Party Smarter – Safer Events and Festivals Campaign
The campaign seeks to reduce illicit drug related harm at high-risk settings including festivals, events and night venues.
The Drug Aware Safer Events and Venues ‘Party Smarter’ campaign commenced on 23 November 2020 and will conclude in March 2021.
The campaign aims to assist in reducing illicit drug-related harm at music festivals, events, and venues in Western Australia. A combination of individual factors, the drug itself and the environment in which it is taken determines the potential harm. This is demonstrated in the Drug Interaction Model.1 Due to factors closely linked to music festivals and other entertainment events such as high temperatures, extended periods of physical activity (dancing), close proximity to others, and lack of access the effects the drug taken can be exacerbated.2
The ‘Party Smarter’ campaign utilises a combination of a highly targeted digital and social media strategy, out of home, and in-venue messaging to increase awareness of the potential harms of drug use at events and music venues, what individuals can do to reduce the potential of harm occurring and what signs they should look out for to know if they need help and to seek help urgently. Drug Aware has also worked with event organisers to increase access to water at events and provide an area to chill out.
The campaign aims to:
- increase knowledge that MDMA in MDMA causes harm (not just adulterants);
- increase knowledge of harms associated with MDMA and poly-drug use;
- increase knowledge of, and encourage use of harm reduction strategies;
- increase knowledge of potential life-threatening symptoms;
- encourage patrons to seek medical attention immediately if experiencing potential life-threatening symptoms.
The campaign has a pre, during and post-event phase. Each phase has a different evidence-based objective:
Pre-event: increase knowledge of potential harms from MDMA and poly-drug use and harm minimisation strategies.
During event: remind users of harm minimisation strategies whilst in-venue, and encourage users to seek medical attention as-soon-as-possible if experiencing potential life-threatening symptoms.
Post-event: encourage users to seek medical attention as-soon-as-possible if experiencing potential life-threatening symptoms.
Young adults who attend high-risk events such as festivals and night venues.
Using MDMA can increase your risk of heat stroke (dangerously high body temperature), serotonin toxicity (too much of the hormone, serotonin, released in to the brain) and hyponatremia (low salt in your body caused by increased sweating and excess water consumption). To reduce your risk:
- Hydrate safely – stick to 500ml (one small bottle or two cups) of water each hour.
- Chill out and take a break, especially if you’re feeling hot, it will help to cool you down.
- Know the signs that you need to seek help asap.
- Keep your cool. Use chill out spaces between sets OR find a spot to chill out.
- Stay hydrated safely. Drink water regularly, but no more than 2 cups (500mL) per hour.
- Using MDMA? Take a small amount and then wait to feel the effects (highly targeted).
- Feeling confused, agitated, or got a killer headache? Medics will help, not throw you out OR dial 000 ASAP.
- Got cramps, shakes or a racing heartbeat? Medics will help, not throw you out OR dial 000 ASAP.
- Nausea that won’t go away? Finding it impossible to cool down? Medics will help, not throw you out OR dial 000 ASAP.
Encouraging people to seek medical help asap if:
- Feeling confused, agitated, or got a killer headache?
- Got cramps, shakes or a racing heartbeat?
- Nausea that won’t go away? Finding it impossible to cool down?
Pre-event harm education videos
Pre event and during event harm reduction strategies
During event and post event harm signs
The target audience is encouraged to visit the ecstasy use at festivals and music events section of the website for tips and information.
1. Health AGDo. Interaction Model 2004 [Available from: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/drugtreat-pubs-front12-fa-toc~drugtreat-pubs-front12-fa-secb~drugtreat-pubs-front12-fa-secb-2~drugtreat-pubs-front12-fa-secb-2-5.]
2. Rigg K, Sharp A. Deaths related to MDMA (ecstasy/molly): Prevalence, root causes, and harm reduction interventions. Journal of substance use. 2018;23(4):345-52.
Last updated: November 2020