Drug use and harm reduction in techno parties: some lessons learned from 20 years of fieldwork
This presentation offers a synthesis of 20 years of observations made at festive events by the Emerging Trends and New Drugs (TREND) scheme of the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT). The first part will be devoted to free-parties and the effects of the policy of repression of these types of parties on their form, their organization, and the evolution of drug use as well as the presence of actors in harm reduction. If the permissive nature of free-party drug use is observed, it is accompanied by social limitations expressed by partygoers towards certain uses or substances. In counterpoint, the second part reports on observations in festive commercial places which integrate techno music in their programming (festivals, nightclubs, bars, clubs, etc.), pointing to a contemporary contradiction: despite the limitations of the repression of events such as free-parties, harm reduction has been able to develop there. Paradoxically, and despite their legal framework, this has been less the case in legal institutions and events. The last part will be devoted to TREND scheme observations about the impact of the Covid 19 crisis and lockdowns on the forms of parties and the use of drugs within them.