(Rifflandia Festival/Facebook)

With BC’s spike in drug poisoning over the past few years, a ‘drug checking team’ has been created to attend two of the province’s largest music festivals. 

According to a recent survey conducted at Bass Coast and Shambhala, two of British Columbia’s largest music festivals, guests are eager to utilize drug checking services as a harm reduction measure enabling people to know what is in the drugs they are using.

The survey found that 91.3% of people tested their drugs even if they knew what they were, while 65.6% tested if they knew what they were.

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From the 3,868 samples that were analyzed opioids accounted for just 0.2% of drudge identified by testing. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, was found in just five samples.

According to the survey, the drug checking team for this weekend long event was made up of 70 volunteers including recreational drug users, social workers, activists, pharmacists, chemists, and nurses.

The findings revealed, psychedelics including DMT, 2 C-B and dissociative anesthetic, Ketamine were the three most common substances purchased within the festival while Cocaine, MDMA and LSD were more commonly brought in from purchases made outside of the event.

The Interior Health Report has been published just days before B.C. begins a three-year trial aimed to decriminalize possession of up to 2.5 grams of street drugs for residents 18 and older beginning January 31st.

In BC, over 10,000 people have died from toxic drug poisoning since 2016 when fentanyl was introduced to the street supply. In regards to this study, fentanyl was nearly non-existent from the substances that were tested.

(Survey by Interior Health)

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