Parent Testimonials Video

Understanding Raves

What is A Rave?

Raves are all night parties but they can last up to several days. People who go to raves are called 'ravers.' Ravers tend to attend raves for the environment of partying, dancing and empathy and also for the drugs. Drugs are a huge part of rave culture with many ravers taking marijuana. However, the most popular rave drug is by far MDMA which creates intense feelings of empathy and makes the user want to dance all night long. Ravers are also known to take other drugs like LSD (acid), speed, mushrooms and Ketamine (Special K.) Ravers have been known to carry Vic Vapor Rub because it enhances their sensations, use glowsticks to entertain other ravers while they were dancing and use babies' dummies because it satisfies their need to chew.

How Did Raves Start?

Raves started back in the 1980s. Most rave locations were kept secret and divulged only by word-of-mouth instead of advertising. Around this time Acid House music and techno were emerging in Western Europe. People who were invited to raves only found at the location on the night of the event. By the mid 1980s raves had become somewhat popular in London and became too big to be held in regular clubs. They were then often held outdoors or in warehouses.

At the beginning of the 1990's ravers from London started to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles taking raves and ecstasy with them. Only five years later raves had spread far and wide all metropolitan areas of the United States. With the change of location also came a change of clientele: teenagers started going to raves more and more and marketing towards ravers was born. Clothes, bracelets and other branding items were created to go along with the image of raves that these teenagers had.

Soon promoters were taking full advantage of their at risk clientele. Ecstasy use was very prevalent in raves and promoters encouraged teenagers to try it. MDMA was promoted on flyers under E or X. Additionally raves started to have a cover charge and promoters sold hard candies and water bottles in them.

Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that causes dehydration. If an user takes it they must constantly drink water. In London, some promoters would shut off taps and charge as much as five pounds for a water bottle. That is about eight dollars.

In England, underground raves were banned because of the close relationship these parties had with drugs. This was a long process in which many councils tried to push for raves to not be able to get the right licensing fees. A law was passed which targeted electronic music that was played at raves. Police could stop any party that was taking place outdoors in which there were more than a hundred people. Events started moving to pay-for-enter venues in metropolitan areas until Leah Betts, a young british teenager, died of what was then believed to be Ecstasy intake but turned out to be intoxication at home. The public then condemned raves and they became practically illegal in the UK.

Raves And Their Relationship To Drugs

It is generally accepted that ravers will be consuming drugs at raves although some claim to go simply for the environment. Raves flyers often promote MDMA use and availability discreetly through different or branded names for MDMA. Ravers are also likely to use other drugs like marijuana, acid (LSD), and Ketamine, most often called Special K by ravers.

The number of overdoses seems to have increased along with the popularity of raves. Additionally raves can become violent environments when drugs are mixed with other drugs and individuals do not know exactly how they will react to them. Many campaigns have tried to make the use of drugs in raves as safe as possible because they do not think that ravers will stop taking the drugs and they will always be available to them. Taking this into consideration these organizations believe that the best thing to do is to ensure that the drugs will not cause major damage to the ravers and are taken in the safest way possible. They often send 'scouts' to raves to test the level of chemicals in the drugs that are being consumed at a particular rave. If the drug is pure it is less likely to cause damage but mixed drugs can cause all sorts of negative side effects, including tachycardia (raising heart), slow breathing and in some extreme cases, even death. It is impossible to say which effects it will cause exactly since it depends on the drug being mixed with other drugs.

The government does not agree with these organizations stance and believe that they are promoting drug use. Some government officials say that raves need to be shut down because they promote drug use.

The truth is that a raver will use drugs to enhance their club experience without, perhaps, taking into consideration the long term effects on his or her health and without knowing exactly the purity of the drugs they are taking. They might also be likely to mix some drugs with other drugs themselves which can be problematic and in some extreme cases cause death.

Ravers and Their Lingo

Ravers have specific slang when it relates to particular things and it can be useful to know when trying to protect a loved one or an individual at risk like a teenager. Ecstasy for instance can be called E, X or XTC but it also goes by many different names when it comes to parties. Adam and Molly are some of the less descript terms that ravers use when they are referring to MDMA.

A Candy Flip is a drug that has both LSD and Ecstasy within it.

Raves and Philosophy

Ravers advocate a particulate type of philosophy in every country in which they are present. In the United States raves and the culture they carry are represented by the acronym PLUR which stands for peace, love, unity and respect. Responsibility was added to it when there was a rise of overdoses in the late 1990's.