are going to be okay; to be able to openly talk, in the same breath, about your desire for pleasure and your concern for your health; to be able to discuss your body and what you’re doing with it in a space without judgment. But that’s exactly what we’re inviting people to come and do at the booth, and that’s exactly why adulterant screening is important. Besides potentially saving lives, it opens dialogue.

The answer to the question, of course, is always simply, “No drug use is ever completely safe.” Because—like many things we human beings do, for recreation or otherwise—it isn’t. I don’t want to go into detail here about the long- and short-term effects of MDMA use on the body and brain, or the myriad reasons one might consider use of the drug safe or unsafe. We all know that MDMA studies are lacking—that most of the information we do have about the drug has been limited or skewed by prohibition. Similarly, we all know that some users of MDMA, biased by the personal benefits they have experienced from the drug, tend to disregard its negative side effects all together and present the argument that it is completely safe. The point is that this is not the point. Contact sports and skydiving and driving a car aren’t completely safe. Rather, what I want to do is talk about the positive effects of adopting an attitude of risk assessment and harm reduction—rather than total abstinence—when we talk about youth recreational drug use.

Because it’s happening, whether we like it or not. People are doing drugs. Young people, in particular, are definitely doing drugs. We as harm reduction workers see this firsthand constantly. This fact means that we as a society have a choice: Will we acknowledge the agency young people already have over their own bodies, and give them as much knowledge (and therefore power) as we can to help them make positive choices about their bodies? Or will we deny this agency, and continue to pretend that those who use drugs are somehow undeserving of knowledge (and therefore power over) what they are choosing to do with their bodies?

At the Richmond City Health Department I compared DanceSafe’s approach to safer drug use to their own approach to safer sex. Would we say that an honest sex education increases the likelihood of young people choosing to have sex? Maybe, maybe not. Would we say that an honest sex education empowers young people by trusting them to make the right choice for themselves, rather than presenting only two of their options (abstinence or unwanted consequences like STDs/pregnancy) and therefore an incomplete palette of information? Absolutely. In the same way, the kind of education DanceSafe gives empowers drug users by trusting them to make the ultimate decisions about their use. Just like we never say, “It’s safe to take this,” we also never say, “You shouldn’t take this.” We give them the 411 and let the information speak for itself. We acknowledge that ultimately, the choice to take or not to take is in their hands: and our non-judgmental approach is well-received every single time. Every time I put a cap of molly back into someone’s hand, they tell me thank you—not just for giving them the information, but for giving them someone to talk to.

In a world where drugs are used often but seldom discussed in terms of health and safety, where the advice of peers is the most reliable drug education most people are getting, a group of smiling people in yellow shirts standing at a booth full of information, ready to answer questions, comes as an overwhelming blessing and a relief to people. Simply put, they are grateful to have someone and somewhere to talk to about the elephant in the room.


David & I at the DanceSafe booth - Nightmare Festival, Darlington, MD, November 2013

It’s talking about it that’s going to enhance people’s experience of drugs—and potentially protect their health—when they decide that the benefits of use outweigh the risks. It’s talking about it that’s going to dissuade people from using drugs at times and in situations when the risks outweigh the benefits. It’s talking about it that’s going to save lives.

Nervous as I was that the folks at the health department wouldn’t be open to what I was saying, they were. Before I left the building I was overwhelmed by warm smiles and handshakes, the potential promise of a partnership, and, of course, a giant bag of condoms and lube.

What I’m learning is that the more honest discussions we have with people about what we’re doing and why it’s important, the more receptive people are likely to be. The world is changing its attitudes about recreational drug use. However slowly, we are realizing that drug use—and the choice to engage or abstain from it—is not moral issue, but a health issue. It’s time to get real and treat it as such in our music community and beyond.


Club owners, party promoters, people who have standing in this scene—wake up! Jump on board with what we’re doing. Harm reduction workers are investing time, money and energy trying to inform, protect and empower your attendees, and pretending that this is an optional service or that it reflects negatively on the scene is inhibiting all of us on our journey to spread positive thinking and have a good time. You yourselves know about the substances being used at your events, and DanceSafe isn’t promoting anything but knowledge and power and our responsibility to take care of each other. It’s PLUR in action. It’s something we can lead the rest of the world in changing our minds about. We are the sun, we are the future. Don’t you think so?

-Alys: DC DanceSafe

Video 8 Feb 1 note

Claude VonStroke at Marquee NYC

Last night while at a club venue I witnessed a girl who passed out cold while standing or sitting up 3 times a short span of time while her boyfriend and friend struggled to keep her conscious or keep the situation under control. The boyfriend was agitated about people offering help and seemed reluctant to leave to take her out of the venue. After the third time another bystander got frustrated and insisted they leave and walked them outside.

If you ever see someone in danger like this—a friend or stranger, please don’t take it lightly. In a hot club environment as such where drugs and alcohol are present, fainting and disorientation could easily be signs of heat stroke, seizure, or even water intoxication.

In New York State, we have the Good Samaritan Law. If you are worried about you or this person getting into trouble for seeking out help while under the influence of controlled substances, the law is in place to protect the users when the situation calls for medical assistance.

Learn more about the law

Which states have Good Samaritan Laws or Legislation?

If you’re not sure what signs to look for, here are a list of symptoms someone may experience when facing these medical conditions:

Heat Stroke - Symptoms of heat stroke include headache, dizziness, sluggishness, disorientation, confusion, loss of consciousness, hallucinations, seizure and other symptoms similar to those of dehydration.

(Alcohol Poisoning) Seizure - Symptoms include vomiting, pale skin, unconsciousness, slow or irregular breathing, confusion and death.

Water Intoxication - Look for confusion, decreased consciousness, hallucinations, coma, convulsions, fatigue, headache, irritability, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nausea, restlessness and/or vomiting.

Learn more about the appropriate steps to take to help someone who may be experiencing an overdose.

Photo 7 Feb 1 note We are New York DanceSafe :)
Invite DanceSafe to your next EDM event!

For more information contact:
twitter: @dancesafeeast
facebook: /nydancesafe

We are New York DanceSafe :)
Invite DanceSafe to your next EDM event!

For more information contact:
twitter: @dancesafeeast
facebook: /nydancesafe

Link 4 Feb How to Stop ODs Like Hoffman's (Opinion)   »
Video 2 Feb 36 notes


All that Glistens is not Gold
Adam Winstock talks to John Ramsey in his drug lab, about MDMA pills and crystals. They talk about quality, branding and preference. They also compare crystal MDMA and crystal Meth purely on their visual appearance. Take a look at this !

- Kellye: NY DanceSafe



Police in Scotland have issued a warning over pink superman pills currently in circulation that contain PMA (or methoxyamphetamine), a chemical similar to ecstasy but more toxic… Pills containing PMA have lead to a spate of deaths among users.

I you’re ever in doubt of any substances that you may possess, while you can check online (Pill Reports, as the article suggests), the reality exists that look-alikes can have varying combinations and that users may buy from unknown or unreliable sources such as at a party where they may not have easy access to.this online resource.

Invest in a testing kit in order to have a better understand of the chemical(s) your drugs can contain. They are legal, and within 60 seconds you can have more accurate idea of what may be in your pill, capsule, blotter, etc.

Test kits are available from DanceSafe’s website. The primary reagent that tests for PMA/PMMA is thr Mandelin.

- Kellye: NY DanceSafe

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