DARE TO ASK: Binky points to more than just a drinky
By PHILLIP MILANO, The Times-Union
Why do many all-night rave attendees suck on pacifiers?
Demi, 42, Elk Grove, Calif.
At many raves, drugs are rampant. Ecstasy (or E, or X) causes people to grind
their teeth, which can do damage to their mouths. The easiest way to avoid this
is to suck on something.
Sarah, St. John's, Canada
Some people just do it for the look.
A. Bailey, 23, female, Bridgeport, Conn.
Ravers suck on pacifiers when they are on acid.
Mary, 29, Philadelphia
The pacifier allows the E-user - or "E-tard" if they're a serious drug user -
to focus on a mouth movement other than grinding. I believe it was made popular
by someone in the early days of raving in Toronto or Chicago.
Trevor, 24, Halifax, Canada
They also put drugs in or on suckers, as well.
Yes, we know "rave" - a word that describes a large gathering of mainly young
people who dance all night to electronic music and sometimes do illicit drugs -
is so 2000. In fact, it's so 2000 (or perhaps 1994) that a revival of "old
school" rave-stylings has already come and gone.
But whatever they're called, large gatherings of mainly young people who
dance all night to electronic music and sometimes do illicit drugs have not gone
out of style.
As proof of the power of rave culture, look no further than the 22nd annual
Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach on March 20-25, a confab of thousands of
dance music producers, record companies, top DJs and fans that's expected to be
the largest yet.
So we thought it a good idea to do a thumb-sucker on the topic.
The ole Binky is indeed used to offset the teeth-grinding effects of Ecstasy,
said substance abuse expert Cynthia R. Knowles, author of Up All Night: A Closer
Look at Club Drugs and Rave Culture (Red House).
"The drug causes inhibition of the jaw-opening response, so the jaw is
clenched. People end up doing dental damage. Dentists are trained to recognize
it so they can give referrals for drug treatment."
Some school districts even clamped down on students walking the halls with
pacifiers attached to their backpacks, saying they amounted to drug
paraphernalia, she said.
Like pot and cigarettes, Ecstasy use has dropped among youths in recent
years, Knowles noted.
Alas, teens always seem to find new ways to destroy brain cells and more: On
the rise in abuse are prescription painkillers like OxyContin, keyboard cleaners
such as Dust-Off that contain propellant and even over-the-counter cough syrup.
"These kids think since they can buy some of this stuff at Wal-Mart, it must
be OK," Knowles said. "But it can lead to permanent brain damage. I encourage
parents, if you've got Dust-Off in your house, lock it in your liquor cabinet."
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers, or mail to
Phillip Milano, c/o The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL
32231. Include contact information. For Dare to Ask podcasts, go to
Jacksonville.com keyword: milano.