Drug checking makes festivals safer, research shows
Drug checking makes festivals safer
New research has found that drug checking services at festivals reduce the possibility of drug-related harm, provide opportunities for targeted health interventions amongst higher risk drug users and, on balance, do not result in increased quantities of drugs being consumed.
A tl;dr kindly provided by GPT 4:
A three-year research study found that drug checking services at festivals lead to a decrease in drug-related harm. Conducted between 2016-2018, the study, led by the University of Liverpool's Professor Fiona Measham, analyzed services provided to hundreds of thousands of festival-goers. Attendees voluntarily had their substances tested by The Loop, a non-profit, harm-reduction organization, at English festival sites. The results:
- 61.7% disposed of unexpected substances after testing.
- 48.7% intended to consume less of their drugs when they matched expectations.
- No drug-related deaths occurred at the seven festivals in 2018 that had the service, and there was no surge in drug use or issues.
- The main demographic that used drug checking were younger males, often polydrug users who hadn't sought health services about their drug use.
- The study also debunked concerns that drug testing encourages more drug consumption: only 1.2% said they'd use more after checking, while 48.7% said they'd reduce their dosage if the substance was as expected.
- Festival organizers and experts see these services as crucial to making festivals safer. There was also a 12% decrease in drug-related medical incidents at a Bristol festival in 2018 with drug checking services, even with higher attendance and a heatwave.
- Advocates emphasize the importance of expanding these services to prevent tragedies and better inform drug users, while detractors worry about the perceived promotion of drug use.
You can read the whole news article here!
Original study here!