UK health experts have recommended that drug testing at festivals should become “standard” to protect attendees.
Secret Garden Party successfully trialled a testing initiative last summer with help from charity The Loop, and a number of other events are following suit this summer, including Reading and Leeds.
Shirley Cramer, the chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health has said: “While the use of stimulant ‘club drugs’ such as ecstasy can never be safe, and RSPH supports ongoing efforts to prevent them entering entertainment venues, we accept that a certain level of use remains inevitable in such settings.
“We therefore believe that a pragmatic, harm reduction response is necessary. The pilots carried out by The Loop last summer suggest providing drug safety testing facilities to festival-goers and night-clubbers is a promising part of the equation in preventing these deaths, both by exposing and reducing the circulation of super strength or adulterated pills, and by providing an opportunity to impart practical harm reduction advice to an audience who would not normally engage with drug services.
“We urge events companies to make these facilities a standard part of the UK festival and clubbing landscape, and we urge both local and national police and public health authorities to provide the support that will enable this.”
Read our interview with Fiona Measham from The Loop about the importance of drug testing and its life saving potential here.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter