There are still plenty of festivals left before the end of the season and KnowYourStuffNZ would like to remind everyone that you do not need to take all the drugs all at once. In fact, you’re much less likely to die if you don’t.
In New Zealand, the vast majority of deaths associated with illicit drugs are found to have involved more than one substance. The most common factor in these deaths is alcohol – many people don’t see alcohol as a real drug, but it’s objectively one of the more harmful, and it’s a bad idea to mix it with many other substances.
In particular the combination of alcohol and GHB is extremely dangerous as they act on the same receptors in the brain. Together they slow your breathing. If you take too much, you stop breathing and die. This summer, several drug related hospitalisations we are aware of have been due to this combination.
TripSit’s combination chart indicates that alcohol is unsafe or dangerous when taken with many of the other drugs we most commonly see at festivals – MDMA, ketamine, cocaine, and cathinones (such as methylone and n-ethylpentylone).
Stimulants are the other major group of ‘festival drugs’ that shouldn’t be used with other things – and particularly not with other stimulants. They increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, and put a lot of strain on your systems. Adding more stimulants can greatly increase the risks. Amphetamines, MDMA, cocaine, and cathinones (“bath salts”) are all stimulants. And let’s not forget caffeine, which can be dangerous in very high doses or in combination with other stimulants.
Apart from the immediate stresses on the body, stimulants also tend to reduce appetite and prevent sleep. Mixing drugs and then not taking care of basic bodily needs is one of the major factors in drug related problems we see at events.
Put simply, combining drugs is an expensive and often pointless way to risk your life. You can’t enjoy a festival if you are unconscious or have been rushed to hospital.
We strongly advise against combining drugs. To reduce risk of harm, we suggest the following:
- only one thing at a time
- in between sessions: Rest, Eat, Rehydrate.
- stay alive!