This third episode of the Drugs Season series of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Just Science podcast series consists of interviews with Alex Krotulski, a research scientist, and Amanda Mohr, a forensic scientist 2, at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, who discuss their NIJ-funded research reported in "Evaluating Trends in Novel Psychoactive Substances Using a Sentinel Population of Electronic Dance Music Festival Attendees."
Overall, the interview covers the study's objectives, settings, methodology, findings, and recommendations for addressing identified issues and planning future research. The study's objectives were to examine the setting of electronic band music festivals, the demography of attendees, the prevalence of attendee drug use, the types of drugs used, how much drug users knew about the drugs they used, and what measures should be taken to limit the adverse effects of drug use at these festivals. The study lasted 4 years and included a sample of about 100 music festivals and a sample of 1,200 festival attendees who consented to a structured interview about their drug-use patterns both during and outside of the festival setting. The study found that both the staged setting of electronic band music festivals and the preferred drugs used at these festivals had the goal of altering the minds of attendees so they were transported into a perceived reality more exciting and pleasurable than their daily routines and perceptions when sober. The prevalence of the types of drugs used by the attendees are discussed in the interview. Recommendations are to provide information to attendees about the adverse effects of the drugs they use; to have medical personnel at the music festivals prepared to address drug-related medical emergencies; and to have accessible hydration stations serving water, given the dehydration danger of drug use.