At the EDM biz conference, panelists came together to share their personal stories of loss, recovery and hope. A common theme throughout was the importance of peer-to-peer education and personal responsibility as a way to combat the problem head on.

Youth Advocate & President, Protect Our Youth, Inc., Dede Goldsmith, shared her personal story about how on August 31, 2013, her daughter, Shelley, died of heat stroke at an electronic dance music (EDM) concert in Washington D.C. after taking MDMA.  She is currently working to amend the Rave Act and needs people to sign the petition.  For more information and to be a signer click here: SIGN THE PETITION!

Other panelists included Chief Executive, AFEM and panel moderator, Mark Lawrence, Filmmaker/Photographer, Director – “As I AM”, Kevin Kerslake, artist, Kennedy Jones, Director of Health & Safety, Insomniac, Maren Steiner, Cofounder & Program Director, Sustain Recovery, Patt Ochoa, and Director of Audience Development, Drug Policy Alliance, Stefanie Jones.

The purpose of the panel was to raise the conversation about drug testing.  “It’s a wider cultural issue than just drugs in EDM,” says Dede.  Maren agreed we can’t pretend we don’t know what drugs do.  Stefanie advised we focus less on drugs and more on the choices people are making.

Kennedy Jones shared his sobriety story and Kevin spoke about working with attics and musicians.

Audience member, Heather Brooks, spoke about how her son died from a combination of molly and heat when he was at Paradiso Festival. She had learned that her son had researched how to do it, but read incorrect information on dosage. He was 22 years old.

The proper info on drug use is the industry’s first step, saying “we are taking responsibility.”  In addition, Patt Ochoa has worked with EDC’s founder, Pasuqale Rotella, by providing a sober place at Insomniac Events.

The Ground Control team was created to help people in need.  Anyone can ask for help and they wont get in trouble, you wont get kicked out, your parents wont get called , and you don’t need money or health insurance.

Neil Crilly of The Recording Agency also acknowledged The Grammys has a program, Music Cares, which provides 100% free services to people with drug addictions working in music. Visit Musiccaresgrammy.org for more info.

Bottom line, the scene is worth more than the drug use and the industry has taken initiation.  Working on having drug education & awareness on site is a priority and was noticed at this years Electric Daisy Carnival Vegas.