Safe Drug Zones Expanding at Canadian Music Festivals

Here’s the reality: a lot of people who go to music festivals take drugs while they’re there. This, of course, isn’t the safest form of recreation, so a number of European music festivals, six in the UK alone, have instituted drug testing areas. With no judgment or fear of prosecution, people can present their drugs for testing to make sure that (a) they’re the real thing; and (b) the dosage or impurities aren’t going to kill them.

Such a thing drives conservative types crazy, but organizers would rather have pleasantly high punters rather than a bunch of dead bodies.  The idea is spreading to other events, too. The Shambala Music Festival in BC is offering drug testing. The Up Here

Other festivals like Ottawa Escapade are meeting people halfway. Sort of. This year the police set up a place where people could just dump their drugs with no questions asked.

But you always have to prepare for the worst. The Northern Lights Festival in Sudbury is afraid of opioid overdoses, something that’s happening all too frequently. They’ll have tents with first aid responders armed with Naxolone kits. Same thing at the River and Sky Festival in Field, Ontario.

Meanwhile, at the Up Here festival (also in Sudbury and part of Northern Lights) organizers will for the second year have a Chill Zone where people can safely come down off whatever they’ve taken. This is a quiet place where people can be monitored for overdoses, adverse reactions and dehydration.

By the way, should you need one, Naxolone kits are available at participating pharmacies in Ontario. Meanwhile, here’s a guide to drug testing at festivals.

(Via the CBC)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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