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Festival Offers Attendees Chance To Test Drugs
Christian Eede , July 25th, 2016 11:54

Secret Garden Party teams up with drugs safety charity for initiative allowing festivalgoers to test drugs before using them

Cambridgeshire Festival Secret Garden Party is leading the way in allowing revellers the chance to test their drugs before taking them.

The initiative, which was a collaboration between local police, local councils and drugs safety charity The Loop, was rolled out at the festival over the weekend. It’s the first time the service has been provided at event of this kind in the country - in the past, The Loop were only able to test substances dropped in amnesty bins, or confiscated by police or paramedics. Around 200 people made use of the tests and more than 80 substances of concern were found as a result, including super strength ecstasy pills and questionable strains of MDMA and ketamine.

“For the first time we’ve been able to offer the testing service to individual users as part of a tailored advice and information package provided by a team of experienced drug workers,” said The Loop co-founder Fiona Measham, talking to The Guardian. “This can help people make informed choices, raising awareness of particularly dangerous substances in circulation and reducing the chance of drug-related problems occurring.”

The festival was also pleased to offer the service. “Harm reduction and welfare is a vital part of hosting any event and it’s an area that for too long has seen little development or advancement,” said Secret Garden Party co-founder Fred Fellowes.