Drug enforcement to take place at Homecoming

By Diego Saldana/Staff Writer

Ecstasy, also known as Molly, has been making an impact on the electronic music scene. The drug, scientifically known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, made national headlines after the substance was believed to be the culprit in the deaths of two Electric Zoo Festival goers in September.

A rise in electronic music popularity is evident in the University’s Homecoming Council decision to bring Zedd as one of the headlining acts. Zedd marks the second year in a row that the Council decided to bring an electronic music artist, starting with Kaskade the prior year.

University Chief of Police Alexander Casas is concerned over the heightened likelihood of MDMA use at future Homecoming concerts.

“We absolutely are concerned, not necessarily connected to the music, but we are well aware that with these particular type of concerts, these type of drugs are popular with partygoers,” Casas said. “We do prepare for what comes of that, which are the medical episodes associated with the heavy drug use.”

While the presence of MDMA and other drugs is a concern for the University Police Department, Chief Alexander Casas notes that in the previous year few narcotics-possession or -distributing arrests have been made.

“Very little – zero if any are directly attributed to [Homecoming] week,” said Casas.

The UPD crime logs cite no narcotics-related arrests at the concert site for 2011 or 2012.

Casas did mention the department has observed individuals who have appeared to be under the influence of MDMA or alcohol.

“We do get medical episodes which we think are more than likely related to the use of MDMA or extreme alcohol abuse,” said Casas.

Norberto Esquivel, senior accounting and finance major, has been an avid listener of electronic music since age 16. He believes those who take MDMA and other drugs at electronic music concerts misrepresent the genre.

“I don’t think it’s necessary – there are some that believe they need it, some people that believe that it’s euphoria.  The people who take those drugs are people who aren’t really fans of the music and are actually killing the industry just by making it look worse than what it actually is.”

According to Chelsea Friedman, senior biology major and registered emergency medical technician, “the biggest problem is overheating and dehydration. They are not drinking enough and if they are drinking, they are drinking alcohol.”

Friedman listed some of the signs of MDMA overdose which included dilated pupils, an abnormal heart rate and high blood pressure.

Esquivel has never taken the drug, but has noted when individuals appear to be under it’s effects.

“They talk very fast, there’s an extraordinary amount of perspiration on their clothing and they are really touchy,”  Esquivel said.

Esquivel stated he has never seen anyone in a such a state at any of the University’s Homecoming concerts.

Casas also mentioned his department will deploy various tactics to ensure a decreased drug presence during the Homecoming concert and other such events.

“There isn’t any means that we haven’t considered. The more varied our approach to enforcement is, the more successful we are going to be,” Casas said.

Both Friedman and Casas cautioned individuals who are considering using MDMA.

“You don’t know what’s in it. You may think you are treating for MDMA, but there might be another substance because it’s not [Food and Drug Administration] regulated,” said Friedman. “You may think it’s ecstasy, but it’s something else that’s laced in.”

“If we catch you with them, we will arrest you and we will deploy various means to catch you …Ultimately I just don’t want our FIU community to hurt themselves and that is what we really strive for,” said Casas.

 -diego.saldana@fiusm.com

 

About the Author

Diego Saldaña
: Opinion Director, Broadcast Major. Interests: Vintage motorcycles, cycling, collecting vinyl records, history.

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