Eclipse Psychedelic Ambulance
During festivals, party peers, friends, security, MDs and first aid staff often have a lack of understanding of the dynamics of drugs and "talking down" methods to support drug users to cope with negative effects. Most of the users that suffer from an acute but temporary crises related to drug use are transported to hospital. Eclipse offers, with the Psychedelic Ambulance, psychological support using "talking down" strategies. The users in crisis are supported one on one by a trained volunteer in a relaxation room. The service is built in the chill out area of the event.The objectives of the Psychedelic ambulance are to enhance the knowledge of party goers about drugs and avoid hospitalisation of party goers in an acute, but temporary, psychedelic crisis.The Psychedelic ambulance is an innovative project in the European nightlife scene and has not been evaluated very well. However, the experience suggests that this method is working well for users that suffer from an illegal drug induced bad trip.
Drugs, particularly psychedelics, can open many gates of consciousness and contain a potential for growth. However, they can also lead to massive problems and psychotic states. During festivals, party peers, friends, security, MDs and first aid staff often lack understanding of the dynamics of drugs and "talking down" methods to help drug users cope with negative effects. Thus party goers in acute, but temporary crises related to drug use are at high risk of a hospitalisation that often could be prevented by psychological support. Eclipse offers psychological support and uses talking down strategies.
Enhancement of the knowledge of party goers about drugs, and avoiding hospitalisation of party goers in acute, but temporarily psychedelic crises.
On big festivals, eclipse provides a chill out area including a "psychedelic ambulance" service, where trained volunteers support party goers in acute psychological crises related to drug use by talking them down, offering a cosy relaxation room etc.
Drug users at techno festivals.
Festival organisers and security staff, MDs and first aid staff on the spot.
As party goers, we observed that especially during multi-day festivals, people experiencing psychological crises related to drug use were at risk of hospitalisation that often could be prevented by psychological support, e.g. use of talking down strategies. 10-years experience working on big festivals shows that first aid staff and MDs often lack basic information and understanding (psychedlic) drug use.
Equipment for chill out area (including several tents), equipment for the provision of hot and cold drinks, fruits etc.
Number of parties and number of people.
The psychedelic ambulance is present at two big parties a year. In 2008 VooV-Experience (a psychedlic trance event) was attended by 3000-5000 people of which around 200 people received advice or care. Fusion festival is much bigger (40-50.000 people) of which more than 500 visited the psychedlic ambulance.
Most people cared for are those with "simple" paranoid states, and disorientation. People in the state of deep regression, in traumatic conditions, acute psychosis or with suicidal tendencies are cared for one to one. These cases are relatively rare but per event at least a few of these severe problematic drug users are treated in the psychedelic ambulance.