A new method of reducing the number of drug related illnesses and overdoses will be implemented in at least 6 to 10 music festivals this summer in the United Kingdom. The idea came about after a recent number of drug related deaths at festivals such as the death of 17 year-old Lewis Haunch’s death last August.
The method was introduced for the first time at a UK festival by Loop, an organization that tests drugs that have been seized by the police. This time again festival goers will be taking their drugs to Loop at festivals this summer. There the company will test the substance or drugs given and tell the results before destroying the substance. This drug testing is a major shift in the way festivals handle illicit substances in the UK.
“We talked about it during the summer of last year and the reality is that I took a decision that unless and until the National Police Chiefs’ Council supported the principle of it, it was difficult for us to move forward on it,” Benn told the BBC.
200 people used the service last year at the Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire. 80 substances were tested and results ranged from ammonium sulfate sold as MDMA to anti-malaria tablets sold as ketamine.