Festivals have always been popular but now they're more popular than ever with major events being added all the time and new people discovering the sheer delights of a long weekend spent utterly immersed in having fun.
The great rock and roll culture can be a bit of an intoxicating mixture - and we know only too well how great it is to live life on the edge - even if you can't manage it all the time living life on the edge brings a whole heap of fun and new experiences with it but the question is - how far on the edge can you be and still feel comfortable? or are you likely to be drawn into a part of the culture that might just cause you problems? do you know enough to make an informed and free choice? are you being pressured into doing something you might not otherwise do? Being at a festival is a bit like being on holiday, and on holiday people have a tendency to lose their normal inhibitions and maybe be tempted to do things they would otherwise think twice about.
The fact of the matter is that drugs are illegal - they are as illegal at festivals as they are anywhere else, if you get caught with drugs you will find yourself in a spot of bother - that's the risk you run if you decide to go down that route. Still - the other fact is that many people will, and do take drugs at festivals - and leaving aside the issues about legality there are many other things you might want to consider.
Do you know the difference between fact and myth about drugs? given that there's a whole constantly changing culture going on out there it's true to say that fact and fantasy can become intertwined and mixed up- this doesn't make it easy for people who may be tempted.
While we don't think it's at all helpful to preach at you about this subject - but we do think it matters that you get yourself properly informed so that whatever you decide to do you keep yourself safe - FRANK has put together a festival survival guide for Safeconcerts to ensure you party safe :
Take FRANK to the Festivals with you
It's easy to over-do it when the gigs and events on offer stretch throughout the day and night. With thousands heading to music festivals across the country, FRANK recommends knowing how to look after yourself.
• It's vital to get the facts about drugs rather than relying on hearsay or urban myths. Whether you think you'll take drugs or not, make sure you know the risks: check out www.talktofrank.com or call FRANK on 0800 77 66 00 - you can ring at any time of the day or night and all calls are confidential.
• Don't feel under pressure to try anything: remember you don't know what you're getting. It's not a great idea to take drugs in new settings where there are large crowds of people - the drugs are more likely to have a bad effect if you are feeling stressed or disorientated. Remember, drugs are illegal and can be harmful.
• If you do decide to take something: stay with your mates and tell them what you think you've taken.
• Drink-spiking can and does happen. Don't accept alcoholic drinks from people you don't know and don't let your drink out of your sight. Mixing alcohol and drugs will also make the effects of both far more unpredictable.
• Take a water bottle with you, especially when the sun is shining. You can fill it for free from tap points dotted around festival sites. If you are taking ecstasy or other dance drugs and moving around a lot, you risk overheating and dehydration. You can reduce the risks by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.
• There's a real chance of blackouts, collapse, fainting or fits if you get heat-exhaustion or heat stroke when you're on pills and dancing non-stop.
• If someone on drugs starts to get stressed and panicky, experiencing a bad trip, get them away from the noise and to somewhere calmer. Chat to them, calm them down by making them feel looked after. If they get worse, get help.
Safeconcerts would add that Information and education empowers you - it enables you to make the right decisions for you and your body. If you're going to take risks do so from a base of proper knowledge and make sure that you've done all you can to keep yourself and those around you safe. Festivals are about having the time of your life - don't turn it into a nightmare - make an informed choice. Talk to Frank
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