Raves, often held in warehouses or other large venues, usually
boast one or more rooms, each with a set of disc jockeys and
light shows. Often they don't start until late in the evening,
and many high school students go just to have a place to dance
until the early hours of the morning.
Most ravers in Dartmouth High School explain that their love
for raves is due to the sense of community and openness they
experience while at the rave.
"Everyone there is so open- minded," grade 12 student
Deirdre Porter comments, "You see people that are openly
gay at raves, and nobody cares. They're just there to have fun."
With dances ending even earlier this year, there are few opportunities
for minors in Halifax or Dartmouth to dance, unrestricted, all
night. For many teens, dancing is not only fun and exercise,
it also helps relieve stress.
Parents, however, often feel insecure about the rave scene.
Even some of the ravers themselves aren't always crazy about
time period before they enter the chosen venue. Due to the limited
areas for raves to be held, the buildings chosen can sometimes
be located in unfamiliar, and shady, neighbourhoods. Once inside,
however, ravers agree that they feel nothing but security and
"Sometimes they have cops there," former Dartmouth
High School student Britta Sherin adds.
"My mom doesn't want me to go to raves," grade 12
student Stefanie Bruce commented, "because of their association
There is an undeniable connection between drug use and raves
that many parents fear. Most raves are alcohol free, and the
drugs sometimes used at raves are Ecstasy, Special K, LSD, GHB
and Crystal Meth.
Although any raver will agree that many people go to raves
completely sober and have a great time, some believe going high
is much more fun.
Ecstasy is known to increase a person's energy levels, and
often makes them more social. Ecstasy is considered the most
popular and most common drug used by ravers. These drugs, however
pleasant the high and moderate the use, can result in unnatural
heart rates, seizures, and organ failures; and death can occur
even without overdosing. If used in excessive amounts, or if
mixed with other drugs, these substances can cause permanent,
and fatal, damage to ones body and mind.
"The connection between drugs and raves isn't fair,"
grade 11 student Siobhan Martin states. "The people who
take drugs at raves enjoy the effect of them, and are willing
to take the risks. They would do them whether there were raves
or not. Just because you go to a rave, doesn't mean you're going
to do drugs."
Until there are more exciting options for students at Dartmouth
High School who love to party, the number of them who will party
at raves will likely increase. Precautions and careful planning
to ensure their friends' and their own safety at the rave can
help to guarantee a carefree and thrilling night for all involved.