Safer dancing in the south - a health needs assessment of recreational drug users at music festivals, nightclubs and music venues
PHE ePoster Library. Holland A. 09/12/19; 274335; 143
Dr. Adam Holland
Dr. Adam Holland
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Abstract Introduction
The use of drugs including ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine and novel psychoactive substances is associated with the attendance of music festivals and other nightlife settings. These drugs were mentioned 820 times on death certificates in 2017; an increase of 99.5% from 2007.Aim: To identify the unmet needs of drug users in these settings in Portsmouth and Southampton and produce recommendations to meet these needs. Methods: Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of nineteen stakeholders working in event planning (n=2), drug testing (n=1), councils (n=6), policing (n=3), healthcare (n=4) and welfare (n=3) and analysed with thematic analysis; observations were performed of drug testing and welfare providers.
Front-line workers reported that frequency of drug use was variable but it could be commonplace. Reported physical harm was infrequent but could be severe. Unreported physical harm and psychological harm may have been more common. Opinion on the best course of action differed. Most were in favour of harm reduction measures such as drug testing. Some thought more security, drug detection dogs and searching were important, but others suggested this can cause harm if drug users pre-dose before events or panic-dose. A need for clearer guidelines was identified. Ethnography highlighted the important roles of the observed services and that drug users were receptive to non-judgemental harm reduction advice.
There is a lack of consensus, but most interviewees were open to the harm reduction paradigm. Recommendations are offered for consideration both within and outside of festivals and nightlife settings. External funding details
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