Drug testing in night time economy areas should be introduced to reduce drug-related deaths, according to a new report.
The report by The Loop, Volteface, Durham University and The All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform comes as deaths from cocaine and ecstasy are at an all-time high.
It also suggests an independent information service, drug awareness training for employees of night time venues and the adoption of the UK festival drug policy of '3Ps: Prevent, Pursue, Protect' in licensed venues.
Fiona Measham of The Loop said: “UK night life makes a vital contribution to our economic and cultural life yet we have reached an impasse. Clubs risk closure if there is a drug-related death but they also risk closure if they attempt to introduce harm reduction measures.
"By contrast, UK festivals have been introducing evidence-based and effective measures to address the growing drug-related problems faced in the UK, including hospitalisations, deaths and contaminated supply chains. Drawing on festival drug policy and practice, this report makes key recommendations to bolster our night time economy and to protect the customers and venues within them.”
Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association said there is no getting away from drug taking, so the response to that is key.
“Nightlife is at the heart of British culture and our fifth biggest industry, lighting up our streets, employing thousands and creating a platform for our new musical talents as well as attracting people to live work and play in our town and cities. Drug taking is a fact in Britain - how we respond to it will determine whether it becomes safer or becomes even more risky for all. It is vital that we all work together, sensibly and practically in true partnership to encourage as many Stakeholders as possible to take on board these proposal by The Loop & Volteface.”
The Loop has also launched the #TimeToTest crowdfunding campaign. All money raised will go towards supporting five regional testing hubs.
Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter