William Eichler 09 June 2017

Testing facilities in city centres could reduce drug-related deaths, health experts say

Testing facilities in city centres could reduce drug-related deaths, health experts say  image

Festivals and city centres should provide testing facilities where drug users can test ‘substances of concern’ to establish their content and strength, say health experts.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said the move could help reduce the amount of potentially harmful substances circulating at festivals and nightclubs where drugs are frequently used.

The call comes in response to an increase in recent years of deaths related to the use of recreational ‘club drugs’, with ecstasy deaths in England and Wales up almost six-fold from 10 in 2010 to 57 in 2015.

The rise is thought to have been largely caused by a corresponding increase in the average strength of ecstasy pills.

Drug safety testing was piloted at two festivals last summer with the support of local police and public health. The initial results suggest almost one in five users (18%) opted to dispose of their drugs once aware of the true content.

‘The rise in drug-related deaths at music festivals and night clubs is a growing problem for policy makers, health authorities and events companies alike,’ said Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of RSPH

‘While the use of stimulant ‘club drugs’ such as ecstasy can never be safe, and RSPH supports ongoing efforts to prevent them entering entertainment venues, we accept that a certain level of use remains inevitable in such settings.

‘We therefore believe that a pragmatic, harm reduction response is necessary.’

‘The pilots carried out by The Loop last summer suggest providing drug safety testing facilities to festival-goers and night clubbers is a promising part of the equation in preventing these deaths – both by exposing and reducing the circulation of super strength or adulterated pills, and by providing an opportunity to impart practical harm reduction advice to an audience who would not normally engage with drug services,’ she continued.

‘We urge events companies to make these facilities a standard part of the UK festival and clubbing landscape, and we urge both local and national police and public health authorities to provide the support that will enable this.’

Social care reform: what lies ahead? image

Social care reform: what lies ahead?

Sally Warren lays out four principles that should be at the centre of a ‘radically realistic’ White Paper on social care reform and asks if its vision will be the right one?
A bold local route to better mental health image

A bold local route to better mental health

Local Living Well sites put people with complex mental health needs in control of their support and encourages them to set their own recovery goals. The programme is proud of its success, says Tally Daphu.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Human Resources Adviser

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37722 - £40869 per annum
Principal Human Resources Adviser - 1 year Fixed Term ContractRoyal Greenwich is ambitious in its commitment to residents and to service delivery. We' England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Network Architect

Camden London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
The job holder will require a good understanding of security & connectivity practices in the context of Cloud services preferably Microsoft Azure. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Transport Development Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum
A flexible working offer that allows you to have a true work/life balance. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Recycling Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£41,952 - £48,663
The position sits within the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA’s) Strategy and Services team, managing... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Management Officer - Carlisle

Cumbria County Council
£31.346 - £32.234
This role involves working within the traffic team liaising with members of the public and councillors agreeing and... Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue