Drug fatalities at an all-time high again in the UK, with close to 4000 deaths caused by legal and illegal substances taking place in 2017. While it’s impossible to determine exactly why, it’s likely due to the cheaper prices, higher drug strengths, and better accessibility – with some saying buying drugs today is as easy as ordering a takeaway pizza.
Past attempts to prohibit drug use have appeared to be fruitless. With more young people taking substances, it’s clear a different method of approach has to be considered.
In a bid to promote safety and awareness, some festivals are doing exactly that. Rather than banning drugs completely – which is obviously having a limited effect – they’ve decided to take a more open-minded approach.
Charities like The Loop believe younger generations continue to take drugs because they are naïve to what they are taking. To solve this, they have begun offering drug safety testing at festivals, nightclubs and other leisure activities to test substances of concern on site and inform users of what’s actually in their drugs. A proper chemical analysis is done of the substance, which then leads to an engaging conversation about the risks and potential dangers. The service is free, confidential, and non-judgemental.
Some of the many shocking ingredients found in tested drugs have included concrete, sugar, and – in many cases – is a completely different drug to what the user thought. Another alarming yet common discovery is the surprising strength of many drugs that could cause overdoses if ingested.
Charities like The Loop believe, no matter how much we try to restrict drug use, there will always be those who will take drugs, so it’s imperative their experience is made as safe as possible.
By allowing users the chance to talk openly and be less afraid of prosecution, these charities are hoping to further educate potential users and get them to rethink their use – or at the very least, be as safe as possible.