You Will Now Be Able To Test Your Drugs For Free At Several British Music Festivals This Summer

Following a number of drug related deaths in recent years, several UK music festivals are now offering to help ticket holders identify potentially dangerous drugs.

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Last year, you may recall the Secret Garden Party became the first festival in the UK to offer festival goers the opportunity to test their illegal drugs in order to help users tell exactly what they've bought and what's going into their bodies.

In the first few days of the festival, over 80 substances from more than 200 people were tested, from high-strength ecstasy pills, anti-malaria tablets sold as ketamine, and ammonium sulphate sold as MDMA, according to the Guardian.

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As a result of the festival's successful drug-testing initiative, several major summer music events are following suit, so that if you or your mates do decide to partake in illegal drugs this summer, you will at least be equipped to make informed decisions, given an understanding of what exactly is in them.

According to the BBC, Reading and Leeds are among 'six and 10 festivals' in the UK that will run drug-testing tents, thanks to help from The Loop – a non-profit drug safety organisation which previously conducted forensic testing on drugs left in amnesty bins – and local police units.

Melvin Benn from music promoter Festival Republic discussed the scheme with the Press Association and said: 'We talked about it during the summer of last year and the reality is that I took a decision that unless and until the NPCC supported the principle of it, it was difficult for us to move forward on it.'

However, according to Benn, the organisation has now drawn up a draft agreement to make it easier for authorities up and down the country to make sure the initiative is fully supported.

'It's taken a long time and it won't be at every festival, but where we think there is a need to do it we will be doing it,' he added.

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Festival-goers are encouraged to visit the drug-testing tents, hand over a small sample of the drug for testing. The sample will be destroyed after or during testing.

The Loop's Fiona Measham said of the drug-testing tents: 'It's really exciting that police are prioritising health and safety over criminal justice at festivals.'

Drug-testing schemes like this are already commonplace in countries like Germany and the Netherlands, while Manchester's Warehouse Project first introduced the drug testing initiative back in 2013, following several drug-related deaths.

The theory is that drug-related deaths will diminish if testing is accessible, as the instances of people knowingly ingesting things like rat poison and other super harmful chemicals will decrease.

However, many anti-drugs campaigners have expressed their anger towards the plans to spread the scheme out across the country, with David Raynes from the National Drug Prevention Alliance telling the Telegraph: 'This will simply normalise drug taking amongst the young and will reinforce the attitude that taking drugs is an integral part of the festival experience, which it is not.'

While it would be very problematic to condone the use of illegal drugs, we can't ignore the fact that many festival-goers are going to continue taking narcotics, especially at festivals this summer.

So, in light of that, at least there are ways for people to arm themselves with as much information as possible.

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