New study from NYU highlights substance use during newly trending virtual raves

With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of live events across 2020, many enthusiastic ravers have turned to a steady slate of livestreamed performances for their electronic music fix. Discussions of drug use at live events is a tale as old as time—but does it translate when the event is taking place in one’s living room? Researchers have begun to look into if the substance consumption habits prevalent at many live music events has carried over with the shift to virtual event settings. Recently, representatives from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the NYU School of Global Public Health set out to answer this question in a recent study.

In the study, 128 electronic music fans based in New York were surveyed. Over 55 percent of the surveyed population reported tuning into at least one livestream concert during the COVID-19 quarantine period. Of those that have attended a livestream concert, approximately 40 percent reported using illegal drugs, and 70 percent reported drinking alcohol. Dr. Joseph Palamar, the lead author of the study, stated,

“We explored whether stay-at-home orders changed how people use drugs—and it appears that drug use during virtual gatherings is somewhat prevalent among the party-going population we studied.”

As the world continues to fight the ongoing pandemic, at least one thing remains constant: ravers will stay raving.

Featured image: Dillon Francis, Diplo at Jack in the Box’s ‘Prom in the Box’ livestream concert