This summer, thousands of young people will attend festivals for the music, atmosphere, and opportunity to socialise. And, some people will use drugs. This is despite politicians and others delivering simplistic and ineffective messages of “don’t take illicit substances”, the intimidating use of sniffer dogs, and the threat of invasive and frequently illegal strip searches. The risk is that young people could experience serious medical episodes, which may result in death.
The NSW Government has delayed reform until after its proposed drug summit – but a date and budget for the Summit has not been set.
Concerned about this inaction, a coalition of peak medical bodies have released an open letter calling on the Government to “immediately start drug checking with an implementation pilot this summer festival season”.
While some aim for an unrealistic drug-free world, a summit aim should aim to help people stay alive in this one.