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Op-ed || Preventing Future Tragedies Starts With Us

Op-ed || Preventing Future Tragedies Starts With Us

You are probably not going to like hearing this, but I’m going to call out every one of you, including myself. Enough is enough. This time three people are dead, and I am sick and tired of seeing this happen which is why I feel the need to speak up about this now.

Something is truly wrong within our culture and it has to change, preventing future tragedies starts with us…

The causes of the three deaths at HARD Summer have yet to be identified, so this may not be applicable to those specific instances. Nevertheless, I’m going to address a general problem that I see almost every time I’m at a concert or festival and that I’ve been guilty of myself. We all know how much our community enjoys taking substances and, honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it as long as you’re doing it responsibly and in moderation.

The real problem is us, the irresponsible and selfish friends. Friends who have no idea what they are taking, but everybody “trusts” one another. Friends who generously offer more when they should know that he or she has had enough. Friends who choose to sit them down in a crowd of 10,000 people in 90+ degree weather because they would rather not miss this set. Friends who are so focused on their own happiness and well-being that they ignore obvious signs that the person next to them is on life’s edge.


We keep blaming these situations on things that are out of our control. We can point at how horribly unorganized the event was or how the sheer number of bodies prevented us from getting water in that insane heat.
Instead of the status quo, we should start looking at factors that we can control, like ourselves.

Here, it’s pretty simple advice to follow:

  • If you’re the one providing the goods, use a test kit so you know what is actually in them. If you don’t have one, ask a friend that does, or in the very least do some research on sites like pillreports where others test them for you.
  • Even if you’ve done it more times than you can remember, you probably don’t know the specifics to how that will affect someone else.
  • Do NOT give your friend another one when the one they just took an hour or two ago isn’t “working” because sometimes it can take that long to hit you.
  • Don’t give your friends alcohol or push them to mix in other substances if they are already on something else.
  • If your friend is not feeling well, take them out of the crowd where they can get some fresh air and water or even a medical tent if need be.
  • If you have water on you, which you ALWAYS should, offer it to the person who’s clearly nauseous and dehydrated, and just go fill it up again after.
  • Don’t ever be afraid of asking for help if someone is having a problem, ever. You taking your friend to the medical tent or having someone run to find the paramedics can be the difference between someone being alive or dead.

These are just some of the simple things each of us can do to prevent future tragedies from happening, and they apply to everyone although my message is especially for the reckless people who love to go hard. Even if we take all these actions there will never be a way of measuring how many lives we can possibly save, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Here’s to hoping that we don’t see any more unfortunate headlines following our favorite events.

Featured Photo Credit: HERE








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