Objective: To understand college students’ experiences with substance use at electronic music events (EME), including harm-reduction strategies and receptivity to educational intervention. Participants: A purposeful sample of undergraduate students at a private Southeastern university was recruited from April 2019 to May 2019 using online advertising and in-person tabling. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive research design utilizing semistructured focus groups. Results: Five focus groups were conducted (n = 18). A thematic analysis revealed three main themes: substance use is commonplace; substance use and protective behaviors; and universities' role in substance education. Additional categories and subcategories were identified within each theme. Conclusion: Substance use at EME is a common experience for college students. Several challenges and opportunities exist for universities working to promote harm reduction practices. Prevention efforts should be event-specific, incorporate student input to engage learning more effectively, and work to reduce barriers that deter students from taking safety precautions when using substances.
- electronic music events
- harm reduction
- substance use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health