Sometimes it can be hard to spot the warning signs of overheating or dehydrating, especially in party environments where you may have been taking drugs, drinking, or getting way too into your groove on the dance floor to notice your body’s RED HOT!! alarm going off, telling you that you should chill out.

If you’re partying, a number of things can cause your body temperature to rise, including:

  • Using Ecstasy or other stimulant drugs, like crystal meth or coke. These drugs can increase body temperature, and have you dancing longer and harder than you otherwise would
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Hot, humid, or overcrowded venues

These things – on their own or in combination – can cause overheating.

How you can look after yourself:

  • Wear loose, thin clothing. Watch out for hats and plastic textiles (like PVC), as they can trap the heat close to your body
  • Take breaks from dancing every now and then to cool off
  • Drink water regularly throughout the night (it is recommended to drink one 500ml bottle of water each hour when partying)
  • Try to avoid alcohol and coffee as they will further dehydrate you

What to watch out for:

If you suddenly feel very tired, irritable, faint or giddy (and it’s not from using drinking or using drugs); if you have cramps in the backs of your legs, arms and back; if you piss very small amounts and/or you’re pissing dark-coloured urine; if you start throwing up, if you’re body is STEAMING, or if you stop sweating altogether, chances are you are OVERHEATING!

If this happens:

  • Stop dancing and chill out
  • Visit a cool, quiet area (like outside, or the washroom)
  • Get some fluids into you. Water, diluted fruit or isotonic sports drinks are all good, but don’t overdo it — drinking too much water too quickly can sometimes be harmful. So try to drink one 500mL bottle of water an hour, sipping it slowly and regularly.
  • Wrap a wet cloth around your head. T-shirts are great for this.
  • Get some ice or cold water from the washroom, a vendor or water booth and apply it to the person’s armpits, neck, or the back of their knees. You can always use cold, bottled water to roll along the person’s skin in these areas. If you get to the stage where you or a friend are still feeling shitty, get some help either from the TRIP! booth, by visiting the paramedics at the party, or by calling 911.