Councilor: Concert venues need to step up game to curb drug abuse

City Councilor Steve Murphy wants the Garden, the House of Blues and other concert venues to explain what they're doing to prevent a recurrence of incidents involving young concert goers collapsing from drug use.

Murphy added he also wants better coordination between the venues, the city and local hospitals to handle large numbers of collapsed drug users. He said all of the kids at the recent Avicii concert who needed hospitalization were taken to Mass. General, potentially overwhelming its emergency room. He noted that after the Marathon bombings, patients were brought to all of the citie's major emergency rooms, reducing the odds of any of them being overwhelmed.

The council agreed to send Murphy's proposal to a committee, which will then schedule the hearing at which local entertainment and public-health officials will be asked to testify.



    Free tagging: 


    Just Say No to Drugs

    Need some Nancy Reagan era posters outside venues. That will fix it.

    Oh, and some "purity", sexual abstinence posters while at it.


    Does Councilor Murphy have

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    Does Councilor Murphy have any stats to back up his request, or is this the usual hysterical hand wringing and fist pounding that happens when a couple of incidents look like a trend?



    Kids have died and gotten seriously ill from drugs at these locations. He wants to make sure the venues are doing as much as possible to ensure more kids and people don't get sick. Is that so out of line?

    So we're going to increase

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    So we're going to increase the cost of doing business because of some vague notion? Sorry, that's not how good policy is made.

    Most likely outcome

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    The most likely outcome will be a decline in the number of all-ages events.


    I don't think taking away a

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    I don't think taking away a positive recreational activity from city teenagers is the correct solution to this issue.


    Dry events cause problems

    Instead of regulated drug use, you get unregulated drug use.

    My kids have far more access to molly and pot than they do to alcohol because illegality ironically makes them unregulated.


    fact is,

    i won't speak for anybody else but i'm just saying that i would prefer it if there were not any teenagers/kids at shows i went to. its a valid opinion to have.

    it doesn't invalidate the remarks about unregulated drugs being easier to get, i remember that being true when i was in high school and what not as well.

    Prepare to drive long distances to see events then

    You probably aren't old enough to have seen how the increases in drinking age led to the near-destruction of the local music scene in the 1980s.

    Ban the kids - and you are talking 2/3 to 3/4 of the college population here - and there will be far fewer concerts to attend.


    i never said to ban them, i

    i never said to ban them, i just said i dont enjoy them.

    i dont enjoy idiots on bicycles either but i'm not advocating that they be disallowed from using the roads.

    I don't know, I go to 21+

    I don't know, I go to 21+ shows all the time and there's a good number of people there. Most folks I know avoid all ages shows since they're usually crap acts anyway. I'd say the local non mainstream music scene thrives on age restriction.

    Meanwhile hardly anyone of car renting age goes to the DJ nights at the Middle East because of kiddieravers.

    Swirl I love you, I really do.. but

    ..whatever are you talking about regarding the 1980s club scene?

    I was in the friggin middle of it.

    I put Ornette Coleman in the Channel in 1987 and my dear dead friend Billy Ruane had stuff humming then to say little of Skeggie and Joe Harvard.

    Does Chets Last Call ring a bell? or Throbbing Lobster, The Lyons brothers made their fortunes then and hacks like David Beiber were paid 100 grand a year to schmooze people for BCN.

    Those were days of the Thayer St lofts and the Dogmatics before one of the O' Hallorans died.

    Curtis had Taang Records. Burma was in its prime. WMBR from your presumed alma mater packed clubs and there were all manner of adjustments to age problems like giving the booze eligible patrons a little bracelet

    The woman who helped elect Elizabeth Warren AND Marty Walsh, Joyce, was a very formidable event maker.

    I get weary of jumping on peoples shit cause it is so popular here anyway and I have a great appreciation of your general outlook but this needed to be answered.

    There was Throwing Muses and the nascent Pixies. I knew Kims original husband, he really was named John Murphy, a comic genius from Charlestown who led a band called Mente that morphed into The Upper Crust.

    There isn't a band scene now because young people aren't psyched to blow money on gear and start bands. It's a geezer thing, as quaint and antiquated as old Skillet Licker 78's

    It's a DJ world now.


    Hovorka expresses club land at that time as well as anyone.

    For you young uns wondering what club land looked like in 1986.. here you go

    The Turbines

    That clip makes me sob for a youth forever gone every time I watch it.

    That time was more vivacious, alive and yes.. magical than any of the sterile shit going down now... ON EVERY LEVEL.

    Punks not dead

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    Eaters and Real Kids in Beverly on the 2nd: they never sounded better.


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    Correct. Dry events just make the kids do the drugs before the event. Did you (or some of your frends) have a few drinks before your HS prom?

    And Swirly's 200% correct. Kids today have more access to illegal drugs than alcohol! And in some cases its easier to score some heroin than it is to get pot!


    Distributed sourcing

    One set of kids can tell you of one friend of a friend of an uncle's friend who can get you some of what you want.

    Now, multiply that by every high school and dormitory within a 50 mile radius of Boston.

    Lots of investigative work to break that down.

    Let's break that down

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    .Now, multiply that by every high school and dormitory within a 50 mile radius of Boston

    And divide that by the number of cops

    My guess is it's about a 1:1 ratio.



    Now, consider what those cops could be doing instead ...

    It's that next step that counts though......

    Drugs are in the schools, but kids have to take that next step to actually ask, and then pay for the drugs, and the seller has to take that step to actually sell those drugs. This process is often where the "access" of the drug comes into question. Just because kids know who uses and sells drugs, (they also know who has an older brother to ask for alcohol), doesn't mean they have "access" to those drugs.

    And with the decriminalization of marijuana (and the thought that marijuana isn't all that bad, which may be true for a lot of people), comes an increase of marijuana use among teenagers.

    It's been like that forever here.

    Cops were getting bored with weed by the late 70s.

    They are generally a lot sharper than they get credit for.

    I had a statie toss an ounce of hashish he caught me with while hitching on route 2 in like 77 and he just flipped it in a catch basin cause he didn't want to waste his day off in court over that horseshit.

    He only stopped cause I was an idiot, hitchhiking in a dangerous place and he wanted me to use a less stupid spot.

    If it was tonnage and they'd look good in the paper, then fine. But if you are just some white twerp in the burbs, (that would be me) they really didn't care.

    Now pharmacy robbery, an odd hobby my asshole friends had, was another matter.


    "No construction stiff working overtime takes more stress and straining than we did just to stay high."


    Heroin was absurdly popular in Reading in the mid 70s.

    It started with all the Vietnam war veterans coming home with huge habits from smoking 90% pure smack that even had brand names like "Double U O Globe"

    And the junkies would occasionally jack pharmacies hoping to get Dilaudid or Endomorphane.

    I'm blessed with utter indifference to opiates and cocaine.

    I can't stand either.

    But they do work well with our remnant reptile brain pleasure zones.

    That's a terrible idea and a

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    That's a terrible idea and a "convenient for me" option which would hurt venues. This is already one of the hardest cities to do all ages shows and not much easier for 18+. Look around the country and most places are heavily all ages.

    as it turns out

    yes, it would be convenient for me. generally when expressing opinions about entertainment options you will find people will in fact, discuss what they find to be most entertaining

    i don't think that all ages shows are actually going to be banned, for a number of reasons. that doesn't mean that i can't lament the number of youngsters i encounter at shows.

    Edit: the reality of the situation is that if you go out during any sort of popular/holiday/first week of back to school in boston/ you're encountering a bunch of kids that are spewing vomit or acting like fools on the T or sidewalk anyway.


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    Unfortunately nothing can be done. You can't control what people do before your club. You also can't strip search people entering the venue/club for drugs. So there isn't much more except a heightened sense of awareness. That's pretty much it.

    To think you'll stop drug use at clubs and venue 100% is unrealistic and unobtainable.

    Until we stop treating drug use as a criminal issue and start treating it like a public health issue it will never change. If we actual taught kids how to be be safe while using drugs (aka Harm Reduction) a lot of this wouldn't be happening. But since we don't, we can just expect more of the same with little or no change.


    Too true

    I went to a show that was popular with this crowd (who look like toddlers to me at my age now) and there was a gaggle of young girls shoving plastic bags into their clothing right in the security line, a few yards from the security check itself.

    I just don't think it's feasible to find and confiscate tiny bags of pills if people want to hide them on their person. I also can't imagine it's possible to catch people in the act of taking those pills inside the venue.

    I do remember seeing squads of concert goers bringing free water to people who needed it in the middle of the crowd, and doing other things that seemed aimed at making sure people stayed safe. That was impressive, and seems like the only thing that's going to help prevent emergencies. As far as I understand it, these kids aren't going to the hospital because of drugs, they're going to the hospital because they took BAD drugs or the wrong drugs. You want more safety? Implement some quality control.


    Completely false

    Unfortunately nothing can be done.

    Providing plentiful, free drinking water, widely available throughout the venue, would go a long way.


    This I agree with

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    which falls under "harm reduction"

    but venues, much like the Garden at AVCII's concert a week or so ago did not offer free water and cooling stations (or as many as would be required for such a fest)

    Many are hesitant to do so because it 'encourages' drug use (as many will say) because only people on drugs would want to use these things (as many will say)


    Already stripped

    can't strip search people entering the venue/club for drugs

    Many patrons entering concerts and rave venues are often not wearing enough to hide much of anything already! (not saying that is a bad thing, just an "is" thing)

    Education is about the only option here - make people aware that street drugs are iffy, that there are signs and symptoms of bad trips, etc.


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    Congrats, best comment I've read on UH in a while.

    Mass. General

    is the closest emergency room (a short walk) to the Garden. Of course that's where the dehydrated and overheated folks were taken.

    Copley Square is more equidistant to multiple emergency rooms (MGH, BUMC, Tufts Medical, Brigham, BI)