Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Reader/Committee Chair

Bichler, Gisela


Raves and Electronic Dance Music (EDM) events are part of a growing culture of entertainment for young people around the world. The dangers of these events include fatalities related to drug use, overheating, dehydration and lack of harm reduction services. This study explores drug use at rave events through a survey examining EDM attendee experiences. Using a binary logistic regression model, this investigation examines the relative importance of five factors: (1) peer group drug use and (2) peer influence on behavior, drawn from peer cluster theory, (3) presence of security features that may dissuade drug use controls for rational choices, (4) the presence of drugs at events, and (5) the social supply of drugs accounting for drug networks enabling the supply of illicit drugs to participants. The results of the study suggest that peer groups heavily impact an individual’s decision to use drugs at an event. Peer group drug use was strongly correlated with individual drug use at the EDM. Peer influence on drugs and alcohol use was also correlated with individual drug use. Security and drug presence overall were not found to be significant. The social supply of drugs was present within the peer groups, and found significant once peer group drug use was removed. Due to the current restrictions on raves set by the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2003, action should be taken to ensure harm prevention resources are available at all events. Future research should be conducted to expand the literature on club drug use at rave events and peer groups formed around the rave and EDM culture.