Crush Dab Wait

‘CrushDabWait Saves Lives’

The Loop’s summer 2015 #CrushDabWait campaign evolved out of concerns at the levels of use of MDMA crystal and the problems that festival goers and clubbers were experiencing as a consequence. One of the concerns identified by the Loop’s on-site testing and welfare teams was that users were swallowing very high purity MDMA crystal as whole rocks with little apparent awareness of the quantities they were consuming.

The wider context to this campaign is that the UK has amongst the highest rates of MDMA use in Europe, with 3.9% of 16-24 year olds reporting having used ecstasy in the past year in the latest Home Office Crime Survey for England and Wales. Ecstasy-related deaths have increased from 8 in 2010 to 57 in 2015 with a similar five-fold increase in the MDMA content in ecstasy pills analysed in the UK, alongside MDMA crystal circulating at over 80% purity. Here at the Loop we wanted to ask MDMA crystal users to think twice about their consumption in the same way that ecstasy users are recommended to ‘start with a half or a quarter and regularly drink water’.

Along with our colleagues at Chill Welfare, The Loop’s welfare teams cared for thousands of festival goers at music events in 2015, many of whom struggled to moderate or to measure the amount of MDMA crystal they took on site. There was a particular concern regarding the variations in purity, shape, size and density of MDMA crystals in circulation, making it even more difficult for users to guess consistently and accurately how much they were consuming. Therefore The Loop wanted to discourage users from swallowing whole crystals of MDMA and instead to think about how much MDMA they were consuming. The Loop’s Director developed #CrushDabWait, with input from B.Traits, AfEM, Transform and Ed Karney Music, to initiate a conversation with users about MDMA crystal dosage, and to suggest a crude way to measure it on site, if users had not measured out doses or ‘bombs’ before entry. Users were advised to crush up crystals into a fine powder, lick their finger tip to their first digit, and dab the powder to consume a small amount (estimated to be approximately 100mg of MDMA, the same as an average sized adult dose)  then wait 1-2 hours for the effects of that dose before considering taking another.