Canadian music festival season is right around the corner. With these typically multi-day, outdoor events comes recreational drug use, which presents a number of shifting challenges to organizers. Should certain legal and illegal substances be banned outright? If not, will festival-goers be able to get their drugs tested for harmful adulterants? How many security personnel and paramedics should be on-site at music events, and where are they receiving their training?
Outreach groups, promoters, and venue owners have expanded the scope of their work in recent years to keep people safe at music events, offering drug testing, peer support, and even instructional workshops demonstrating how to administer the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. While these are steps in the right direction, there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to keeping people safe, as there’s currently no national or provincial guidelines for addressing drug use at festivals.
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