How to make music festivals safer?
Overdoses can be prevented in a variety of ways, including by checking festival goers’ medications. Here is the list of some useful items.
Prohibition has been shown to have little effect on reducing harms or drug usage. But what exactly does it entail?
How do drugs cause harm?
The bulk of illegal chemicals used at music festivals, such as ecstasy (also known as MDMA), started off as very safe pharmaceuticals.
At festivals, MDMA is the most prevalent cause of drug-related harm. The most prevalent causes of deadly and non-fatal MDMA overdoses include high-purity MDMA, hazardous chemicals, or environmental factors such as overheating or drinking too much or too little water. As a result, we must address all of these concerns in order to reduce damages.
What doesn’t work?
Random drug searches, police presence, and drug detection dogs may not reduce drug usage, but they may increase harm. However, they are common at festivals, and they come at a major financial cost to festivalgoers, which must be reflected in ticket pricing.
Festival-goers complain that police presence does not discourage them from using drugs, and there have been many reports of individuals taking numerous pills at once to avoid searches and sniffer dog detection, increasing the risk of overdosing.
The police focus on drug trafficking in public, yet the bulk of those arrested at festivals are those who use rather than sell narcotics.
People are more willing to buy narcotics on the spot when police dogs are present, rather than risk getting caught carrying drugs in. As a result, customers are more inclined to purchase from unknown sources, placing them at risk of injury than if they purchased from a known source.
Decriminalizing illicit drugs will significantly minimize damages and allow festival police to focus on public safety issues such as antisocial behavior and public drunkenness.
But What works?
At events now, there are effective damage mitigation methods in place. These include: the existence of peer-led groups that give harm reduction information and support, as well as emergency services and first aid, chill out places, cold clean water, excellent ventilation in indoor places, and staff and volunteer training in responding to drug-affected persons.
Pill testing at the point of sale
On-site pill testing comprises a brief intervention with a health expert, which may include counseling on the dangers of drug use and harm reduction ideas. Festival visitors are constantly encouraged not to use any drugs at all.
Young people’s dangerous drug use can be reduced with brief interventions from a health professional. The majority of young people who attend festivals, on the other hand, will not call a health worker unless there is a means to intervene.
Because illicit substances are still illegal, some individuals are hesitant to obtain and analyze them directly from users.
There are, however, a variety of additional methods for testing drugs that may be able to save your life.
Testing in a different location
Pre-festival testing of medications brought in by festival attendees is also possible. It’s similar to onsite testing in that it simply requires a few minutes of participation, however it takes place outside of the event grounds.
Off-site testing minimizes the need for festival drug enforcement to adapt, which may appeal to certain festivalgoers. Testing services will have a wider reach and be more successful in preventing harm if both off-site and on-site testing are used.
Purity testing of drugs
Customers’ samples were analyzed on-site, and the drugs included in them were recognized. They could only determine the purity of drug powders, not the amount of MDMA in the pills.
A number of deaths at the recent event have been linked to high-dose MDMA. That is why MDMA testing kits are recommended.
Knowing the dosage may help reduce MDMA tablet overdoses because users may opt to take less of the drug if they know the strength is high.
Recognizing drug usage at music festivals
We also don’t know how many and how much drugs are used by young people at Australian music events. Anecdotal stories provide the majority of our knowledge. Festivals are likely to differ in some way.
We know that persons in their 20s are the most likely to go to festivals and take illegal drugs. More study into how widespread drug use is during festivals, as well as the types of drugs individuals take, might aid in the development of better and more focused harm reduction strategies.
We won’t be able to entirely eliminate drug use at music festivals, but we can make them safer by putting in place what we know works and eliminating what doesn’t. Young individuals have an inclination to take chances. Whether you support or oppose drug usage, our children do not deserve to die as a result of their decisions.